01 October 2012

It's Fall!

One of my dear friends (hi Meredith!) reminded me a couple days ago that I "have not posted in... forever!"  So here's a little update:

I'm still riding my bike to work. I recently outfitted it with a nifty bell and water bottle holder. Now I just have to procure the requisite front basket and rear fender, and I'm good to go for a few more months.  Every day I get to ride next to the river for about 2 miles, and the rest is city.  I love it.  Even if I'm not doing something outside after work, I still get in my twice-daily bike rides.

I can't wait for Whole Foods to open in downtown Boise!  It's so close, but today the parking lot was still flecked with bright orange cones.  It's on my way home, so now I have to be doubly-sure to pack reusable bags in my backpack.  So that I don't end up balancing thin plastic grocery bags on both handlebars like I did the other night.  I need to go grocery shopping more often, apparently.

I bought a 20 pound box of huge, ripe peaches at the farmer's market on Saturday for $20.  Quite a steal, considering how fantastically perfect they are!  They are so juicy and full of flavor they squirt with every bite. Now to decide their purpose... cobbler? cake? pie?  I think they will hang out in the freezer for a while until I decide.

It's been crazy-busy at work. I've been working until at least 6 every night, sometimes 7, for about 2 months. Tonight was the first time I actually left at 5.

Still haven't heard anything about Kyle's job interview... we were hoping to get a yay/nay a week ago, but we'll just have to keep waiting.  We'll find out sooner or later!

I'm so happy to see that it's fall.  The cooler weather is such a relief and i just love to see the trees change color.  Here's to the holidays!

~ Ri

04 May 2012


- not one, but TWO visits to my favorite restaurant! Lovelovelove.

- not one, but TWO visits to Nevada! Seeing some of my favorite peoples this weekend.

- another commission from a co-worker for a cheesecake

- zeroing in on a bike purchase (one that has multiple gears, is a ladies' style, can go for miles, and looks cute too. Oh, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg -more than $250- and is my size)

- being challenged at work, in a good way

- anticipating California weather next weekend

- delighting in the farmer's market every Saturday

Lots of good things lately!

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24 April 2012

The value of our homes

From Carolyn McCulley:

"In doing the research for this book, I was startled to discover I basically knew nothing about the history of the home. I had no idea that my understanding was derived solely from a 20th-century American experience, where the home was seen as a place to store your stuff and showcase your taste. I had no idea how profoundly the 19th century had influenced the role, place, and activities of the home. For most of history, the home had been a place of productivity and the small business unit of the local economy. By the 20th century, it became a center of consumption. The public sphere—the marketplace—was the valued sphere. The private sphere—the place of intangible investment—was the devalued sphere. Yet all the activities of the private sphere were the ones that awaited eternal reward: the cultivation of loving marriages, the rearing and discipling of the next generation, the care for elderly or disabled relatives, and the mission of outreach to neighbors and hospitality for the church."

14 April 2012

California state capitol building

I was in California over Easter weekend to visit family and friends, and I got the chance to see the capitol building in Sacramento. It was beautiful! So many intricate details in the architecture and coloring. I could have stared at the center part of the ceiling (is this called the cupola?) for an hour. It reminded me of the Duomo cathedral in Florence, Italy.  So many beautiful colors. And how they keep it all clean and bright is a mystery to me. Bleach? (ha)

13 April 2012

I'm not the only one!

My niece Katie helped me put together this pug puzzle I got from Meredith for Easter... what else, but a pug with bunny ears?

Whatchu lookin at?

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I got to see this little cutie on my recent trip to California. Aren't her little toofers just adorable? And comical. I did everything I could to get her to smile all weekend, which wasn't that hard. My niece is a happy baby!

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Ah... The sight of these palm trees always makes my heart flutter and my taste buds dance. I should just buy some stock to express my personal allegiance. Did you know about their secret menu (which is probably not so secret anymore!)? I like to get my burgers animal-style, with the onions and sauce grilled onto the bun. Or if I'm feeling like a leaner version, I do protein-style with lettuce substituted for the bun. Don't forget the strawberry shake!

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06 April 2012

Headed for this!

Well, I probably won't get to actually see any almond blossoms because it's too late in the season, but I'll be taking at least one walk around the orchards this weekend to see if my memories hold up to reality.

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05 April 2012

Just not my day

I spent Monday night cleaning, organizing, and hiding things in my apartment, because I am a semi-messy person at home (picture stacks of papers, stuff I meant to hang on the wall sitting there for 6 months, etc.). I was having a few people over on Tuesday night, and I didn't want to look like a slob.


Tuesday morning, I was getting ready for work, and I reached into the basket that sits on the back of my toilet for a bobby pin. Sometimes when I do this, the basket wobbles a little on the curved porcelain surface, and then stablizes itself. Today it was already stable. No worries. Two whole minutes after I was done with the basket's contents, I watched out of the corner of my with horror as the whole thing tipped off the edge and spilled bottles, hair tools, and a hundred bobby pins across my bathroom floor. Five minutes before I had to leave for work.


Ok. So I ignore the mess (very difficult for an OCD'er like myself!) and head off to work, where I had a busy day and slept on the bus ride home. I walk into my apartment, past the bathroom, stop in mid-step and realize I still have junk all over the bathroom floor.  Have to get that cleaned up before my guests show up at 7pm! It's 6pm now! One hour!  Thankfully I didn't need to be concerned with making dinner at the same time, just some Pecan Blondies... which I overbaked slightly, so they became Pecan Brunettes.  Anyhoo...


No sooner than I got the bars in the oven, cleaned the kitchen, and cleaned up the bathroom, than I went into my bedroom to pull a paper (one! single! paper!) off the bookshelf, and everything came crashing down. Sometimes you just gotta wonder... ;-)  This is why I keep the majority of my belongings in my bedroom... it has a door.

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04 April 2012


Can I just take you home and keep you forever?

I think this calendar is not helping my situation - I want a pug even more!

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Since when did French baking get all modern on us? When I think of someone baking at home in France (which they rarely do, thanks to the gazillion patisseries everywhere), I imagine them using parchment paper or just a metal cookie sheet, with lots of butter. Everything in France has lots of butter.

But the French have come up with a fabulous nonstick rubber sheet called a Silpat mat. It is flexible, reusable, and expensive! I've been wanting one for several years, and thanks to a Williams-Sonoma gift card from my birthday, I finally got one! Thanks J! But not after first buying the wrong size Silpat in the store and then returning it, being given another gift card, and finally purchasing it on their website. No worries. It's finally here. Silpats are especially good for candy-making, so I'll be sure to share my future Silpat experiments with you!

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02 April 2012

March 2012

Looove watching it snow... from inside.  This is the view from the back of my apartment, by the way.

Saw this book at Costco: "Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything".  It's like the book was written just for me! I have the memory of a gnat.

Church-potluck-goers loved this one... Plum Cake with Penuche Frosting.  If you don't know what penuche is, go look through your grandma's cookbook for butter and brown sugar stains.

If you're looking for a book that outlines basic Biblical truths in every day language (and short chapters - 2 pages each!), this is it. "Essential Truths of the Christian Faith", by R.C. Sproul.

Even the postmaster didn't want to mess up Mom's pretty stamps.

The Irish insanity begins. If only I had an after picture!  You'll just have to click the link.

I love these people.  Did I paint my walls green just for the holiday?  Hmm... you'll never know.

J, we all know you loved the gluten-free cupcake.  But come on, double-fisting it?

Crews are renovating my apartment building. I really shouldn't have thought too hard about this puddle, or I may not have ever returned.

"Germs and Jesus are everywhere, so wash your hands and say your prayers."

Purple and white crocuses!! (Crocii?) They make the bus stop prettier.

28 March 2012

Spring has sprung!

First time wearing the new sandals I bought in Italy!

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24 March 2012


Last Christmas, my parents got me a pug calendar.  This is an annual occurrence - one I love!  Most years, it's a small monthly flip calendar, but this year it's a daily tear-off calendar. I keep it at work and look forward to flipping the page every day to see the next new picture.  Now for your viewing pleasure, some particularly entertaining shots as of late...

Oh....! I could just "hug you and squeeze you and caress you and I'll call you George..."

03 January 2012


I had two -not one, but TWO- boxes waiting for me when I got home today!  Nothing better than something sitting by your front door... unless it's one of the millions of phone books I seem to get.  Three already this year, good grief!  These are much better than an old phone book.  I already knew what was in them, but they were still fun to open.  One was a present from my parents, and the other was a present from... me!  What could be inside... hmm... maybe a whole fish, shipped overnight on ice from Italy?  Maybe a pair of those roller shoes that were trendy with kids a few years ago? You know, the ones that make you slip and break your back just by looking at them.  Or maybe just a giant bag of paillettes?

Let's look inside Box #1 first, on the right:

Coconut goodies! 

This is the gift I bought for myself - coconut soap.  I needed some new hand soap for the kitchen and bathroom; something that wouldn't dry out my hands like other soaps do.  This soap is made completely from coconut oil that has been saponified, and the lather is really impressive!  It's creamy and the unscented version that I got is pleasantly perfume-free, not with a slight odor that other non-perfumed things can have.  Tropical Traditions was having a Christmas special when I bought the soap.  If you spent more than $16, you got a 32 oz. jar of coconut oil for free!  That's pretty cool.  I use coconut oil all. the. time.  In the kitchen, on my hair, on my arms and legs and face and feet.  It's really versatile.

Well, what's in Box #2?  I'll give you a few hints: it's round, it's made of iron, and it weighs 14 pounds!  This present came from my parents.

It's a cast iron pan set!  The skillet has a slight lip all the way around the edge that fits into the top of the deeper pot so it can act as a lid.  Double trouble!  I have been wanting a cast iron pan for ages. I kept putting off buying one for myself because I wanted to find a used one in a thrift store. I figured a used pan would be cheaper.  Nope, I was wrong.  Every time I was in a thrift store, I would check, and either they would not have any at all, or the ones they did have cost just as much as a new one. These things are popular!  And for good reason.  With a little seasoning, they can outlast their owner.

Cast iron pans take some getting used to, but they are well worth it (these may become my all-time favorite pans).  You should only wash them in hot water (no soap), dry them immediately, and put a little oil on them before they go back into storage.  You can't shimmy them around on the stove top like your other pans because they are so heavy. 

On the plus side... who needs to lift weights when you've got these guys around?

02 January 2012

Winter sunset

Don't ask me why the trees only shed the top half of their branches.

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