blackberry+lemon bran muffins

Sorry, I've been AWOL.  A few big changes are in the works personally that have kept me away from blogging, but hopefully all will be sorted out soon... In the meantime, has the color red caught your eye this month?  Maybe you noticed a co-worker sporting a red sweater or little crimson ribbons pinned onto handbags and clothing.  Well, it's not in celebration of our favorite Hallmark holiday, but instead, in spirit of the American Heart Association's  campaign for American Heart Month.  Their annual crusade to raise heart health awareness is in full swing this February and with good reason:  More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined.  Unreal.  Considering I always associated heart attacks with middle-aged men, this statistic was a moment of reckoning. Read more »

gallo pinto

I was feeling a little sentimental this past weekend about a number of things, but, namely, a little place near and dear to my heart, called Costa Rica.  I have an affection for the land and its people like none other.  This Central American country operates on a simple universal notion encompassed in two Spanish words: pura vida.  Literally, this translates to "pure life," but it is interpreted a number of ways, such as "real living" or "full of life."  We've traveled there a couple times, but our most recent trip was exactly three years ago in January 2009 when Joe proposed.  Obviously, that in itself, makes this a special spot in the world for us.  However, we sensed on our first visit a year prior, that it always would be when we touched down on the Osa Peninsla .  With waves crashing on the shore, sloths lollygagging in the trees, and howler monkeys barking in the background, we knew without any hesitation that our version of paradise was found. Read more »