Friday, December 28, 2012

Final Friday

Before the New Year, that is. And what did I do on this final Friday?

Well, first I got my ass handed to me in boot camp class at my gym. Because of my knee injury it had been about two weeks since my last boot camp class, and let me tell you, it hurt. Running on a treadmill and Body Pump classes are not the same as running drills, lifting, carrying, and squatting heavy weights, and all the other horror that is boot camp. But, I made it through.

After Boot camp and a shower I headed to run some errands around town. My main stop was Cost Plus World Market, where I had hoped to buy a desk for myself. Sadly, they didn't have many desks in the actual store and all I bought was a new silverware drawer-holder-thing. I did observe, however, how crazy the candy/food section is at CPWM. Am I the only one who hadn't noticed this? I mean, they've got candies and chocolates that you would otherwise only see abroad.

After oogling all this goodness for awhile, I set off to meet my parents and David for lunch and a movie. (This was my Dad's Christmas present from us.) We ate at Pizzeria da Lupo, where none of us had eaten previously. And, of course, I forgot to take any pictures. Sigh. But, I did take pictures of my leftovers after I had reheated them for dinner:

That would be their brussel sprout salad (with radicchio, pecorino, and roasted walnuts) and their simple cecina, which is an Italian flatbread of sorts that is made from garbanzo flour. Both were good at the restaurant and even better when reheated at home. I bet you never see photographs of greasy plates on Edible Perspective, do you? Oh well. David is always telling me that I need to stand out more from other blogs in order to get more readers.

After lunch I went to see Silver Linings Playbook with my parents. David had a meeting and couldn't come, which is a shame because it was a good movie. Funny, strong writing, and well acted. I've seen a lot of crap movies recently and it was nice to see one that didn't suck.

The only other highlight of my final Friday? Roasting these guys:

Hazelnuts, people. 

Or, more accurately, roasting them and then eating them with chocolate chips:-)

*Which nuts can you not live without? I wish I had the guts to eat macadamia nuts--do you eat those?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top 5, errrrr 4

I'm afraid this post will be sadly lacking in photos since: 1) I haven't done crap today, and 2) now that I'm blogging and looking for things to photograph it is remarkably cloudy and ominous looking up here in Boulder. It looks like another big snowstorm is moving in, though I don't think that is actually the case.

And, since I haven't done anything today, this post is going to be more topical than usual. For example, how about I tell you what I'm looking forward to in 2013? (Not in random order.)

1) Popsockets coming to fruition. Man do I want this. David has been working on Popsockets for over two years now, and can I just say that I don't think I can talk about different kinds of polyurethane, possible manufacturers in China, or options for store packaging. Starting a business is hard. Inventing something new is even more difficult. Put them together and you've got one busy husband and a wife who is tired of being the one who cleans the bathrooms. OK, whining over. I am, incidentally, really excited for David's "baby" to come to life. I can't wait for him to finally "get" all the parts right and really start selling this little suckers. He has worked sooooooooo so, so, so hard and he deserves for things to pay off.

2) (Hopefully) Getting Pregnant. Who saw this one coming? I mean, who--what person--who knew me even two years ago would've seen this coming? It's a real game-changer for me, and strange that over Christmas I could not stop oohing and ahhing at my niece Ella. Like, she's so cute I can't take it and I actually want to take her home with me.

3) Finishing my degree. Ohhhh myyyyy Goddddd I'm going to graduate (hopefully) in May with my Ph.D. That is ridiculous. In part I'm so eager for it to be over, though I know that immediately I'll wish that I would've taken longer and drawn the program out more. (My department probably would not have appreciated that.) In any case I can't think too much about graduating soon--I have way too much work to do before then and you know what they say about counting, chickens, eggs and such.

4) Settling into our house more. Yah, I've finally unpacked all my crap and things are generally in their place, but there is a serious lack of homey touches that would make our home feel warmer. Like lamps, stuff on the walls, little wooden things that stand next to the toilet and hold the toilet paper. Out house is really nice, but I don't think I fully appreciate it because there has been literally no effort put into making it look its best.

5) Yah, I got nothing here. I was going to say something about working on my ED recovery, but who in God's name enjoys working on their recovery? It would be a lot nicer if I just wished myself completely free of ED anxiety. But, hey, at least I'm not a (semi-annoying) blogger who made a wish about some stupid fitness goal, like doing a 115 lb bench press or doing x numbers of repetitions of a Crossfit move.

*What are you most looking forward to in 2013?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

F-ing December 26th

Am I the only one who is struggling to get back to normal today? Food-wise and work-wise I just don't want the holidays to be over!!! If only there were more episodes of Teen Mom 2 that I could procrastinate with...

The holiday itself was pretty good. I spent X-Mas Eve chopping and cooking stuff that we had to take over to either David's family or mine.

I made this vegan lentil loaf, as evidenced by all these colorful veggies that I diced:

It was so-so. There was too much thyme in it, actually, and that kinda turned me off of it. David is eating it like it's mac and cheese, though, so at least someone likes it.

I also made an apple crisp for Christmas dessert, as evidenced by all.these.fucking.apples:

It was pretty good, though I chopped the apples too thin and they didn't feel meaty enough for me once they had cooked down.

On Christmas Eve we went to David's parents' house in Cherry Hills, Colorado for a pizza dinner and gift exchange. I got a long-sleeve t-shirt from Lucy, some new measuring cups, and some hand towels for our kitchen. Clearly, I am old now.

On Christmas morning we got up and drove back down South to have brunch at David's sister's house in Greenwood Village. After eating and screwing around for a bit with all my nieces and nephew's ridiculously nice presents we went up to my brother's house for Christmas dinner. We did a gift exchange there, too, and I got a gift card from Bicycle Village. Also, my Mom and Dad were nice enough to get me and David some new silverware and some cash to get new dishes. (They also recently bought us a microwave as a belated housewarming gift.)

I'd say the best parts of Christmas were (in random order): 1) the beer sample pack that David won in the gift exchange...yum!, 2) playing with my niece Ella, as well as my nieces MoMo and Riley, and 3) the Tim Tam cookies that I was able to try because my SIL Jennifer's sister Amelia sent them back from Australia, where she is currently living. I can't say for sure why they were so delicious, but man they are good. Prolly hydrogenated like crazy:-(

Other highlights of the past few days:

Haruki crossing her legs.

Please don't judge how old and dry my hands look. Colorado is a desert, people, and it is d.r.y.

Painting my nails like a legitimate girl.

And finally, shopping for booties for Ruki's feet since it is so cold lately and she can't go for long walks because her little paws get frozen. These little illustrations on the booties really spoke to me:

*What was your favorite part of the holiday? Are you still eating Christmas cookies in order to protest the end of the holiday?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Adieu

If I were going by the congestion in the Whole Foods parking lot here in Boulder, I'd say that a lot of people took today off from work to get ready for the holiday! Whew! I stopped by Whole Foods and Target after a gym session this morning (actually, I walked to Whole Foods and Target--it was much easier than driving and parking), and both places were juiced.

I had to get a few present-wrapping items at Target, and at Whole Foods I was getting something for lunch as well as some holiday cheer. Whole Foods is, like, the best place to wander around in during the holidays. Samples and sugar everywhere!!! And everyone seems so happy to be buying and planning food schtuffs.


Tofu spring roll. Meh. A nice change of pace but nothing special.

After lunch I came home to bake my salty cookie dough. Yup. As my friend and reader Julia mentioned in the comments to yesterday's post, cookie recipes don't use salted butter. But, in my defense, my cookie recipe just called for "butter," and I was under the impression that "butter" = salted butter and "unsalted butter," when it is called for, is specifically stated.

At any rate, I baked my salty cookies, and they actually aren't overly salty. Woohoo! They also aren't the best cookies I've ever had, but at least they are edible.

And, they're pretty!

That's sprinkled sugar up there, not salt. 

In case you couldn't tell, that's a soft chewy ginger cookie and a chocolate-snowball-type-deal.

After making and tasting these cookies, I'm more convinced than ever that I'm just not that much of a cookie person. Yah, yah, I know what you're thinking: "Well, Nikki, maybe you're just not a salty cookie person," but seriously, they don't tasty salty!!!

But I have a lot of cookies sitting on my kitchen counter and I don't have any desire to go eat them. If it was a yummy piece of cake or maybe a decent scone things would be different, but cookies? Not so much. If I had made this, like I used to do, that would also be a different story. As in, don't make that crack because it can't be good to eat that much butter on your own, even if it is near Christmas.

So, with that I'm going to bid you all good day. David and I are going on a date tonight, and will hopefully find ourselves walking on Pearl Street later tonight with lots of lights and holiday spirit. I'm not sure if I will post on Monday and I'm confident I won't have time to post on Tuesday. So, I wish you all a very, very warm and happy Christmas!

Oh, and here's a festive picture of me and my new niece Courtney when we had holiday tea at The Brown Palace hotel a few weekends ago:

Merry X-Mas!!

*Have you ever made that Christmas Crack? How is your recovery going?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Slight Cookie Fail

Yah, it happens. Even to the best of us. By "best of us," I mean those of us who have had periods of their life that were largely filled with The Food Network. I even take my butter and eggs out of the refrigerator ahead of time so they come to room temperature before I start baking. Wow, right?

But unfortunately that didn't help me much today, since instead of baking cookies I ended up making dough. Cookie dough, yes, but not cookies, since apparently the recipe I decided to use says to refrigerate the dough overnight before actually getting my cookie payday. BALLS!!! Only, no cookie balls because I'm a doofus.

Making the dough wasn't all bad, actually. It made me feel festive. I should've made cookies about two weeks ago to jump start my X-Mas spirit.


Admiring the butter: So yellow! So rich! Even more so after I gave each little stick a personal massage.


Another realization that I had while baking? It's been a long time since I mashed up butter and sugar. I guess that's what anorexia + living in Boulder, CO will do for you. I bet my grandmother didn't go a month without mashing up some butter and sugar for some kind of tasty recipe. Boy, she sure would get a kick out of how I live my life. (Without Black Cherry Kool-Aid?!!! WTF?)

I also remembered that we don't own a mixer. Like, a stand mixer or a handheld. I could've sworn that we did, but it became clear that we don't when I was trying to get that butter and sugar to fluff up. It's times like these that I understand why people have "real" weddings, like with lots of gifts guests. On the plus side, I didn't have to write any "Thank You" notes. Whew. I don't know where I would've found the time, really, what with all my TV shows that I need to keep up on.

After my non-baking escapade I proceeded to cook and eat an entire bag of brussel sprouts by myself. Like so:

Photo courtesy of
(^^^She's pretty great^^^)

My new favorite way to cook brussel sprouts? Slicing them and sauteing them in olive oil, S & P, and garlic powder. Finished off with a good dose of grated parmesan cheese and roasted hazelnuts. Soooo good. It's really a testament to my vegetable intake that I can eat an entire bag of brussel sprouts with no intestinal distress. Practice, people, practice.

*What do you think of when you cream butter and sugar together?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snow Day, Snow Day!

Yup, it finally snowed around here, like for reals! More than 2" of snow means snow day, fun day!

Since it also just so happens that David finished his school semester yesterday that meant that this morning we had a nice little pancake breakfast together!

My player line-up:

My plate:

With a moat of syrup (Joanna):

David's plate: (which he ate x3)

By the by, have you all ever looked at the number of grams of sugar in maple syrup? If not, don't.

After breakfast I got to work on some cleaning that was long overdo. I also made a smoothie and perused a new book that I recently ordered on Amazon:

Research, people, research. My job is so difficult.

After my research reading David and I set off for...Christmas shopping!!! Yay! We got some gift cards, returned some stuff, and bought some other stuff. All in all, a productive few hours, and now I don't feel like I've got a big chore to do anymore. I'm getting a bit excited for X-Mas, I'd say, although I'm not doing a really good job of letting go of little worries in order to really appreciate the season. Sigh.

I do, however, have an afternoon of baking cookies to look forward to tomorrow, so I'll keep you posted and will hopefully be able to report that Santa's little angels have laid a nest in my cold, cold heart. (WTF? I don't know where I come up with this...)

*What do you like to do on snow days?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

ED Dating

So, now that it's been, like, a month since this came up, I thought I'd address the questions that I received about dating with an eating disorder.

When I met David I was already seeing a therapist and my team of ED practitioners, including a medical doctor and nutritionist. I would estimate that my process of recovery had only been "going on" for approximately three or four months when we met and began dating; this, as you all noted, seems like it would pose problems for a new relationship.

In the very beginning of our relationship, I did my very best to never let on that I was struggling with an eating disorder. In my mind there was no point in letting David "in on the secret" if our relationship was never really going to pan out.

In terms of practicalities, i.e. going out for dinner dates, I tried my best to eat, but not too much. On our first date, for example, David and I met for drinks and appetizers at a local bar/restaurant (The Kitchen Upstairs). Our date wasn't until eight p.m., so I purposefully ate a "meal" that I felt was "safe" beforehand and decided to only pick at the appetizers that we had.

Another thing going in my ED favor was the fact that David and I are both physically active vegetarians who prefer healthy food. That meant that not only did our dinner dates usually focus on food that was on the healthier side (sushi rather than burgers and beer), but our initial dates were often activity-based. I was into road biking pretty intensely when I met David, so several of our first dates consisted of me trying to get him to like road biking over his preferred mountain biking. We also took trail runs around his house.

As our relationship progressed, however, and it became clear that we really cared for each other and wanted to make a relationship work, things got more tricky for me. At some point--and I don't remember when or how--I had to come clean with him and admit that I was working through some pretty serious issues. He was astoundingly helpful and caring, and that made it easier to keep working through my issues despite the fact that being in a relationship made having an ED much more difficult.

When you're very happy it is hard to keep denying yourself food. More specifically, when you're very happy it's very difficult to turn down pancakes made by someone you love, even if it is eleven o'clock at night and you usually stop all eating by seven p.m. It's also difficult because an eating disorder needs structure--rigidity, more like--and being open to being with someone means that you can't always eat dinner or lunch at precisely the time you "need" to.

Ultimately, I'd say that dating with an eating disorder isn't that difficult, though being in a relationship with an eating disorder definitely is. What it boiled down to, for me, was just continuing to try, even though at times I really suffered with all the change, the uncertainty, and the fact that I was gaining weight.

As far as David's side of the story? He doesn't really remember much--he's more "go with the flow"--but he does remember that my collarbone and chest were "really bony." (What a compliment for a woman, right?)

*Did you keep any secrets to yourself at the beginning of your relationship with your "person?"

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Haps

Were not thrilling, exactly, but nice nonetheless.

On Friday I was scheduled to attend my Uncle Jim's fiftieth birthday party. Since my uncle and aunt and cousins live down South of where I am I decided that I should stop at the mall on the way to their house. I used to live right by this mall (Flatirons, for you local readers), but since moving back to Boulder I dread going near it and rarely do so.

It's partly because I stay snug in the Boulder "bubble" and don't venture out too much, but the reason that I avoid the mall is also that I don't like shopping. It sucks.

I really needed a new brown leather belt, so I got one. I also tried on a few workout pants at the Gap Body store.

Umm,  not so much, right? That slight looseness in my bizness area was actually more pronounced in "real life." Maybe my crotch is just naturally slim?

Because I'm a doofus I don't have any pictures of the birthday party. Too bad, too, because it would've been a good occasion to introduce you to my uncle, aunt, and cousins. Suffice to say that we ate cheese and crackers, and holiday M&Ms, and my Dad and uncle told stories about all the hijinx they got into as youngsters. (They were total hoodlums!)

Saturday wasn't too eventful. I hit up the gym for an elliptical session (because my knee is still on the fritz) and proceeded to spend the day watching CNN for more news on the Sandy Hook situation. David had to administer a final for one of his classes on Saturday night, so at least he wasn't there to see what an emotional wreck I was while watching all the coverage.

Sunday was a fun day--probably my favorite of the three days because I got to spend it with this little chub-monster!!!

My brother Brian and his wife Jennifer were making a trip to the IKEA in South Denver, so I drove over to their house to accompany them and little miss Ella. Aren't they a cute family?

We even stopped at Starbucks on the way for festive coffee cups! At IKEA I really resisted buying a lot of crap that we need for our house, and instead limited myself to: a new dish rack/dryer, a milk frother (yah I totally needed this), a vegetable peeler, and a new silverware holder. I'm such a reckless shopper, I know.

Now that it's Monday, I'm stuck doing work, though I do have these two treats:

Vegan Apple Bran Muffin

I'm also wondering when I'm going to start buying presents for other people (i.e. for Christmas) instead of things for me (i.e. milk frother...)

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Sad Day

By now I'm sure everyone knows why it's a very sad day. Am I the only one who sits in front of CNN and cries when events like this take place? It feels so gratuitous, really, since I don't know anyone who was directly affected by this most recent tragedy, and yet I can't stop myself from staring at the screen, imagining what these families are suffering, and just generally getting upset about it.

It's strange, actually, because I don't remember being very affected by the Columbine High School shootings, despite the fact that I was in a high school about twenty-five minutes from Columbine when those shootings took place. Columbine was one of the schools we competed against in sports and that year at a graduation party I remember witnessing a student graduating from Columbine completely break down, even as the rest of us were greedily drinking beer and doing other stupid crap.

Perhaps I was just too young to grasp how shocking it was. Or perhaps it's because I have young nieces now, or because David and I are trying to start a family. In any case, I'm shocked and heartbroken now, and thinking about those families in Connecticut.

Anything I say now seems trite, now doesn't it? I'll just say that I hope you all are able to savor some warm words, or hugs, or love with your family and friends today.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And I'm Baaack in the Game!

I trust you all made it through yesterday without my witticisms and daily diary entry? Sorry about that. I'd explain, but it would amount to the usual ranting/complaining, and I will spare you that.

I will tell you that last night involved two of my comfort-food favorites:

Veggie burglar.

Followed by some of my almond banana bread:

This morning I went to the gym for a run before my BodyPump class. However, my injured knee is still not 100%, and it became clear after a few seconds that running is not in my near future. This is going to make it difficult to shift the ~10 pounds I've gained since our honeymoon, especially because I literally can't do anything high impact--including my bootcamp class:-( Damn you butter! And chocolate! And cheese! 

After BodyPump I hit up the grocery store for a few things and then came home to have lunch with David. Because it is the end of the academic semester David is mega busy, however, so he had to dash to campus pretty soon after that. Since I had some time to myself, I decided to feed Haruki some brussel sprouts.

The verdict? 

She really liked them!! Isn't that cute? My dog likes brussel sprouts. I should totally have more readers if even my dog is a health food nut! She also licks her bottom though, so I guess I can't say too much about, palate.

Hey, speaking of free time, what are you all watching on TV these days? I'm asking because I'm looking for some new recommendations for decent TV shows. Since we got a TV a few months ago I've really been making up for lost time, and have become hooked on: Homeland (but we don't get Showtime anymore so I've been jonesing for it), Teen Mom 2 (I know, I know!), Parenthood (is this like the most real portrait of family life ever?), New Girl, The Mindy Project (both of these are like the highlight of my week), and Elementary (Jonny Lee Miller is more than just Angelina Jolie's ex boy toy).

*Do you feed your dog any human foods?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An Abstention

Can you all please grant me one today? I'd be really grateful:-)

Back tomorrow, and in the meantime I hope you all had a good day!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tree Woes

Is it snowing where you are? I mean, is anyone in the US getting a "normal" winter thus far? In Boulder, CO we definitely are not. I bring this up that because it did, in fact, snow last night, though it was completely unexpected.

Also, is it just me, or does it totally _not_ seem like Christmas is in two weeks? I used to feel caught by surprise when Christmas rolled around every year, but I always figured it was because the academic semester kept me busy right up until the 18th or 19th of December. I thought that once I quit taking and/or teaching classes that that feeling would change, but so far it has not. I mean, I see all the eggnog at the grocery store, and I get excited to smell the Christmas trees for sale outside the grocery store, but there's just something lacking in my anticipation for the holiday. I think it's excitement. Boo.

Currently this is because we've had a set back in our Christmas tree efforts. Originally David and I agreed that because we just got back from our trip and he just went on another trip that we'd just lay low this year and skip the tree and decorating. But my mom had other ideas, and last weekend I went with her, my Dad, my brother Chris, his wife Sarah, and their two daughters to a Christmas tree farm outside of Winter Park, Colorado.

I'll just stop here and say that you should do something like this if you haven't already. It was a really nice holiday tradition that (at the time) helped to get me more festive.

Chris and I even stood next to each other:

Riley did snow angels:

My mom had brought a sled, too, so we went sledding down some of the hills in the tree farm and laughed and giggled the whole time. Seriously. And you should know that this is not how my family operates; this gives you some idea of the cute factor of this activity.

And, after everyone else had chosen a tree to take home, I sawed down this poor little tree just because I thought it was cute:

Despite my agreement with David, this little guy was just calling to me. And despite my smiling face, I actually did have a moment where it seemed bad or mean to basically kill this tree and prevent it from growing. (I suspect there were girl hormones involved in this thought process.)

Anyhow, I was really glad about my cute tree and even went shopping at my mom's house for some "new" ornaments and lights for it. (Am I the only one who "shops" at their parents' house because--let's face it: they already have a load of stuff and they can probably afford to buy more/newer ones?)

But then I tried to set it up on my new tree stand and have regretted my decision ever since. The thing is too small. It's little trunk is too small to stay securely in the stand, even after we wrapped a towel around its base.

Here is David begrudgingly helping me this afternoon:

And here is Haruki wondering why the f$&* her afternoon walk is being delayed for this stupid smelly shrub:

As you can (kinda) tell from the photo above, we didn't really get it straight and it really needs to be leaned against something to ensure that it doesn't tip over.

Sigh. No tree lights for me this year.

*Have you put up a Christmas tree this year? Is it pretty and bright and festive? Also, do people wear "puffer" jackets where you live? In France this seemed to be a dead giveaway that I was American, as there were _no_ French peeps wearing puffer jackets or vests.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tea Time

Alright, peeps, cha-ching! After almost two weeks of vacation programming, it's back to normalcy over here in Sunshine Canyon.

Meh. It's also time to get back to work:

And so far I've proven only moderately motivated and mostly just tired. I did turn in the introduction for my dissertation last week, though, so that's something. If only I didn't know that my advisor is going to have _lots_ of changes for me to make to it shortly. Oh well. For now I'm revising all of the body chapters in my dissertation, and just thanking my lucky stars that I don't have to come up with any original thoughts any time soon.

It's been a long weekend, in part because David was out of town on Popsockets business, which meant that it was just me and Haruki for five days straight. I've been really bad about reaching out to make plans and be social lately, too, so that five days involved a lot of me being alone--something that I look forward to but also something that isn't the most healthy if carried too far.

Unfortunately Haruki put a hit on me too. Seriously. The day after David left I took her on a hike and she rewarded me by slamming into my right knee cap while running on the trail. And I mean slamming. Like, I fell down and cried it was so hard. I can at least walk normally without pain now, though there isn't any high-impact exercise in my near I hate the f-ing elliptical machine, but for a few days you can imagine me elliptical-ling away while thinking about how to get revenge on Haruki.

I did do one noteworthy thing this weekend, however, thanks to my mother-in-law. I didn't know this until recently, but apparently it is a tradition for the women in David's family to have holiday tea every year at The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. You can check out the hotel and the tea menu here:

The Brown Palace is a pretty famous hotel in these parts, not least because the unsinkable Molly Brown stayed there for a week after surviving the sinking of the Titanic. Oodles of presidents have stayed at the BP too, which makes for a pretty swanky atmosphere:

I'd never had afternoon tea before, and it was definitely a fun experience. We ordered three large pots of tea for the table to share, and then proceeded to stuff our faces with finger sandwiches (egg salad, cucumber, and one roast beef that I didn't try), scones (regular, aka butter, and ginger/butterscotch, which wasn't as sweet as it sounds), and tiny desserts (i.e. really miniature peppermint cheesecake, chocolate truffles, tiny Madeleine cookies, etc.).

It was not the most nutritionally-complete meal, but everything was well done and it was really nice to spend time with the ladies of my new family. (Even if I did have to wear tights instead of yoga pants.)

*Do you like "dressing up?" Have you ever had a proper afternoon tea?

Friday, December 7, 2012

House Party!

So, finally, a house tour. As you might recall, David's house burned down in the Four Mile fire a little over two years ago and it's finally finished being rebuilt. We were not living together at the time, but I was there on the day of the fire and can vouch that it burned to the ground. I can also vouch that the new house is much, much nicer, not only in terms of just better design and better furnishings and schtuff, but also better because it is our house now, rather than just David's house that I lived in.

That's the beauty of home owner's insurance: if your casa incinerates and your insurance company has to pay up you can prolly build a house that you wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. I should add here that a number of people who lost everything in that fire didn't have insurance, and David and I feel very lucky for how this has all worked out for us. (This is despite the incredibly difficult and time-consuming process of rebuilding with a contractor who is a #$%#$^%^.)

So without further ado, here is a tour of the house. I took these photos the day before we left for France, so I was constrained by some bad lighting and having a bunch of crap laying around as we got ready to leave.

The kitchen:

David is particularly proud of the kitchen back splash, since he picked out the color. (It's a deep charcoal-y blue.)

Nikki's Nook, aka the breakfast booth and where I work:

The laundry room: (Woo-wee!)

David's office:

The entryway, looking into the living room:

The guest bathroom:

Guest shower:

Guest bedroom:

The mudroom, complete with a doggy shower on the left and a doggy door straight ahead:

The living room:

Master bedroom:

This was mid-laundry. My bad. And yes, we sleep on the floor.
David spends all of our money on Popsockets so we can't have real beds yet.

Master bathroom:

Bedroom/Bathroom #2:

So, again, I apologize for the crap lighting in some of these pictures. If you want to see more pics with better lighting just let me know.

If I had to sum up the house, I'd say: divine. It is absolutely the nicest home I've ever lived in, and the fact that it's only 12 minutes outside of Boulder is pretty fantastic. I'm not sure I really believe it's my house yet, actually, because I've been renting so long. It's also a little uncomfortable because while our house is relatively small--only 2,100 square feet or so, with three bedrooms--it looks pretty fancy and I think gives the false impression that we are $$$really rich$$$. I mean, we will be rich soon, when Popsockets goes big, but until then not so much. (I should add that compared to the average American household, we are, in fact, very well off. Just not (nearly) as well off as our millionaire neighbors who had an enormous house built just so their son had somewhere to live while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder.)

*On a completely random note, Lindsay Lohan in that Liz Taylor biopic = WTF? More importantly, Lindsay Lohan = WTF?