Snapshots Of Our Mountain Holiday

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We arrived back in Denver on Friday, but Christmas already feels long gone. We had a wonderful five days of retreat in the mountains – just what we needed. The cool mountain air and perfect Colorado sunshine was restorative and invigorating.

Thaddeus and I spent the holiday together just the two of us and it was wonderfully relaxing. We skied hard, slept copious amounts, ate plenty, lay in bed for hours watching Netflix and took strolls around the charming town of Telluride.

After four nights there, we popped over to Ouray for a visit to the vapor caves, a lovely hike and a night at a beautifully restored historic hotel. Before our long drive back to the Front Range, we enjoyed a quick morning dip at the Orvis Hot Springs, which have quickly become my new absolute favorites.

Here are a few iphone snaps of our Christmas vacay! Enjoy!

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Merry Merry!

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I hope you have a wonderful holiday! This is our little Xmas card this year – basically a tribute to how freakin’ adorable our dog is and how much better Thad’s eka pada is than mine. 🙂

Thaddeus and I are off for a week of rest, fun and skiing in Telluride!

It’s going to be quiet round ye ole bloggy blog for a bit….Enjoy the holiday cheer with your family and friends.

 

Love and Blessings,

Frances

Fifteen Joyful Ways To Celebrate The Holiday Season

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Yesterday as I left the flower shop with silver glitter all over my face, it hit me – Christmas is two weeks away! It’s time to get a little festive.

Some of my friends know me to be a bit of a Scrooge. But this is not entirely true, because, in fact, there are parts of the Christmas season that I really do love.

First off, I adore winter. I love the sparkly snow and the chilly weather. I would take a powdery mountain over a Caribbean beach any day. I am quite fond of wintery foods, hot tea, and feather down jackets. I also love the whole concept of “comfort and joy” and the generosity of spirit that can be especially present this time of year.

What I don’t love is the abundant tackiness, the over-commercialization of the holiday and the incessant bad Christmas music every darn place you go, but really, who actually likes all that? Not many of us, if I had to guess.

In honor of the upcoming holiday, whether you’re a Christian or a Hare Krishna, here are a few ideas for fun, festive and wholesome ways to celebrate the season:

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A Family Feast

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I hope you all had very happy Thanksgivings yesterday! We had a lovely and surprisingly relaxing day. I cooked up a storm, but it was quite calm since there were only 5 of us for dinner.

Thad’s parents are down from Montana for the weekend, but we spent yesterday with my mother as well at her home in Boulder. We took a mid-day stroll through quiet streets to break up the cooking and then ended the night with pie by the fire.

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Thad’s Favorite Seasonal Sweet Treat

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The other morning as I was pulling out breakfast ingredients, Thaddeus informed me that the time had come for sweet pecans. These tasty spiced treats have been a regular part of our wintertime nomming the past few years and apparently, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I needed to hop on it!  Bossy indeed, but it’s hard not to love a man with such a sweet tooth. 😉

Spiced pecans are a delightful addition to oatmeal, granola, salads or even sprinkled on a bowl of creamy squash soup. They are so easy to make and the perfect tidbit of something sweet and satisfying when you need a little pick-me-up on a cold winter day.

Recipe:

4 Tablespoons of Organic Coconut Oil

3/4 Cup of Organic Turbinado Sugar

1 Tsp of Cinnamon Powder

1/2 Tsp of Cardamon Powder

1/2 Tsp of Ginger Powder

1/2 Tsp of Nutmeg Powder

Melt oil in a large saucepan on the stovetop.

Turn off heat and then stir in pecans until they are all lightly coated.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar and spices, leaving just a touch of sugar out on the side.

Then add the oily pecans to the bowl and mix gently.

Spread out the pecans on a large cookie-sheet and dust with a light coating of the remaining sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees.

Allow to cool and then dig in!

Happy (almost) winter!

Love Frances

Lila’s Holiday.

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Hello dear friends and readers.

As this wonderful, exciting and challenging year is quickly drawing to a close, I want to extend my gratitude to each and every one of you for reading my blog, offering your commentary and supporting this little project of mine. I am honored that amongst the myriad of options for entertainment and information on the vast interweb you have chosen to frequent my humble offering. Thank you.

My life and personal yoga practice are in a state of transition. Growth, transformation and self-discovery are all occurring, but in ways that I am not yet able to articulate to the public. I’m still trying to get a grasp on it all personally.

Honestly, I’m just really darn tired right now. Tired from the biggest project of my life (planning and pulling off my dreamy but very DIY wedding), packing and moving across the country, soul-searching about what I want to do when I “grow up” and tired from making a new home with my husband without professional help (OMG my forearms are in lactic acid shock from lifting and moving so many cardboard boxes and pieces of furniture in the past 2 weeks).

I’m tired creatively too. I’ve been pouring all my creative energy into decorating and arranging my new house, making Christmas presents and even just cooking that I have little left to invest in Lila.

I have a list a mile long of intended posts to write, but whenever I sit down to give it a go, I lack the focus and inspiration to finish them properly. Somehow Pinterest/Facebook/HuffPo/NYTimes/Refinery29/Anthropologie/numerous wedding blogs win the fight for my scattered attention (ok – I’m embarrassed now that I just shared that with you…oh well…).

So….I’m taking a little break. My mother is in town. We are heading up to the mountains to ski and I am going to give myself a break from blogging and a respite from the guilt I self-impose when I fail to post anything.

For the next few weeks, I will focus on taking really good care of myself, reading fun and inspiring books, journaling, meditating, skiing, cooking, snuggling, sleeping, doing jigsaw puzzles, practicing yoga, dreaming and brainstorming about the future and most importantly, sharing positive and meaningful time with the people that I love the most in all the world – my husband, mother and siblings.

I hope to return from this break with a refreshed vision about what I want to do here on the pages on Lila and how I want to grow and expand as person in my life and career. I’m excited to share this with you in 2013.

I thank you in advance for your patience and support.

May your holiday be relaxing, inspiring and filled with love, joy and peace.

Blessings.

Merry Merry!

❤ Frances ❤

 

 

(image is the magnetic poetry on my new fridge…one expression of my unfocused creativity that occurred in a distracted state a few days ago while trying to organize my new closet! hehe.)

For Which To Be Grateful.

This has been a year of great growth, learning and joy for me. 

I started this blog and that has brought a lot of fun into my world (that means you!), I got married, celebrated my both of my siblings’ weddings, and traveled to India to practice the yoga that I totally dig, among many other exciting things!

And now we’ve moved to Colorado! Thaddeus and I are on the brink of a grand adventure, starting out our life together in a new home in a new town with new careers. Big stuff.

I am blessed with prosperity, fantastic friends and community and very good health; for all this I am exceedingly thankful.

Right now I am up in Montana with Thad’s dear parents. They have been so kind and welcoming to me since the first day we met. As a family they share such sweetness and love – it’s a wonderful thing to witness.

There is so much in my life for which to be grateful. ♥

In particular, one blessing this year offered me was the chance to heal and deepen my relationships with both of my own parents.

My family, like most, is complicated. My relationship with my father has been strained and confusing ever since I was a little girl.

These past two years living on the East Coast provided me many opportunities to work through some of my karma with him. There was a bad period there when we weren’t speaking at all and I’m not sure either of us believed we would make it through that.

But with lots of patience, personal work and forgiveness, we came out the other side relatively whole, arriving at a place of acceptance of each other.

In fact, three weeks before my wedding, I asked him if he would escort me down the aisle. This was something I never-ever thought would happen. As a sassy feminist teenager I had firmly made up my mind that I would not uphold that tradition (which I believed reeked of patriarchy and symbolized the transfer of property and I certainly didn’t want to be are part of such a thing)!

But, it turns out, what it ended up symbolizing for me was an olive branch – an offering of peace to my father. A symbol that no matter the depth of our past hurt and anger, we could choose to move beyond that and enjoy a simple but potent experience of bonding between a father and a daughter.

My parents have each taught me so much about how to live in the world with appreciation for our many blessings, with grounded intelligence for maneuvering the tricky turns of life and how to stay engaged in community with an always charitable spirit. These are among the many gifts my incredible parents offered me and my siblings.

So, in honor of my beautiful, compassionate, wise and graceful mother

and my generous, kind, strong and very goofy father

I offer you my love and gratitude.

Blessings on your holiday.

Thank you for reading my blog and sharing your experiences with me.

May we make time for gratitude on each and every day.

Love Frances