One of the best things about working with my best friend Cheryl (aside from seeing her smiley face every day) is getting to go on business trips together! About a month ago we attended the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans. It was the first time either of us had visited the Big Easy, so we were pretty much freaking out the week beforehand!Read more
October 11th marked a momentous day - my sister got married! :) Lots of preparation and little projects kept me busy for a couple of months leading up to the event, but it was so worth it! My sister's big day was perfect - so beautiful, so fabulous, and SO much fun. I can see why people like to throw large weddings! It was a very special day to have our whole family together in one place to celebrate the happy couple.Read more
As much fun as this blog has been for the last couple of years, I want to share that I will soon be retiring it. I've obviously struggled this year to keep up with a personal blog, and much of the reason why is because it just doesn't quite fit anymore. It is not the right setting for many of the things I want to share, so photos and ideas have all been piling up on my computer waiting for the proper place and time to be posted. Long story short, I have decided to launch a full website. It will be in part for Heather by Hand, my calligraphy and hand lettering business, but it will also include a new blog. I will still share some of my personal life, but so much of my life now includes this new passion that I really want to make the right home for it all. I will continue to post things here until the site is ready and launched, but for now, here is a preview of heatherbyhand.com!
Well, I'm really sneaking in under the wire to get a post up in October. It has been a wonderfully crazy month between my sister getting married in Santa Barbara and a work trip to New Orleans. Both events I will share in more detail, but for now I just wanted to say hi. In between the events, we have had some nice times at home together, too. Watched a few sunsets on the beach...Read more
Apologies for lagging in my posts. I would like to say it's because I have been so busy, but I think it's a deeper reason - not wanting or knowing how to follow Brent's guest post! His writing is just too much. It makes me happy to know he's considering starting his own blog... I look forward to reading it. Excuses aside - things have been busy, but definitely not hectic. Much has happened in the last month but I have also had plenty of time to myself for rest, relaxation, and enjoying the last few weeks of summer. It seems appropriate that I finally felt the urge to come back here on this drippy morning, at the first sign of Autumn's arrival.Read more
This is Don.
This is how a bar man should appear.Read more
I never finished posting the last bit of our Mendocino weekend... apologies in advance for the picture-heavy post. On our last day there, Brent and I had a few places we wanted to explore in the area before we headed home.Read more
Here is the recipe for that breakfast dish I mentioned in my last post! As I said, I have already made this twice since we have been home from Mendocino, and I think I could eat it again this weekend. It's beyond. I made it for Cheryl and when I asked her if she preferred this or baked oatmeal, and she didn't think before she emphatically replied "THIS!".
Atrium B&B Potato and Boursin Frittata
Serves about 4 people
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper (each)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
- 1 cup chopped scallions
- 1 5-oz package of Boursin garlic and herb cheese (this is what makes it!)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together eggs, salt, and pepper until just combined.
Heat oil in an ovenproof 9-10 inch skilled over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the potatoes and scallions to the oil, stirring once, then cover and cook until beginning to brown (about 4 minutes).
Stir the potato mixture once more, then cover and cook 3 minutes more.
Pour beaten eggs evenly over potato mixture and crumble the Boursin cheese over the eggs. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake, uncovered, until set and just cooked through (about 15 minutes).
Slide onto plate and serve.
Optional: accompany with sliced smoked salmon or prosciutto.
Brent and I stayed an extra day after our mountain biking weekend to explore the towns around Mendocino so I booked a night for us at the Atrium Bed and Breakfast in Fort Bragg. This was our first experience staying in a B&B together, and it was nice to feel like we were staying in a warm and welcoming home of a relative rather than staying in a hotel full of strangers.Read more
Here are some pictures from the Jughandle Farm and out around Caspar and Mendocino where we rode most of the weekend.Read more
Thankfully Brent didn't choose a career path in sales, because initially he didn't do a very good job of selling me on a weekend trip to Mendocino with the Mendocino Bike Sprite. Once he explained the details... staying in an old farmhouse, tour groups for beginner level riders, and meals included, I was all for it! I was still a little nervous since I imagined I would be one of only a few women in a large group of experienced male riders, but much to my surprise and joy, the group was mostly women... and what a fun, fabulous, and helpful group of ladies they were! I'll share more photos from our weekend once I get them all edited, but I really just wanted to dedicate a quick post to say what a freaking wonderful time I had! I learned so much, I pushed myself physically, and I got out of my comfort zone on SO many levels. I'm working on keeping that stick out of my butt all the time... baby steps! A big THANK YOU to this group for a fabulous weekend, and hopefully many more weekend rides together to come!
I love that I love summer now... a time I used to dread in Arizona is now my favorite time of year! Being here during the summer reminds me of that indescribable excitement that hung in the air in the last couple weeks of school as a kid. There is just something magical about summer time, and I am so thankful to have that feeling back again! This summer is going to be doubly special because it is the first official, full summer Brent and I will be in California together.
Here is my 2013 summer bucket list (some uncompleted tasks from 2012 carried over):
- Host outdoor movie nights at our cottage - Build a fire, pop some popcorn, and set up the big screen. I would love to make this a bi-monthly event until it's too cold to host it anymore. Brent already called Jurassic Park as the first movie, so now we just need to pick a kick-off weekend.
- Explore up the coast - I imagine it only gets prettier as you drive up...
- Go camping in Big Basin and/or Big Sur - yes please.
- Hike the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail
- Bring back Sunday beach bonfires
- Birthday on the Boardwalk - again!
- Take a dance class with Brent
- Go wine tasting in Carmel
- Master a new song on my ukulele
- Read at least the first two books of the Game of Thrones series - I already have a good chunk done of the first, so this shouldn't be difficult.
- Send fun summer gift packages to my pen pals
- Bike camping... this was obviously Brent's choice when I said I needed one more thing for my list. We'll see.
Happy Summer! :)
Back in March I drove down to Santa Barbara and met my sister to run some bridal errands. We toured their wedding facility, the Montecito Country Club, which is absolutely beautiful - I am so excited to see it on their wedding day! We also stopped into a bridal shop where my sister found her wedding dress - I was so glad I could be there to see her find the dress! No pictures of that, though :)Read more
Netflix has made me such a happy person by resurrecting Arrested Development, and making all new episodes available to watch over Memorial Day weekend. I'm taking this opportunity to sort through old photos and write some catch-up posts while I giggle away at this genius showRead more
This little roadside breakfast and lunch cafe just off Highway 9 in Felton is like something out of my dreams. The first time we went there I was fairly certain I had stepped onto the set of Fried Green Tomatoes. Rocky's Cafe, so warm and inviting, feels like an extension of my own little cottage kitchen... and it's only a short bike ride away!Read more
As if I don't already feel lucky enough to get to work with my best friend every day, we also recently got to take our first business trip together! It was a whirlwind trip to Chicago, but in between the all-day classes we attended we managed to soak up some of the windy city experience :)Read more
I would apologize again for letting so much time pass in between posts, but I fear my words will mean less since I clearly am not sorry enough to keep up. I have a handful of post ideas and plenty of pictures to accompany them, it's simply a matter of time and choice that has me home at 8:30 each night after a workout, and in bed by 9 so I have time to read Game of Thrones. When to blog...? This morning I thought I would write a quick note while I wait for water to boil for coffee, before I slip on my stretchy pants for yoga class. I'm trying out a new place in Scotts Valley that looks small and loveable... I'm hoping it becomes my home for Saturday mornings.
Life is just as wonderful as ever; I love my job, I love the cottage, and I love having Brent here every day to enjoy it with, even if he is semi-crippled at the moment. Have I written since he broke his arm at Sea Otter two weeks ago? I guess not. I haven't minded doing house chores and the dishes all on my own, even when he leaves smelly remnants of his bean burritos in the sink, and I still love him even though he buys single-ply toilet paper (I guess that has nothing to do with his broken arm, but I felt it was worth mentioning). I do love alone time but Brent makes me laugh more than I make myself laugh, so I appreciate having him around.
We are headed on a quick day trip up the coast today, stopping to explore Pescadero and to check out a brewery in Half Moon Bay... I must remember to mention to Brent that there is a seaside bowling alley all the way up in Pacifica that I always thought looked like fun. I'll take pictures but I won't promise that they will be up here any time soon, since clearly my word means nothing anymore at this little Wordpress address.
Well, my tea kettle is whistling and I can hear Boo in the other room choking on what is soon to be a fresh pile of cat vomit for me to clean. I don't have a picture of Rudy to post at the moment, but we did take this little gem of video footage last weekend in Henry Cowell. Enjoy :)
Last weekend I had a pretty serious craving for lettuce wraps that wouldn't quit, and when I found big, beautiful heads of butter lettuce at the farmer's market Saturday morning I took it as a sign. I adapted my recipe from this one but made a few tweaks of my own, one of which was adding chopped asparagus since I had some leftover in the kitchen and thought it would make a perfect, healthy addition.Read more
As I mentioned when I got you all caught up on life here lately, Cheryl and I had the pleasure of visiting Alissa Bell at her studio last week. Alissa runs a letterpress business, printing everything from corporate stationery to wedding invitations on her century-old Chandler & Price Co. letterpress machine. She produced the holiday and business cards for our office, and we are all madly in love with her work. I have an obsession with letterpress cards, so meeting Alissa and seeing her studio was such a dream! She had kindly set out a spread of cheese and lemonade for us to nibble on while we chatted... I can't remember what that cheese was called, but it was delish!I loved seeing pictures and hearing the whole history of how she quit her day job to pursue a passion, learned the trade and art of letterpress by attending workshops at the San Francisco Center for the Book, and finally started her own business after purchasing her letterpress machine from a kind elderly man who collects them in an old barn up in Napa. The press is a really gorgeous machine... I would love to learn to operate one someday!She showed us her collection of antique letters for some manually cast work she occasionally does......and also showed us the newer plates that are used nowadays. This little plate is a small part of our business cards :)
Hop on over to her online store - she has some really cute stuff for sale! A big thank you to Alissa for opening the studio to us for the afternoon... this won't be the last you'll see of her on my blog, I'm sure of it. :)
I'm sorry to say blogging has fallen to the end of my list lately, but it has been for a LOT of very wonderful reasons. I have never been so happy to be so busy! Here's a bit to get you caught up... Rocky's has become a bit of a favorite weekend tradition for me... I'll have to do a whole post to highlight this sweet little roadside cafe.
She prefers giving slobbery kisses. It is starting to warm up around here, and flowers are beginning to bloom. Now I'm getting anxious for the warm, magical summer season!I took a quick weekend trip down to Santa Barbara to meet my Seester for some fun wedding preparation errands. I have been busy with some lettering and calligraphy projects as well - this was the setting while I addressed my sister's save-the-dates :) I think I could sit and do calligraphy while watching period pieces forever. Last weekend Brent and I enjoyed a seriously beautiful morning at the cottage together. Living in the redwoods will never get old.Toby has been, well, interesting lately. I can't decide if he's extremely stupid or extremely evil, but last weekend he decided to leave a little "treat" on the bathroom floor in front of the shower. I stepped in it, and once I realized what was jammed between my toes was in fact poop, I couldn't find the source since it was perfectly camouflaged on the brown bathroom rug. A massive manhunt for the source of the mysterious toe-squished poop ensued with no results and just as I was about to give up, I stepped in the turd AGAIN. Toby seemed pleased with himself for the rest of the day.
I bought myself a new toy last weekend so I'm no longer on that evil single speed when Brent and I go riding together. This bike called out to me at REI, with her sparkly sage-green frame, 29-inch wheels and GEARS! Oh gawd, the sound of her gears clicking is music to my relieved thighs. I smile on the uphills now, especially when I see Brent up ahead struggling, pumping away on that single-speed monster. I took her out twice last weekend and got her nice and dirty. I even rode right smack-dab through a giant, steaming pile of dog crap. Which, by the way, happened literally 30 minutes after the camouflaged Toby turd incident. Seriously, I can't make this sh*t up. Poop pun for the win!
Things at work just keep getting more and more wonderful. I feel like I am learning so much and developing my creative mind and eye, which is such a pleasurable way to spend my days. Last week we got our beautiful letterpress business cards in from Alissa Bell Press. Cheryl and I also had the pleasure of visiting her studio and meeting Alissa... more on that to come later :)
Much of the reason why I have been busy is because I have been spending so much time practicing hand lettering and calligraphy after work. I have too many ideas constantly swirling in my brain... and a new dream and vision for my future and career path. I have some exciting projects coming down the pipe! More details to come on that later, too.