Yep!  That is my foot in a high heeled shoe, my leg in a pair of sweatpants, my green dress poking out from underneath my snow dusted parka.  That’s my bike on the snowy road!

I signed up to be on the “Commuter Team” through our local bike shop, Salvagetti.  The deal is they hook you up on gear (I only ended up buying some new lights, but they had a ton of good deals and I wish, wish, wish I had sprung for a Mission messenger bag at such a good sale price) and you agree to ride at least 50%  of your commutes for January, February, and March on your bike (or walk or bus it) and convince a friend to commute via bike 3 times.

I have been pretty good about riding my bike, or, in icy weather, taking the bus.  I think I have used a car to get to work maybe twice?  I only live 1.6 miles from my office, so it’s no huge feat, but still.  My neighbor drives one mile to work.  One.  And then pays to park.  It blows my mind.

So, I’ve been following the letter of the rules when I rode the bus when it was snowing, but last Friday felt like such an accomplishment!  If I hadn’t made the commitment through Salvagetti to ride my bike in the winter, there’s no way I would have been on my bike that morning, even if it was just a light dusting of snow.

Nine years!

Nine years ago today, on a Wednesday, I went on the very best (and, I hope, my very last) first date ever. There are prettier pictures of us, but me on the couch with my laptop and he making funny faces, well…yep. Day-in-the-life.

It’s possibly the very definition of annoying couple-dom, but I don’t tend to keep track of what happened between what birthdays or calendar years. I’m much more likely to mark a milestone in relation to February 27th, and it’s the time of year I’m most likely to reflect on, well, the State of the Union.

One year was when we went to see Dave Eggers. Three years and we went from long distance to living together. Five years I had really dark hair. Six years we moved to Denver (literally, on our anniversary we pulled the U-Haul into our rental on 36th Avenue) and adopted a dog. Seven years we bought our house.

And nine! We celebrated by dropping $200 on new running shoes for each of us, slightly less than that on the fanciest brunch in Denver, and exchanging boring gifts and sentimental letters. We tried taking self timer photos but they were awkward:

and we were running late for our reservation so we finally just captured the day with Photo Booth:

No running! No stiff poses! And you get to see what your hair is doing before you snap a photo!

One non vegan thing per day progress

It’s ten days since the Only Eat One Non-Vegan Thing Per Day challenge started!  The idea was originally to do it for the rest of February, but I like it.  I really like it.  It’s kept me from eating tons of Valentine’s Day chocolate left over in the office, kept me from munching on the sketchy looking popcorn at the bar last night, kept me from grabbing a handful of crackers at a wine tasting.

Things that have been my One Thing:

Kashi Bars that have chocolate (x2)

Eggs at 20th Street Café (x2)

Free lunch at work – pizza one day, enchiladas another

Free breakfast at work – bagel and cream cheese

Goat cheese and crackers for dinner (x3)

Not that I didn’t eat goat cheese and crackers (with champagne) before, but it suddenly feels more virtuous, like I’ve earned it after a day of eating all plants.

Tomorrow is our nine year anniversary! So tomorrow’s One Thing will be the champagne brunch at the Brown Palace.  (One thing is flexible.  It can be one thing like a granola bar or one meal, like eggs with buttered toast.)

I suppose [my website] will be reserved for an in-depth treatise on avocado handling or diagrams of pupusa aerodynamics (who can say in this crazy mixed up world). Tumblr will be for all of those random thoughts I wouldn’t LiveJournal but don’t seem quite right on FaceBook.

The Vegan Latina, on discovering tumblr. 

She also has a twitter to round out the social media pentagon, presumably for things that she wouldn’t want on facebook but aren’t quite the right fit for tumblr?  I SO get it.

Here’s how!

It helps if about fifty bucks is a flat of beer and a few bottles of wine.  But I was really surprised at how many options there were:

  • Triobar energy bars
  • Spicy black bean soup
  • Uncooked tortillas
  • Almond butter
  • Canned black beans
  • Edamame
  • Almond milk
  • Avocados
  • Butternut squash
  • Veggie burgers
  • Frozen strawberries and frozen mixed berries

I was stocked on crackers, pasta, and grains (farro, quinoa, rice), and bread, and I already bought celery, apples, and grapes at the grocery store for work snacks this week, or I would have gotten those here, too.

I kind of thought the Costco membership might stop being worth it when we became vegetarians, and I thought for sure it would when we decided to try to cut back to one non-vegan thing per day, but lesson learned!  Never underestimate the power of Costco.

I posted this in October while browsing the Ann Tayor by my office.  I counted how many Ann Taylor dresses I owned a few months ago, and I think I came up with something like 22 (with solidly over one third that came with belts). I know I tend to gravitate towards the same thing over and over.  I recently acquired my third yellow cardigan.  I just bought four pairs of these flats because I love them and since they’re only $12 I know they will fall apart and I will be glad to have backups.  I own two pairs of my favorite earrings because I’m afraid I will lose one.

Aaaand, so here’s what I wore to go shopping yesterday.  Long Ann Taylor cardigan!

I tried on armloads of clothes.  Dresses, tops, skirts.  Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Target.  And here’s what I chose to buy:

(I also own two dresses and two tops in this same color.)

(Mmm, yes, I have this same sweater but it’s cable knit.)

What?  I like Ann Taylor’s long cardigans.  It’s not being boring and/or being stuck in a rut.  It’s called signature style.

I may or may not have also bought a dress I already own, just in another color.  I like what I like!  I can’t help it.

(PS, pink guy was marked down from $70 to $15, and white guy from $130 to $12. Just bragging.)

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost two years, and I’ve been half-trying to have at least one vegan meal per day. But! I want to be more mindful about what I’m eating and why.  I’m not ready to stop eating animal products entirely, but I think part of being an ethical eater is making thoughtful, deliberate choices.

So! I feel like I should come up with a more clever name, but Project Only-Eat-One-Non-Vegan-Thing-Per-Day started yesterday.  So far, both days the one thing has been a Kashi granola bar.  (It has chocolate.) 

Since I’d already eaten my One Thing, I passed on a birthday cupcake this afternoon.  Good for animals, good for the planet, good for my waist line!  So far this project is awesome.

I left my ugglies in the car overnight by accident and when I went to put them on to go the dog park they were coooold. 

Problem solved!  Aaaand I might just start doing this all the time because it felt amazing.

Zoom, zoom

After a week of standing at the bus stop in 0°, it was a high of 67° today!  It’s a lovely palate cleanser, even if it’s supposed to snow again next week.  A pretty day in winter seems like a treat.  Long stretches of pretty days in the summer lose their luster when you can take them for granted.  Eyeing the forecast this week, we decided Sunday would be good for a long bike ride.

We rode our bikes over to Garden Spot Café for a big breakfast.  That’s the nice thing about cycling.  I could not have eaten this and then immediately gone for a run.  I could not have done this and then immediately gone for a swim or dived into an intense work out video.  But I totally did eat (almost) all of this and then settle in for two hours on my bike.

American Breakfast for me (that’s Morningstar sausage):

Veggie Benedict for him:

After a bit of a rocky start with a tire that blew out while we ate our breakfast and then several super icy, slippery patches on the bike path, we settled into a good groove and did a total of 22 miles.

There were geese everywhere!  And tons of ducks in the creek, and we saw one hawk.  At one point we saw a coyote wade into the creek, amongst several dozen birds.  (Look out, birds!)  It was so close, maybe 100 feet away?  (I have no idea, my depth perception is terrible.  But I also have terrible vision and I could see the coyote really well.)

On the other side of the trail just a minute or two later we saw a deer.  She was my pace buddy for maybe a quarter of a mile as she leapt and bound through the gully to the left of the trail and I tried to pedal to keep up.  Eventually she pulled ahead and then crossed in front of us to get to the creek to our right.  She headed back from where we had come, towards the coyote.  (Watch out, deer!)  I’m curious about what the coyote ended up having for lunch.

I’d hoped to go faster, but given the icy patches under most of the overpasses that I hopped off and walked over and a few minutes lost when I threw my chain, not too bad.

There were tons of puddles and I realized that while my daily commuter bike has fenders, my road bike does not. 

My bottom is wet and my back is dirty.  My hands and butt were numb by the time we got home.  But I totally feel like I have earned the beer I drank while writing this.