Monday, March 30, 2009

My Favorite Beauty Book!

I have always been obsessed with skin and nutrition.  I absolutely believe that what you put in your body effects your skin on every level.  A couple of years ago, I picked up this book by Susan Ciminelli who is a well known esthetician and also created her own line of skin care.  She shares the same philosophy that I have and she created this amazing book that has a 7-day plan for radiant skin, recipe ideas, home made skin care and an easy to understand philosophy that you can follow for the rest of your life.  I love her home-made recipe for 'pre-moisturizer' oils and her soup recipes!  The only thing that she is really against (which is something that I LOVE) is putting any type of acid on your face.  I have to admit that I'm all about glycolic and lactic acids.  Other than this, I'm a believer. I have lent this book to a ton of friends, but I think it's worth it to get your own copy because I refer to it often! 
I've been asked a lot about my skin care routine so I'll share that this week too!

Here Comes the Snow...doo...doo...doo...doo

I'm sure that after living with the snow for a year, I will get used to it.  For now, I've been waking up every morning for the last few days and seeing 8 inches of new snow.  I love it, but it's consuming me.  I don't even know what else to write about.  Hopefully I can get out this week to San Francisco (had to cancel my trip last week due to a blizzard).  

Since there's nothing else to do, I've been enjoying some amazing skiing and just embracing it!  The other morning 'A' and Pete went to the gym and then at at Westside Cafe.  This is hands down the best breakfast place in Vail.  I 'poo-pooed" it for months because it's connected to the Holiday Inn in Vail (sorry, I guess I'm more snobby than I thought).  I finally took Pete (our out of town guest) there one morning and have eaten there 3 times this week (oh no!).  Anyway, the other day I had 'A' bring me a breakfast burrito from Westside Cafe and so I could load up before skiing (this is my new excuse for eating a HUGE breakfast). mmmmm......

We then headed to the slopes for a great day of fresh powder.  It wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be because the roads were so bad!

View from above the Ritz-Carlton.  This is my favorite place to ski because the snow is great and it's never crowded!

'A' loves doing tricks with his skies.  Makes me completely nervous.
Here's me in the fresh powder.  Weeeeeee.......
We taught Pete how to ski.  He had never seen snow before so I think he did pretty well for a first-timer!
'A' and Pete went up the bunny slope chair...look at Pete holding onto 'A'.  
We love Vail!  I've had 20 days of skiing so far this season, but for someone who lives here, that's just not enough!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Drink Your Greens!

During the winter, I find it harder to get my veggies and nutrients.  I'm going to blame this on entertaining people - too much pasta, steak, cheese and wine.  My friend Sarah introduced me to these 'Super Greens' that have too many super foods to list.  Every morning I try to make a shake with the following:

*My Antioxidants
*Orange Juice
*Greek or Plain Yogurt
*Fresh or Frozen berries

It's kind of a big meal so if I don't need that, I just mix the greens in with orange juice (because the greens don't taste like ice cream).

I feel a lot better that I get a huge dose of greens each morning - good for my health and great for my skin.  

Friday, March 27, 2009

Snowy Night

I had anxiety all day yesterday about whether we should drive through the storm to Denver so that I could get to San Francisco today.  I think it was too crazy and dangerous out there to risk it, but I couldn't relax all day.  'A' is great at driving in the snow and still had to pull over multiple times on his way to work to clear the windshield wipers of ice.  He said it was the scariest drive he's ever done and that's only minutes from our house.  So we hunkered down in our house and I paced around while 'A' and his buddy Pete (visiting from Orlando) played hours of "Rock Band." I wish I could have relaxed like that.  I woke up this morning and the internet said it snowed only 3" in Vail, but the news said 2 feet.  What?!?!  I haven't been outside yet, but since I have to delay my trip until next week, I'll probably head to the slopes and enjoy some fresh powder!! 

Also, check out the furniture from our rental house!  As you can imagine, I'm anxious to move into our house with our own furniture!  The renovation should be finished April 15th.  Can't wait to share photos.  

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Go Away Snow!

Grrrr.....I'm supposed to drive to Denver today to catch a morning flight tomorrow to San Francisco to see my nearest and dearest friends.  Of course, now that I'm supposed to go somewhere we're scheduled to have a huge storm, both in Vail and Denver.  Almost a foot of snow today.  It's blowing out there and I'm not sure I'll be able to make it out of here.  I'll keep my fingers crossed but I'm going to stay safe first!  It's a much needed storm and the skiing has been great, but I need my San Francisco time! Boooooo!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bring Home The Bacon

We have a ton of guests.  I am always washing sheets and towels, and drinking AND eating.  I love easy recipes for my guests that look like they took a really long time to make.

My friend Breanna, who is a fabulous cook and, I must say, one of the best houseguests EVER, taught me how to make a very easy, mouth-watering appetizer.  

*Almonds and/or goat cheese

How To:
1.  Make a small slit on the side of the date so that you can get the pit out.  
2.  Stuff one almond or some goat cheese (or both!) in the opening of the date to create a 'filling'
3.  Cut pieces of bacon in half 
4.  Wrap a 'half-piece' of bacon around each date
5.  Broil in the oven until bacon is cooked.

They don't look very good but they're so yummy and unique!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Handy Work

My obsession with having nice hands and feet started when I was a ballet dancer in elementary school and came home every night with bloody feet from my pointe shoes.  I was seriously concerned that I would have ugly, scarred feet forever.  So many women I know take such great care of every part of their bodies, except their hands and their feet and these are the things I notice!  No matter where you live, all the cleaning, walking, gardening (or, in my case, slowly but inevitably killing every plant I've bought in Colorado!) and weather elements can make your hands and feet really suffer. 

Here are some things that I do that have really helped:

- I like L'Occitane Cuticle cream
- If I'm staying home during the day, I slather cream all over my feet, massage it in and put Jason Vitamin E oil all over my toes and rub it into the cuticles (I sometimes put this on my lips and eyes too - it has many uses!).  Then I cover my feet with socks.  I repeat this at night before going to bed - it makes a huge difference.  

- I try to get a manicure/pedicure once a month.  My friend Courtney introduced me to "Doorway 2 the Sole" - it's a wonderful nail spa in Cherry Creek where they do a Glycolic peel on your feet and a moisturizing mask that they slather on with a paint brush.  Plus, my manicure looks fabulous for 2 weeks (which never happened at any other spa!).  I like booking my appointments with Diane Winslow because she's fantastic and completely cracks me up, but everyone who works there is fabulous.  Sometimes I realize that I've been there for 2 hours just hanging out!  

Friday, March 20, 2009

Project Day - Organize Those Magazines!

I love magazines.  'A' loves magazines.  We could have an entire room cluttered with magazines.  In my work, I used to receive so many free magazines I could have sold them out of my house.  I love bookmarking great ideas on design, organization, fashion, travel, nutrition etc.  It can get to the point where my magazines start 'owning me' and I feel overwhelmed with clutter.  Once a month I go through all the magazines I've read and have earmarked and I rip out the pages I want to keep and throw away the rest of the magazine.  I buy white binders and place clear paper protectors in the binder.  I then put each magazine page in a paper protector so they stay clean and organized.  I divide the binders by subject matter, but I try not to over organize them because I find that inspiration for one area can come from a completely different field.  If you want to be super organized you can get dividers for your binders and write in various subjects.  For instance, a 'Home' binder might be divided by rooms or by "Paint, Furniture, Fixtures, Linens, Garden, Ambiance" etc.  
This past year has been a time of transition and a lot of moving.  I think being organized and simplifying the 'stuff' in life is key to being content and having less anxiety.  I'm only keeping the things I love and letting go of the things I don't.  I figure that there are many people in the world who would love and need those things more than I do.  Take an hour and organize something in your house today!

  You'll be so happy you did it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Protect and Organize Your Foot Bling!

From the time I was in 3rd grade until the middle of 8th grade, my parents could not get me in a dress without a huge fight ensuing.  Though I was a ballerina for 14 years, once I left the doors of my dance classes, I transformed into a grungy skater girl who enjoyed wearing my grandpa's old flannel shirts with these huge orange jeans that I got on Haight Street in San Francisco.  I'm not sure how I ever left the house thinking I looked good.  My parents would buy me really nice clothes that I threw in my closet, preferring to glam up in my flea market finds.  When I was 14, in the middle of 8th grade, we moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and I went to a prep school.  Suddenly, I wanted to look like a girl!  After fighting with my step-mom for a few years about my clothes, I was now sheepishly in her closet every morning asking, "Can I borrow this?"  That is when I discovered my love for nice shoes...and my taste became more and more expensive.  
When I moved to San Francisco after college, I considered eating beans all month so that I could afford my passion for shoes.  
My problem was that they all looked good on me!  I have a size 6 shoe and that's usually the display model size so I get that instant gratification because I don't even have to wait for someone to go in the back and find my size.  
Here's the point.  If you are going to invest in nice shoes, you need to protect and organize them.  Colorado is really dusty, so my dreams of having a glamorous, open-air shoe room just isn't realistic (I guess the dust isn't the only reason for that).  Rather than keeping the original boxes, which don't match and all the sizes are different, I like placing each pair in one of these plastic boxes from the Container Store and labeling them.  

Here are the benefits:

*You can stack them
*Organize them by Designer, Type, and Color
*The boxes are clear so you can see your shoes and they create and open, clean feeling in your closet.
*These labels are erasable so can fix labeling mistakes and update labels if you replace a pair of shoes
*Your fabulous shoes stay dust-free and organized! 

My step-mom and I still trade shoes and I can't help but get a little smirk on my face when I think about the fact that both of my sister's feet are too big to share with us... he-he.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dessert Anyone?

I remember my high school days when my dad and I would sit in front of the TV watching football (I AM daddy's girl!) and we would each eat a pint of ice cream.  Oh, how I miss the days of my really fast metabolism!  
Ice cream is still my absolute favorite dessert, but I try not to keep it in the house because.... it disappears.  
For a nice, healthy dessert I love to freeze grapes and bananas.  My friend Jamie introduced me to frozen grapes.  Just put bunches in a big ziplock bag and you have a tasty frozen treat that everyone loves!  It's like frozen Champagne!
I also love frozen bananas.  I put them in the freezer (still in the peel) when they are ripe and the skin turns almost black in the freezer (it's not pretty, so I didn't take a picture).  Once frozen, I just take a knife and start peeling.  It's a bit messy, but it's heaven.  
Try it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fabulous Winter Shoes

It snowed 8 inches here last night and just because there is tons of snow and mud on the ground does not mean you have to give up fabulous looking shoes!  Though I spend most of my days trudging around in my Technica Boots, I still like to look nice once in awhile when we go out to dinner in town.  I always get compliments on my Aquatalia boots.  I have two pairs and they are gorgeous boots that also happen to be weatherproof.  When I used to travel for work during the winter, these are all I would wear.  I have had the red ones for 2 winter seasons and they still look practically new.  They have rubber soles so I don't slip on the ice and they are super comfortable.  Check out similar ones in The Krafty Life Store.  

My Boutique!

So it's not really a boutique, but I thought it would be great to have a place online that holds many of the products that I've been recommending.  This is powered by Amazon an you can find my store on the right hand side of my blog and click on "The Krafty Life Store."  There are different sections of the store that I keep adding onto... Beauty, Health, Gift Ideas etc.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dress Up Your Salad

So, we all know I can't bake, but I make a mean salad dressing that my friends rave about.  I learned about this salad dressing at a cooking class by J. Cipriano - here it is for you to try!

Ingredients I mix well -  all in a small glass:

1 tbs. honey (wildflower)
1 1/2 tsp. orange blossom water *
3 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl. plus 1 tsp. Champagne or white Wine Vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

This amount serves 8 as a very light dressing.  I like to make a salad with arugula, walnuts or pine nuts, freshly shaved pecorino cheese and Chicken or Prawns (if I want a heavier salad).  

Try it and let me know what you think!

*You might be able to find the Orange Blossom Water at Whole Foods in the spice section, but not every store has it.  You can also find it in The Krafty Life Store I created that holds some of the various items I recommend!  More on the store later.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sick Sick Sick

It's snowing outside, it's really cold and we both HAVE colds!  'A' gave it to me, but I'm working hard so that it doesn't go into full development.  When I start feeling like I'm getting sick, I always take Oregano Oil.   It tastes really bad so I just put a dropper full of the oil in my mouth and chase it with a glass of Orange Juice.  This really seems to help during those early signs - I have definitely avoided getting really sick most of the time by using this.  Click here to read more about Oregano Oil's health benefits.

My other remedy for cold or flu is Ginger, Lemon, and Honey tea.  I make this tea from scratch and that's the best way, but if you don't have a kitchen nearby, you can go to the health food store and buy R.W. Knudsen's "Simply Nutritious: Lemon, Ginger, Echinacea" Juice.  I drink this a lot, even when I'm not sick.  

Sick Tea Ingredients (I put links to the health benefits of each ingredient):
- Fresh Ginger Root (6 slices for small pot of water)
- 1/2 Lemon
- Tablespoon of Honey (Local honey is best for you)

Wash the ginger root and slice long pieces.  Place in small pot with water and turn stove on high temp.  Let the water boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes.  This allows the ginger 'juice' to be extracted into the hot water.  Pour ginger water into mug (leave the ginger pieces in the pot) and squeeze in lemon juice and honey.  Drink it hot!  The ginger pieces should last for 3 'uses' - I try to drink this all day long.   It tastes great and it's a bit spicy - I think it helps me sweat out the 'kooties'!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Moving to Vail has increased our popularity by.... A LOT.  We have guests all the time and I love it.  Trying to be the "Hostess with the Mostest," I  explored an area that I'm not that great at - Baking.  I was craving Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for our house guests to enjoy and was really looking forward to our house smelling great.  

After trying an online recipe for 'healthy' cookies, I basically only got the good house smell.  The cookies were terrible.  Even 'A', who usually makes me feel so good about my creations, said "Sweetheart, these are really bad."  After all that effort, these cookies were crunchy, tooth-breaking frisbees.  So if anyone has a great recipe, please let me know!!  I need it.

For now, I'm taking our guests out to eat at places like Russell's - it's a steak house but seriously, best crabs legs in the US (and I've lived on the coast).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Laundress to the Rescue!

I didn't think that so early in my blogging 'life' I would talk about a company more than once, but I have to say that The Laundress saved us the other night!  'A' and I took my girlfriends from San Francisco to "Zach's Cabin", a fantastic restaurant above the Ritz-Carlton in Bachelor's Gulch (you can only get there by skiing in or taking a snow CAT!).  The girls were toasting us for hosting them in Vail and I guess 'A' got so excited that he knocked a huge glass of red wine down the entire front of himself!  He handled it really well, but all I could think was "goodbye to your favorite jeans and your Tom Ford shirt."  He couldn't even run home to change because we were on the top of a mountain!  After a few hours we got home and I grabbed his clothes and The Laundress "Stain Solution" and went right to work on them.   To my utter surprise, ALL of the wine came out of everything.  I just couldn't believe it.  This stuff is magic and saved some of 'A's' favorite things and I'm grateful that the product doesn't have all these harmful toxins in it (so I didn't even need a gas mask!).   
I bet 'A' is glad that I asked for "The Ultimate Cleaning Bucket" from The Laundress for Valentine's Day - I have all the flowers and jewelry I need - THIS was the luxurious gift I wanted!  I think he's a converted customer now too.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Back by Popular Demand...

The blog readers loved the post about the deer outside my door.... The deer loved the publicity so they've been coming back often and bringing their friends!  

Cute Baby...
There were more than 15 deer hanging out!

The buck glares at me..... "Are you selling these photos to 'US Weekly'?