Recipe: Arugula and Grapefruit Winter Salad

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetMy new favorite winter salad. This is a perfect dish for the cold months leading up to Spring. The nutty arugula flavor combines well with the tartness of the grapefruit. Pistachios add a bit of crunch and the feta is tangy. You can substitute the feta with chèvre if you prefer and I recommend adding avocado and/or flax seeds.

Arugula and Grapefruit Winter Salad

Ingredients:

Baby arugula
1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced in sections
1/4 cup pistachios chopped
1/4 cup feta or goat cheese
Avocado, optional
Flax seeds, optional
White wine vinegar and olive oil
salt

In a bowl, place arugula, grapefruit (see this video for proper slicing techniques), pistachios, and feta. Dress salad and mix.

When I’m in a hurry, I make a broken dressing. Pour the olive oil and vinegar separately over the greens. Add a dash of salt and mix.

Colorado Makers Pig Roast

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset Last Sunday, February 9th we held our first annual Colorado Makers Pig Roast hosted by The Populist in Denver. Participating Purveyors included, Leopold Bros, Tender Belly, Our Mutual Friend Malt and Brew, The Real Dill and Haystack Mountain Cheese. The event was a success and sold out in just over a week!  Next time, we’ll have the roast in the Summer so as to take full advantage of the side patio. We are thankful to everyone who helped make the roast possible and to the folks who purchased tickets to the event. Below are some quick shots:

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Pure Green Magazine

photo (21)photo23Last Summer, Ben and I photographed Shae Whitney of Dram Apothecary for the latest issue of Pure Green Magazine. Dram headquarters are located in Silver Plume, Colorado, a small miners town  nestled in the mountains off of I-70. Shae and her partner Brady purchased a western storefront on the main street of Silver Plume and opened the Bread Bar Saloon in 2013. Shae concocts her bitters using foraged materials including, juniper, sage and pine. Below is a selection of images from our photo shoot.

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Colorado Makers Pig Roast

PIGROAST-INVITEJoin us in celebrating some of Colorado’s best food purveyors. The Populist in collaboration with the Colorado Makers will be hosting a Pig Roast on February 9th, 2014. This will be a chance to gather as part of a winter tradition and heat up your savory glands in the cold months.

Libations and accompaniments will be provided.

Participating Purveyors:
The Populist
Tender Belly
Leopold Bros
Our Mutual Friend Brewery
The Real Dill 

February 9th, 2014
5:00 pm Social / 6:00 pm Dinner

Buy your tickets now

Thought: The Noise of Stuff

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I’ve been thinking a lot about clutter and how I manage it or rather, how it manages me. Last year was a busy time for Stitch & Hammer and I rarely took the time to organize my space, at home or the studio. I was convinced that I was just too busy to focus on anything but the task at hand, which was producing products for my company. Towards the end of last year as holiday orders began to wrap up and I had more time away from work, I began to explore why I felt so overwhelmed by the basic task of organizing and the struggle to keep my studio free of clutter.

I believe this is an issue that we all struggle with at certain times in our lives, except maybe for a handful of exceptionally well organized individuals like my husband and our good friend Nathan. The rest of us  sweep our clutter under the rug or stuff it behind closed doors. I am not talking about healthy disorder that helps the creative process, rather I speak of the kind of clutter that begins to take over our lives , digitally and physically, and very much affects  our performance at home and work.

Another element directly related to the clutter issue is multitasking. Multitasking is something I use to take great pride in however, these past few months have proven that I am indeed horrible at it. And, I’m not alone. Most people claim to be deft at jumping from one task to the other with ease. This is just not true and studies have shown that individuals who multitask create far less superior work than individuals who focused on one item, otherwise known as singletasking, for a designated period of time. Why is this important to explore now more than ever? Because we are bombarded everyday with information from emails to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and much more which all demand our attention.

This is crucial for me to remember especially since I devote my time to more than one enterprise. Multitasking was how I accomplished all the items that needed to be done each day to successfully run Stitch & Hammer and my other projects. However, was I successfully accomplishing each task to the best of my ability? Was the clutter and chatter from all my projects affecting my overall quality of work and life? No doubt. On some days I feel overwhelmed with work and catch myself saying “I wish there were more hours in each day.” I often have so many ideas that I don’t know where to begin. So, I proceed by juggling all of them.

So now what? I’ve identified the problem and want to secure a long term solution.

Below is a list of tasks I have accomplished this past week:
1) Cleaned out my closet. I edited out items in my wardrobe that I never wear.
2) Organized the spice cabinet. This may sound trivial, but if you are like me and cook on a daily basis then an organized kitchen is ideal before preparing a meal.
3) Deep cleaned the studio. I’m serious when I say deep cleaned too. I was ruthless and eliminated art supplies that have not been used and reorganized every box, cabinet and shelf.
4) Organized our books. This was a hard one. I have carried with me every book I’ve ever read that had even a remote affect on me since I was in college. Each story became a friend and I felt like I was abandoning that friend if I sold or gave it away. Ridiculous, I know! A total of four moving boxes are now hopefully on their way to good homes and I couldn’t be happier. I think I’ll start going to the library……

Getting organized and staying organized are two very different things. Here is a list of resources or routines I am currently using to help me stay on top of the clutter:
1) Evernote. I photograph all my receipts for my businesses and post it to a folder within Evernote. I no longer have files stuffed to the brim with paper receipts.
2) iCalendar. Seriously, I just started using the calendar on my computer for the first time and it’s brilliant. This only works if I stay up on it though. I am making it a ritual to check the calendar every morning. No more “oh, no need to write it down. I’ve got it all up here.”
3) Daily/Weekly Tasks. Every morning I write out a list of tasks that need to be accomplished and break them down by their priorities. I recently started using Wunderlist, but I have to admit I like to have at least one element in my daily routine that is analog. So I’ve been bouncing back between a handwritten task list and Wunderlist.
4) Power Hour. This is when I shut down the computer, all social media and anything else that is not directly related to the task at hand. This has proven to be the best tactic when working on a project. I am focused, diligent and highly productive.

I am by no means an expert on this nor have I overcome 100% of the clutter, but I hope this helps you in a small way. Here are two articles I found inspiring:

The Noise Of Stuff
What Multi-Tasking Does To Our Brains

….and, some quotes:

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.
–A.A. Milne

Do not try to do everything. Do one thing well.
– Steve Jobs