I’m baaaaack!

I made it back from my epic Thanksgiving Adventure! Turkey in Turkey was a success! I hope you followed along through my instagram photos. If not, no worries as posts will be up in the next week or so. It’ll take some time to organize all 1500 photos, but I promise to do it. Since I got in late last night I’m still catching up on work/blog emails so I’ll have my “Do This Today” post starting back up tomorrow. Here are some instagram photos (since the others are still on my camera):

Temple Mount, Old City, Jerusalem

4b7e2b5e56d511e3a2bd12f060f13058_7The Western Wall, Old City, Jerusalem

cf3dec8856ba11e3a52e12d4973c56e9_7Caesarea, Masada

80016dbe584c11e39bef0e0423ac1ff3_7Photo via As Her World Turns)

50083208560a11e3b148122f255355e2_7Mt. Bental (looking over to the DMZ + Syria)




The big trip has come! Today I embark on my journey to Israel and Turkey. Unfortunately this means my “Do This Today” (and all  other posts) will be on hiatus until December 3. My plan is to have phone internet access, so if you want to see up to the minute photos from my trip, check out my instagram where I’ll be hash-tagging #turkeyinturkey (as it’s in reference to Thanksgiving in Turkey). And to all home-burglers out there, I have two roommates with black belts so don’t even think about it. Shalom and L’hitaot!

Holiday Blues


Now that you are caught up on the fun times of my Denver Thanksgiving, you can imagine the second part of that trip was not so much fun. Typically that Saturday after Thanksgiving is when I allow myself to start celebrating Christmas. I start writing Christmas cards and listening to holiday music. Since Saturday was spent in the hospital and then it was a mad dash to get back to Los Angeles once I was released on Sunday, that switch from Thanksgiving to Christmas never happened for me.

I’ve spent this weekend laying low (still fighting the allergy, although it’s getting much better) and I decided to let myself start celebrating. I woke up early today and went to World Market to buy Christmas cards. I dug out my old roommates mini tree (see above) and decorated while listening to the Holiday Pandora station and breathing in my cinnamon scented candle. It’s like Santa threw up all over my room.

In all this holiday cheer, I must say I’ve got a bit of the holiday blues. Maybe it’s being single around the holidays or perhaps it’s this allergy/cold issue that’s sucked away the past month of my life, but I’ve got the blues today. I’ve also come to the sad realization that I can’t finish all my Secret Stair walks by 2013. Having lost the last 4 weekends to this cold, I’ve fallen too far behind. It’s painful to admit this, but the only way to complete them by 2013 is to rush and that takes all the fun out of it. I don’t want the walks to be a chore, but something I look forward to enjoying. So that goal is being stretched into 2013, and since I’m back logged on those posts, you’ll get to enjoy those well into 2013.

This all has me contemplating my 2013 goals, as I’ve got one month to make next years list.  Have you started thinking about 2013?

Christmas Tree Cutting ’12


Denver in the morning. Isn’t she beautiful? You can see the snow capped mountains far in the background. Such a fun city.


If you remember from last years tree cutting adventure, we go up into the mountains on every black friday to pick out the perfect Christmas trees (with permits of course). The drive from city to mountain is a beautiful one.



This year the roads were exceptionally dusty (given the dry winter). Normally there is snow and mud, but this year dust.


Look at our spread of food! It’s the fanciest tailgate I’ve ever seen 🙂 Everyone makes something to share to accompany the annual turkey chili that is made with the Thanksgiving leftovers (Steve is so kind to make me a delicious veggie chili).


Once our stomachs are filled, the great tree race begins!!


We all search for the perfect trees. This year we were on a different side of the mountain and we were shocked at how many good ones we found. In previous years it would take hours and going deep into the woods.


We found the tree! It even had an abandoned birds nest in it. Little did I know, when the photo was taken above, my body was freaking out on the inside.


Once the trees are tagged, cut and mounted on the cars it’s time to pack up and hit the road back to Denver.


It’s a beautiful drive in and then back out.


After returning and washing down the tree (to rid any bugs), we got to catch this gorgeous sunset 🙂

Thanksgiving Tablescape

I’m not sure how other families celebrate Thanksgiving, but one of the highlights is the tablescape. My designer uncle and florist friend tackle our Thanksgiving tablescape every year, and they are amazing. Half the fun of Thanksgiving is seeing how they out do themselves, and it becomes a thread in the conversation for the night. After a few years held with restraint (given the recession, it’s best not to be showy), they really out did themselves.

Such thoughtful care put into the details.

Do you notice that there aren’t any flowers in this display? Isn’t that fun? It’s all natural fruits and vegetables providing the myriad of textures and colors.

…adding in some final touches.

A master at work.

Candles lit, as the tablescape is almost done.

The glow of the water and wine bottles add a final texture and color to the tablescape. Tablescapes are meant to be thoughtful, creative and most importantly, fun. So next year assign a few friends the task of tablescape, give them a concept to work with and then let them have fun with it. It’s become such a great tradition for us.

Rewind… Denver Turkey Trot ’12

Lets rewind back to simpler times (aka pre-hospital-Thanksgiving-morning), where my uncle, sister and I donned turkey hats for the Denver Turkey Trot. Every year when we see crowds dressed as turkeys, we always say “awww… next year that’ll be us”. Well this year we did something about it and bought these hats to surprise my uncle (he was VERY surprised and a VERY good sport about it).

Here we are pre-run.

Look at the crowd! Every year I’m always surprised to see the massive crowds of people who donate their money and time to run the Turkey Trot. Especially given it’s an early morning for people who never get a day off.

Part of the fun of this race are the people who come out to support it. The band who performed on this front lawn is called More Cowbell.

Just up the block I passed this bagpipe player, playing tunes for the runners. Just beyond him, a family was having a morning gathering to watch the runners. It’s just fun to see the community getting into it. Thankfully the weather was perfect for running, not too cold but not to hot.

Some people get really into it. In the distance you can see runners following up, as the race loops back around Washington Park.

Other people start putting out their Christmas decorations while watching the runners. Aren’t these homes beautiful? This park has a big lake in the center, so to have a house along the edge of the park provides a great view.

This is just one view of the lake in the center of the park. See all the Canadian geese?

We did it!! The after shot.

I passed this statue on the walk back to the car after the race. This angel is so old-school.

Alas, our tired turkey hats took their rest on the mantel. Don’t worry, they’ll be ready for next years race.

Black Friday Indeed

I’ve been very quiet on the blog the past several days because an emergency came up. While on my Denver Thanksgiving, it came to light that an antibiotic I’ve been taking is actually my kryptonite. Unfortunately I had already taken 17 doses of the medication before the allergy symptoms revealed themselves. After a couple of scary days Im currently back from Denver and on bed rest today. Even typing this post is taking so much of my energy. I have so many things to share with you (Palm Springs, DYI projects, Secret Stair Walks, and tons more) but I’m just physically unable to even think about all of that right now. It’s time for my head to be against my pillow, despite sleeping also being one of my many challenges right now. When Im better, you’ll be the first to know.

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

Another year, another Denver Turkey Trot! As much as I love LA, visiting my uncle (above) in Denver is one of the highlights of my year. It’s become our Thanksgiving tradition to get up early and Turkey Trot before we head to the days festivities (see last years post here). It’s a great way to feel good about all the food we are about to eat. This year I’m suffering from a nasty virus, so my trot was more of a speed walk, but I’m so glad I was at least able to participate. And Erica and I surprised our uncle with TURKEY HATS!

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for!

Annual Tree Expedition

Another adventurous day in Denver! Today we slept in a bit so we could rest up for our annual Christmas Tree Search. Five cars full of people made the treck into the mountains each in search of the perfect Charlie Brown tree. We all get permits, of course, and arrived within the designated areas. We began our quest with some tailgating fun. Steve makes a mean veggie (and non veggie) chilli. People bring drinks, homemade desserts and thanksgiving leftovers. It’s a really special low-key tradition that we all really look forward to.

Once the food was digesting inside us, the tree hunt began. It’s all about finding the perfect tree while following the permit rules (can’t be too small or too big. Can’t be close to the road etc). While it is not a race… it totally is. After about 40 minutes of going deep in the woods, we found our tree.

We sawed it down and dragged it to the car like champions. Everyone gathers as trees start coming in. Before we knew it everyone was done and we were tying them to the roofs while saying our goodbyes. We will all meet back here in exactly a year where we will catchup and share more memories. The tradition lives on.

Tonight we are having an impromptu gathering for dinner and drinks. Tomorrow we are getting a tour of a new art museum before we leave for Los Angeles and our Denver thanksgiving trip comes to an end.