Something Fishy…

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Last week I did a photo project for my Grotesque writing class. I’ll spare your pretty little eyes from the horrors of those pictures. They are not photoshopped and they certainly are grotesque. For the project, I was using Molly and Emily as fish-models to point out the animal in the human.

After I made them pretend to eat raw meat and squish it around in their fingers (I know, gross), then it was their favorite part. A little wine and some model close-ups. These are a few of the 400+ photos I ended up taking that night.

The makeup literally took hours, but as you can see, it was worth the effort. And of course it didn’t hurt to have such lovely models to begin with.

I’m pretty pleased with how these turned out.

These last two were taken on the kitchen table. The light was really fantastic and kind of ethereal.

I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed editing them. I’m excited to do some more fun photo times like this soon.

Dessert Picnic

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Last weekend Peter and I got all spiffy looking and went on a date. Because, why not? First we went to a delicious Italian restaurant where we had some appetizers, wine and then some amazing food. Deciding it was better to go all out, taste-wise, rather than keep it simple, I had the Braised Beef and Truffle Ravioli. Bah. To die for. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of it, which is silly. I guess that means I just have to go back some day.

After our amazing meal, Peter and I took a drive to one of the canyons outside of North Boulder. We spread out this flannel blanket, and then Peter surprised me by pulling more and more things out of a cooler – plates, silverware, chocolate mousse, key lime pie and port wine. What can I say, I go for the one’s that can impress…

(Psst…check out my lovely boots! I’ll have to do a post on them soon). Happy Monday, everyone!

Oatmeal Cookie Waffles for One

Today you’re going to do something nice for yourself. Why? Because it’s Wednesday. And Wednesdays somehow always seem deserving of that extra specialness.

Or maybe because a certain feline spent the full hour before you were supposed to wake up meowling at your door for her own breakfast. Maybe that certain feline is still meowling at you with that persistent look in her eyes – despite the fact that you already fed her. Or maybe you have to start writing the full outline for your honors thesis today – and it’s due on Monday (yikes).

Point is, sometimes waffles on a Wednesday are just necessary. I don’t even usually make waffles on the weekend, so you know something’s up.

Do yourself a favor – make these today. Because your Wednesday could probably do with a little extra sweetness. If you want to make someone else’s day a little sweeter, you can double this recipe. Or you can be like me and keep it all to yourself. Because maybe you need this one small selfish thing today. That’s okay. When it’s a day like today a small bit of selfishness won’t do anyone else a bit of harm.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

Oatmeal Cookie Waffles for One

Adapted from Joy the Baker’s Single Lady Pancake and Oatmeal Cookie Pancake recipes

Serves 1

1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur’s White Unbleached Whole Wheat Flour)

2 Tablespoons dried oats, heaping (quick cooking or regular)

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of freshly ground nutmeg (if you have “pumpkin pie spice” instead, that’s my favorite)

pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (if you have coconut oil, go to town with it. Yum)

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons buttermilk (or if you never have buttermilk, like me, substitute yogurt. It will be just fine)

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

dash of vanilla extract

Optional: raisins and/or chocolate chips

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together oil, buttermilk (or yogurt), maple syrup, and vanilla.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir to combine.  The mixture will be thick. Not would be a good time to fold in the raisins or chocolate chips, if you have ‘em.

Spoon batter onto your heated waffle iron, and wait until your one giant pancake reaches perfection.

Note: perhaps you do not have a waffle iron. Not to worry – just pour the batter onto a heated griddle and spread some with the back of a spoon.  Cook over medium heat until bubbles form and pop on the surface of the pancake.

Cook until golden brown.  Remove from waffle iron and onto a plate.  Fill in the waffle holes with butter and syrupy goodness. Settle down to eat the whole damn thing, and do it with veggie sausage (or the real stuff) and Earl Grey tea, if you have it.

Julie & Iris Get Autumnal

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So it’s fall here. Finally. Overcast, but bright, and a tad windy. We’ve been getting psyched on eating oatmeal (with cinnamon and brown sugar) and soup, because it’s that time of year (Also? I want to put pumpkin in everything).

Julie has a photography midterm due at the beginning of the weekend, so we needed to make the most of this fall lighting pronto. Except we tried at sunset yesterday and Julie’s camera battery died. And then it got all cloudy. So we went home and had arts and crafts time instead while watching 30 Rock for several hours. Because that’s the kind of roommates we are.

This morning we got up at the ass-crack of dawn (8:45am, which is actually later than I normally get up anyway) to get our photo shoot on. Julie has a film camera, so unfortunately I cannot post any of her lovely pictures of me playing in a mountain field. You can, however, see photos from my camera. So here they are.


I happen to have quite a lovely roommate and model.


This photo is my favorite. I think it makes Julie look older, but in a beautiful, worldly way.


And then I got Julie to lay in some leaves…


The lighting really was perfect by the time we got here. This was probably taken around 10am.


Then I got to play in the leaves.


There were leaves. Lots and lots of leaves.


I’d say this picture is pretty telling of my character.


And this one just makes me feel like an actual model (Hooray for Lightroom 3). How awesome are photo shoots? The results always get me so excited.

And after the shoot, I headed over to the Longmont Humane Society with Peter and his mother. They’re looking for a new dog to be a companion for their other two. So many sweet faces! As always, I just wanted to take them all with me (I only have to wait another five to ten years to be able to have one of my own). I should have taken some pictures of them.


We did play with Nelson (click for his profile). How goofy and sweet, huh? Nelson is pretty smart, but he is all over the place. He’s about as rambunctious (if not more) than Peter’s other dog, and one of those is about enough in a house.

Then we took out Lilo (the website doesn’t have a picture of her but she is adorable). They said she’s a terrier/pitbull mix, but she doesn’t really look like either. Lilo is sort of on the young side for what they wanted, but such a sweetheart. It’s safe to say we were all pretty taken with her. Once they see if Lilo is compatible with their other dogs, maybe then she’ll come home with them and I can take some pictures to share. In any case, there will be a new pup around, which is always exciting.

So, as it goes, today was quite excellent. Photography and dogs: two of my favorite things. Now for homework, I suppose. Enjoy your Sunday evening!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Fall Spice Cookies

I love fall, plain and simple. I pretend that spring really is my favorite season because that’s when the sun is always shining after a freaking cold winter and love is in the air and everyone in town suddenly owns a puppy and it’s my birthday – but really, autumn is my favorite. Summer here in Boulder has been ridiculous. As in, so-hot-you-can’t-even leave-the-house-some-days ridiculous (bear with me here if you’re a hot weather lover and you live somewhere with a much higher average temperature). I’m a baby about heat. So when sweet, crisp fall air starts to linger, I’m excited. It also means ski season is right around the corner.

Today it’s gray and rainy and cold. Finally. What do you do when it’s like this outside? Me, I pull on my über-long above the knee argyle socks and warm up the house with the oven. But what to put in the oven?

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Fall Spice Cookies, which I just made up. I’d show you a picture but I ate them all and now it’s too late. So maybe next time. I made them last night and ate them for dinner. And then I ate them again this morning for breakfast. Since I neglected to take a picture of the cookies themselves, here’s an autumnal-looking picture of my friend Hannah and my boyfriend Peter walking up a hill.

If you’ve already started eyeing the recipe, don’t worry. They’re healthy (enough to justify eating multiple) and delicious. I know, I know, you see the avocado and you’re freaking out a little. But believe me, you can’t taste it and you’ll feel much better about that than the 2 sticks of butter the recipe would have otherwise called for. And the coconut gives it a nice slight sweetness without being too sweet. If you want to make these vegan, all you’d have to do would replace all of the butter with avocado and get rid of the egg. Voila! To give the cookies a special autumnal feel, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger will really pull this cookie together. If the spice belongs in a pumpkin pie, it can work in this cookie.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Fall Spice Cookies

1 C brown sugar
1/4 C butter (half a stick)
1 half to whole avocado
1 T coconut oil (it will change your life and make EVERYTHING delicious)
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C oats (either rolled or quick-cooking)
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 C dark chocolate chips
Spices, to taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger (experiment!)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir brown sugar, butter, 1/2 to 2/3 of the avocado and coconut until blended. Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in oats, spices, flour, baking soda and salt; add more avocado if the mixture is too dry. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. Onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I used parchment), drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.

3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Enjoy! Get cozy by a fire with someone special (in this case, that’s my cat), or curl up in a favorite piece of furniture (mine is a dwarf-looking orange corduroy armchair with a detached wheel I got for free from some friends when I moved in) with a book and hot chocolate or milk or chai (I dipped my cookies in soymilk and it was perfect). Most of all, take pleasure in the weather! Get excited about wearing scarves and overly cushy sweaters.

I’ll Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In My Hair

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Last week Peter and I came back from a trip to San Francisco. Here’s my obligatory Golden Gate Bridge picture. I hadn’t been to the city since I was about seven, a trip where I only have three lasting memories: riding the cable cars, flying down those San Francisco hill streets in a taxi cab and puking on a pier at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Thinking I would be able to see San Francisco with fresh eyes, and take Peter, who had never been, it was certainly a different experience than my deluded expectations. Every other street is sketchy and smelly and the place is swarming with people. Everywhere. Always. But what should I have expected? It’s a city. We just realized that we’re small town Colorado mountain people. Who like some solitude and peace of mind and a nice glass of wine and our favorite chair and a book. Let’s face it, we’re kind of hermits.SAM_0588
That said, San Francisco is awesome. We found hole-in-the-wall coffee shops and Peter geeked out with the baristas about siphon filters and grind types and so many things that were way over my head. We ate brie with truffle filling in Golden Gate Park (yes, I know, we’re cultured). We made the pilgrimage to the infamous City of Lights bookstore (co-founded by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and location of Allen Ginsberg’s first reading of Howl). We goggled street art in an alley in the Mission. I looked over and saw color and pretty much dragged Peter that direction.
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So yes, that was lovely and awesome and colorful and different from what we do in the everyday. But it wasn’t what we spent all of that money on plane tickets for. What we really wanted was this.
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Waves and sands and rocks and wide open horizons. Hwy-1 is just gorgeous. When was the last time we had seen the ocean? I don’t even really know. It was probably in Seattle. And probably rainy. Note my future beach house perched up on that rock overlooking the water.**

**Imaginary rich inheritance pending…
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Peter and I played in caves and ran up and down the beach and sang songs and kicked up water. Can’t do that in Colorado (well at least the sand bit).SAM_0719

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Probably one of our favorite times of the eight days, this is a stretch of gorgeous (albeit sketchy) driving in northern California called the Lost Coast. About 50 miles (?) and it took us three hours. We also nearly had a Dukes of Hazzard moment in our little Hyundai Accent rental car. Ah, the joys of rural roads. That car certainly took a beating, what with us sleeping in it and taking it all the way up Hwy-1 and all the way back down Hwy-101 to San Francisco.
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Post-camping and beach-playing, coming back to San Francisco was a bit easier than the first time around. It was sunny and lovely and we had our fill of sushi and seafood before heading back on the plane home. Our entire vacation happiness hinges upon fried oyster sliders and sand-kicking, apparently.

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