22 July, 2014  |   Comment

Celebrating the Earnest at Y&YY

It was unscheduled, and positive and supportive. I’ve never been to an event like that.

Y&YY was 3 days in Palm Springs at the Ace Hotel and you are already rolling your eyes at this because it sounds so earnest.

It was earnest.
We could use a dash of earnest.

A Palm Springs Sunset

Good people gathered about 300 humans from their community to share what they knew. The sharing was powerful, but not for the “alternative to SXSW” reasons I’d thought.

The sharing was powerful because I discovered my hunger, our hunger for human connection. These lighted boxes are no substitute for hugging, touching, eye-connecting late nights in person. The sharing was powerful because I met people passionate about this internet that has lately reflected the worst in people instead of the best.

Blogging conference evolve, tech conferences evolve and I really hope the spirit of this event affects other educational/networking events.
My roommate was the foxiest. Also the mom-my-est.

Yes, there was a decidedly hippy vibe, supported by their rules for engagement. Yes, I ate up the respect and positivity.

I also ate up a lot of this kale salad.
Earnest kale.
Apparently I’m one step away from shag carpets and encountering sessions.
(Don’t judge.)

I have been on the RVIP since their first year. Apparently, this is something of which I shall now boast.

But if I hadn’t attended that watercoloring mandalas session with Shelia Campbell I wouldn’t have learned about my new favorite way to unwind with my girls.

I am earnest AND I wear a wig. Oh to be 39 in the year 2014.

Put a variety of chill people in a chill place.
Encourage them to share their expertise,
magic will happen.

And even though I didn’t return with a list of action-items, I came back with perspective that people can be great, that events can be rewarding and fun and that there’s hope for this great internet of ours yet.

This internet needs some hope.

21 July, 2014  |   3 Comments

Hiatus Complete. Epiphany-free.

Hello! I’m back from my hiatus.

A lot of things and a lot of nothings happened over the last 5 months.
(Lately I’ve made more peace with paradoxes.)

For my job, I got back into the wine industry.
More will come on that change.
In the meantime, it’s all vineyards and hints of oak.

"You can't hurry seasons. You just make the most of each one."

We made a lot of fun pictures around here.





Joanie Loves Bocce has played like pros.

Cause this is bocce night!  (Oh what a night.)

I keep planning meals, just like I’ve done for the last ten years.

This week @esully is taking care of a few meals - yay for nuptials!

Our little family keeps loving each other in the only lumpy, misshapen way we know.
(“Lumpy is pretty!”)

I Beckon My Family of Fire.

By attending Y&YY, I had a chance to prioritize. And think logically.
(It’s funny how a break will do that.)

the Pool at an absolutely joy-filled unconference

Speaking of breaks, I gave myself a break from my midlife crisis.
I turned my privilege over and over and couldn’t figure out what to do with it.

But now I’ve had enough looking hard.
And I’m ready to put that privilege to service.

Rainy Messy Awesome Day

I missed you guys.
It’s nice to be back.

18 March, 2014  |   3 Comments

February, March, April, May, June, July

So February’s Nablopomo was a bust. Grin.
Things changed and those things required attention.
Those things are still requiring attention, and it brings to mind how much I appreciate yours. So I’m putting this site on hiatus for 5 months.

Dottie Thinks

One of my resolutions was to cut down my to do list.
And I’ve realized I can’t possibly look at and leave,
“Update hj.com”
on my list one more day.

It’s sucking up some important creative energy.

Everything is fine, great actually.
I just need to cut “Update my internet web blog site” from my to-dos.

So I’ll see you in five months!
There are lots of wonderful writers on the internet.
There are nearly so many, you’ll never get through them all, not even in 5 months.

I’ll be on Instagram.
But not on any of the others. If I can help it.

Planning to be back around my birthday, in July, with something to say.
I can’t wait to see you then.


In the meantime, I wish you tons of creative building energy.

You’re going to knock it out of the park.


18 February, 2014  |   4 Comments

Slow Cooker Lemongrass Thai Beef Recipe

We put our own slow cooker twist on this fantastic recipe from Bon Appetit. Slow cookery Thai goodness — and customizable to boot — making it perfect for picky guests.

This recipe is a departure from our more “Americanny” slow cooker recipes, but with the rice noodles and the peanuts, we’ve got ourselves our very own tasty treat. Only confirming my theory that food processors make every food better, this recipe uses the magic machine for good. Make a dry pastey mix that covers the beef while it bubbles away in the slow cooker.

If rice noodles aren’t your thing, for you Paleo people, this is great in a lettuce wrap.

4 lemongrass stalks, ends trimmed and outsides peeled
4 cloves garlic chopped small
1 lime’s worth of juice (recipe calls for 4 kaffir lime leaves, but I don’t know where to find those)
2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger (about 1 inch of ginger)
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into two inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 whole star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
8 oz. wide rice noodles
6 scallions, sliced into tiny rings
Lime wedges
1/2 cup smashed peanuts
Chopped cilantro

Take out your trusty food processor Process lemongrass, garlic, lime juice (or kaffir lime leaves), ginger, and jalapeno in a food processor until it gets like paste.

Salt and pepper the beef chunks. Brown the meat in the vegetable oil over medium-high heat, 10–15 minutes. Put the meat on a plate.

Add the lemongrass paste to the same pot you cooked the beef in, stirring often, until lemongrass gets soft, 5–8 minutes. Add star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and beef with any juices. Add the beef and lemongrass mixture to the slow cooker. Add about 4-6 cups water. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

Right before serving, cook rice noodles.

Serve with lime wedges, smashed peanuts, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro and Sriacha sauce.

The recipe says this can be made 3 days ahead and saved for later. I believe it.

Thai lemongrass beef is good for you

Bon appetit indeed.

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