Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You forget sometimes...

It's so easy to get caught up in things (e.g. school, work, TESTS), that you can forget that there is something to be happy and grateful about. A lifetime ago (maybe a couple months really), I was a happy girl--I had two yummy balls of alpaca yarn in my hand. A baby blue, and a rusty red-orange one. Then school hit. Like a train. Thank goodness for the yarn. It helped me through the end of last quarter. And I completed a project.

At the time, Youth Venture Seattle had their offices broken into. One of my best friends, Tams, immediately threw herself into raising money for the organization. Tams volunteered and mentored with this organization and their mission of spotlighting young changemakers really struck a chord with her. Tams's efforts were tireless and she was able to raise money and find corporations to donate new computers and equipment. This was on top of her very busy work and volunteering schedule. At the time, all I could do was donate. And study. And knit. I talked to Tams about her work after the school storm. When I think about it, I am amazed. How could one person do all that she does in her spare time? That day, I gave Tams the hat that I knitted, not realizing that the colors I had chosen were that of Youth Venture's! It was all very fitting. And I realized then, that I forget sometimes, more than I like, about what's important. But most of the time (thank goodness), there's someone that reminds me, through selfless actions, of what truly matters.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Take a Breath

Wow. It's been awhile. After the new year, it's been so incredibly hectic, that I don't know where to begin. But now, that I can finally breathe, I thought that I'd say hello. First things first though: how has the new year been treating you? Did you make resolutions? Are you keeping them still? For me, I didn't make any resolutions. Why? I'm very good at rationalizing. So much, that I can always convince myself that I should (or shouldn't) do something. But I am pretty good at setting goals. Goals give you a reason to rationalize what you're doing. See how good I am? =). Here are my goals:

1) The Wedding Cake Project. One of my best friends is getting married, and she also an incredibly talented chef. She is now working for one of the Northwest's most influential chefs, Tom Douglas. Woohoo! I'm so proud of her. Anyway, I offered to make her a wedding cake. Not the quadruple tier type, just some small ones. But, given the fact that she's has cooked me so much good food, I really want to make her a delicious cake. So, I'm plotting, and I'm hoping to let you all know how it goes. Her only requirements are that the cake not have fruit. She likes anything else. If anyone out there has good ideas...

2) The Rock n' Roll Half Marathon and the Milk Carton Derby. Time to flex my calves and my engineering ability (HA) with milk cartons! I'm excited. I haven't started training on running yet, but I'm hoping that playing on two soccer teams counts for something. I've also recently started swimming again, because I'm helping my friend train for his Ironman. So maybe that counts too. Or I hope it does anyways.

3) Knit and crochet more. Sigh. There is never enough time for this.

4) Celebrate the little things. Ahhh, and here we come to the meat of this post. Celebrate times with friends, quiet times alone, and the times that you come up for air. And here's a good way to do it. Two words: mulled wine. It's delicious. My chef friend recently hosted a pasta party (Theme of the dinner: pasta power hour. Isn't that great?). My only contribution was mulled wine, but it complimented the food pretty well. Plus, it was nice, warm, and had yummy spices. It is a great winter drink, and it took about 10 minutes to make. And, if you buy the spices in bulk like I did, then the total cost was ~$2. Which, given these times, isn't a bad thing. Makes me feel like celebrating.

Mulled Wine--From Ina Garten via Food Network


  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 oranges, peeled, for garnish


Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.

I skipped the orange zest (accidentally) and the decorative orange peel (not accidentally). Don't forget to strain the wine before drinking!

Take care! And I hope the next post coming will be sooner rather than later!