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How Tuesday Round Up: Shoes Shoes Shoes!

3 Jul

I’ve had shoes on the brain lately, don’t ask me why. I’ve also had cleaning out my closet on my mind, and I have a lot of shoes that I am over. So I thought I’d get together a collection on how to upgrade your shoes, How Tuesday style!

Click each image for tutorial.

I love these shoes beyond all reason. (Really, I could say this about all these shoes.) I don’t know how they’d feel to wear, but I have a feeling it would be worth it.

I really really really want to make these. I have no closed toed shoes, but I may be willing to buy some just to make these. Or I could buy color-blocked shoes. But then I wouldn’t be able to say, “Thanks, I made them myself!” when people compliment me on them.

How hot are these?!? And knowing how much shoes like this cost at DSW, I’d say hit up Marshalls and make a pair!

I want to make these so badly I can’t even talk about it.

What better shoes are there for the wife of a comic book geek? Who’s also a bit of a comic lover herself? Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh…………………..BATMAN!

Dorothy for the modern day.

I can see these at a wedding, prom, Easter, or just because.

These are by far my favorite. Wear these simple embellishments under any shoe, or on it’s own if you’re a barefoot lover like myself. Look!

Which ones would you try?

How Tuesday: Ricotta Blueberry Breakfast

5 Jun

I don’t remember where I first heard the idea that ricotta would make a good breakfast protein, but I decided to give it a try yesterday with a few other ingredients. Here’s what I came up with:

Oh. My. Gosh. Can you say delish? I’ve never really cared for ricotta, I tend to use other cheeses in lasagna, but this made me a convert.

I call it my ricotta blueberry breakfast to-go. It’s really easy to make, it’s more assembling than cooking, which is perfect for me in the morning. I need my breakfasts to be fast and simple. I eat them on the go almost exclusively, a bad habit I know, but I’ve never consistently managed to make myself get up early enough to sit down to a bowl of cereal, much less fry up an egg or two. This takes as long to make as toasting a waffle, and is pretty portable, as long as you don’t pile the ricotta too high. Here’s how it’s done:

Start with a good multi-grain toaster waffle and part-skim ricotta cheese. I like these from Nature’s Path. The figs add a nice sweetness, but Trader Joe’s has a multi-grain that is excellent as well. Toast up a waffle, nice and crispy. While it’s toasting, take about 1/4 cup of ricotta and mix it with 2 teaspoons of honey. Less, if you’re not as much of a sweet tooth at breakfast.

Top toasted waffle with the ricotta.

Top ricotta with 1/4 cup of sliced almonds. You can toast them ahead of time if you’d like. I had some left over from the last time I made a salad, so I used those.

You can mix the almonds into the ricotta if you want them to stick better. I was eating at home for once, so I left them on top. You can stop right here and eat it as is, but with so many gorgeous berries in the market now, how could you resist adding some extra fresh sweetness?

I’m looking forward to trying this with strawberries or a fresh berry compote, too. It’s a surprisingly hearty breakfast. One waffle kept me more than satisfied until lunch time, and I was still a little full and had to keep lunch light. And with 330 calories, 14 grams of protein, and antioxidant-rich blueberries, I call that a win.

How are you making use of the summer’s fresh berries?

How Tuesday – Summer Tastes Like Cherries

29 May

Hello friends! It’s been awhile. A and I had a lovely weekend celebrating our six-year anniversary (!!!), starting out with picking cherries with one of our bff couples, which ended up being the inspiration for this How Tuesday. I haven’t been berry picking since my family moved to Northern California when I was a kid. A was a trooper, getting up early, reaching through thorny brambles to reach the olallaberries hidden underneath. (Never had a olallaberry? They’re awesome. Tart, tasty, and juicy. Sadly for the rest of the world, they’re only found in California. That’s why we pay the big bucks to live here!) Climbing ladders to find the ruby-colored jewels peeking out from between the leaves.

It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we had the best time. And we picked a little bit of fruit. Four and a half pounds of olallaberries, and ten pounds of cherries. Caleb and Elaine kicked our butts, though, hauling in over 14 pounds of cherries. They’re got years of experience on us, though, so I think we can take them next year.

When I got home I went a little cherry-crazy, and came up with a recipe that tasted so much like summer that it made me jump up and down and cry, “oh, the cleverness of me!” before taking a bowl out to relax in the atrium. How to make cherry lime granita, coming your way.

Granita is kind of like a shaved ice for grown-ups. It’s what people like me who are sadly without ice cream makers make to suspend the taste of juicy fruit before the bounty of summer is over. Sadly I don’t have step-by-step pictures of the process because I was doing about ten things at once while I made this (including crossing some things off of The List…stay tuned!) But trust me, it’s as easy as freezing  fruit. Because that’s basically all you do.

I made this recipe by ratios, so you can easily modify it to make as much or as little as you’d like. As I said, I went a little crazy and made a ton.

former gelato containers find a second life filled with juicy-goodness


  • 3 parts fresh cherries (I used six cups-worth)
  • 1 part simple syrup, recipe follows (since I used six cups of cherries, that means I used two cups of simple syrup. You can add more if you’re using sour cherries, or if you like your deserts super sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice per cup of fruit used (about 1/2 a lime per tablespoon)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of Sake per cup of fruit used (this can substituted or omitted entirely. Adding alcohol lowers the freezing point of the granita, resulting in a finer ice crystal, smoothing out the texture of the granita. I used Sake because that’s what I had, and it was a very delicate flavor, almost completely hidden by the big flavor of the cherries. I can see silver rum being really good in this, too.)
  • As much torn mint leaves as you like, to taste (I used a generous handful)
  • small pinch of salt

Make Simple Syrup

I saw simple syrup for sale at Trader Joes the other day, which completely flummoxed me. It’s not like it’s called hard-to-make syrup. It couldn’t be easier to whip some up. I try to keep some in my fridge at all times for iced tea or cocktails. Here’s how you make it, if you don’t know already:

Simple syrup is made by heating equal parts water and sugar on the stove until all the sugar is dissolved, about three minutes over medium heat. For two cups of syrup, I combined one cup of water and one cup of sugar in a pot on the stove. Allow to cool completely before use. Simple syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.

If you are making simple syrup fresh for the recipe instead of using some you have on hand, you can add the mint leaves to the syrup so the mint flavor steeps into the syrup. Or you could just toss the mint in with the rest of the ingredients, like I did. I really like the little flecks of green they left in the granita against the bright red of the cherry.

Make Granita

Remove stems and pits from cherries. You can use a small knife if you’re a masochist, or do what I did and buy one of these guys from Bed Bath & Beyond. Combine fruit, syrup, lime juice, Sake (if using), mint (if you didn’t steep it in your syrup), and salt in a blender and blend until liquified. Pour liquid into a shallow casserole dish and put it in the freezer. Set the timer for an hour. When an hour is up, scrape the freezing granita with a fork, breaking up all the ice crystals. Put the granita back in the freezer and set the timer for a half hour. Keep scraping the granita and breaking up the ice crystals every half hour until it’s got the texture of a finely shaved ice. Garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately.

Note: The more granita you make, the longer it will take to freeze. Mine took most of the afternoon. Once it’s made you can freeze it for two-ish weeks. The texture will be more icy and less fine the longer it’s kept, so I recommend eating it sooner rather than later. As if you’d be able to resist.

summer in a glass

How Tuesday – Make a Rockin’ Interval Playlist

15 May

image from run like noone is watching on tumblr

If you’re anything like me, music is a powerful motivator to get moving. Heck, let’s be real; if you’re a human with a pulse, music is a powerful motivator to get moving. I made a goal for this week: to do something exercise-ey every day. Today I set the alarm early to get up for a 40 minute Booty Call, and I’m goin’ a-running! I’ve had the idea to make a playlist specifically for interval running sessions – because I find it so much more satisfying to run intervals based on the length of a song than on an alarm on my watch – so I thought I’d take today’s How Tuesday to share mine with you, and show you how to take all the guess work out of making a rockin’ playlist of your own, custom made for your workout needs.

Step One:

Decide what type of a workout you want to make a playlist for. I wanted about an hour of music for interval training. Interval training means changing up your pace, so I decided to shoot for a more-or-less equal number of songs falling within three ranges of BPM (beats per minute). For hard running I wanted a BPM of between 180 (optimum running tempo) and 170-ish, for jogging I wanted songs in the 160’s – 150’s BPM range, and for walking any BPM’s in the 140’s to 120’s would do me just fine.

Step Two:

Head over to to start looking for music. What’s that? You haven’t heard of Honey, you need to head over there! It has never been so easy to find exactly the music you need to get you going! lets you search music by name, genre, hottest or most added, and – most importantly – by your target mile time or BPM! I spent hours sitting in front of my itunes with a metronome trying to figure out how many BPM my favorite songs were. This takes all the stress and guess-work out of finding exactly the music to motivate you. From you can listen to your music for free on Spotify, which is convenient if you have a printed out workout or one from a magazine that you can do at home, near your computer. also links directly to iTunes or AmazonMP3 so you can purchase the music to make your playlist.

Step Three:

Narrow your choices. I searched for music in my ranges and click-clicked away to add to my playlist. Since I love a lot of music, I ended up with over three hours worth of songs. ( also tells you how many songs you have on your playlist and how long it is. So handy!) This is good and bad, good because you can make several playlists with different lengths for different workouts, bad because you have to cut so many great songs. Be brutal though; the song you sing your heart out to on your evening commute may not be the song that makes you push through that last ten minutes. Like Indiana Jones, choose wisely.

Step four:

Song order. Arrange your songs thinking about how each one begins and ends. You want to feel like one song leads into another, or at least makes sense for your musical sensibilities right next to each other. For example, I would feel jarred and disjointed going from Bjork to Bon Jovi, but Bjork to Portishead? Now we’re talking.

Another thing to consider when deciding the order of your songs is how you want your workout to go. Do you want to let your tempo rise and fall, or do true intervals by alternating faster and slower songs? I chose to do the latter. I made sure to start with a slower song for a warm-up. In the last four songs I stacked two fast-paced songs followed by two of the slowest songs on my list. I wanted to really have to push at the end, then have plenty of time for a cool-down. I plan to listen to my playlist as-is until I get tired of it, then change things up by hitting shuffle. I think it’s fun when I don’t know what’s coming next, plus shaking up your routine is great for optimizing fitness.

Step five:

Download your playlist to your music player of choice, lace up your shoes, and get your booty moving!

As promised, here is one of the playlists I came up with. There’s a little bit of everything on there, and it really gave my morning run a boost. I went ahead and included the song titles with BPM’s listed below the image.

(click for larger)

  1. Viva la Vida by Coldplay – 138 BPM
  2. Hey Ya! by Outkast – 160 BPM
  3. Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz – 139 BPM
  4. Paper Planes by M.I.A. – 172 BPM
  5. Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springstein – 148 BPM
  6. Ignorance by Paramore – 171 BPM
  7. Spiderwebs by No Doubt – 142 BPM
  8. Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz – 168 BPM
  9. Suffragette City by Bowie – 137 BPM
  10. Objection (Tango) by Shakira (total guilty pleasure) – 179 BPM
  11. Born to Run (natch) by Bruse Springstein – 147 BPM
  12. Misery Business by Paramore – 173 BPM
  13. Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benitar – 181 BPM
  14. The Edge of Glory by Gaga – 128 BPM
  15. Raise Your Glass by P!nk – 122 BPM

What songs do you love to sweat to?

How To’s-day, Literally.

8 May

Few things drive me crazier than seeing a ‘to’ where a ‘too’ should be. Or a ‘two’ for a ‘to,’ or a ‘too’ for a….you get the idea. I’m anal about very few things in life, but this in one of them. So for today’s How Tuesday I’m going to share the tricks my freshman english teacher taught us to tell the difference between the homophones and always know which to use.  (Yes, freshman year. All this genius is the product of the California public school system after all.) Let’s start with the simplest:


The concept: This  spelling means the number 2.

The rule: If you can replace ‘two’ with ‘2’ and the sentence still makes sense, then it’s the right use of ‘two.’

“Honey? Would you please get me two (2) advil from the cupboard? My head is killing me!”
“I always have to give my two (2) dogs their own chew toys, or they get jealous of each other.”

The funny thing that made the concept stick: The bottom of the ‘w’ has 2 points. That means this ‘two’ is a number. Ta da!


The concept: This spelling has two (2!) uses. It is used to indicate excess, or as a synonym for ‘also.’

The rule: In general, if you can replace too with ‘also’ and the sentence still makes sense, it’s the too you should be using. Also, any time you’re talking about too many or too much, this is the too you want.

“Make me a margarita, too (also), please.”
“I ate waaaay too much at brunch. I’ll have to do an extra 30 minutes of cardio tonight!”

The funny thing that made the concept stick: Well, there’s the also trick, which always works for me but I also think about how a child would whine a sentence: “I wanna go tooooooooo!” The too gets drawn out, with lots of ‘ooo’s’ which is why it’s spelled with two (2) o’s.
This is also the too that means too much. Look at the word. It has too many o’s. It’s excessive, it’s too much; does it really need that many o’s? Yes! Because it means too many or too much.


The concept: This is usually the hardest to to get. But the explanation for how to use it is simple, which fits, because at only two (2) letters, it’s the simplest to to type. You use this to as a preposition or an infinitive. It’s a very versatile to.

The rule: Basically it always comes before a noun (person, place, thing, or idea) or a verb (action, state, or relation).

“I’m going to the store (noun) so I can make ratatouille tonight.”
“We don’t need to leave (verb) for Avengers an hour before it starts. It’s playing just down the street.”

The funny thing that made the concept stick: Honestly? Just memorize how to use the other forms of to correctly, and use this for everything else. This is the go-to to, pretty much your safest option because it’s so versatile.

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