A grey, grey day.

Darcy and I ran today at one of our favorite spots, Teller Farms. It was a very grey day and the snow flurries set in just as we finished. There is one tree on our run that always grabs my attention. It’s gnarly and gorgeous. It’s as if it’s reaching to the sky and has been for decades. Yet, still, it isn’t tired and hasn’t given up. The tree deserves a name. I’ll think of one.

Enjoy our morning run pics!

Home sweet home.

We’re headed home after visiting Los Angeles for a celebration of someone’s life and to visit family. A friend near and dear to our hearts passed; the world is a little less bright without Marna’s presence.

Nevertheless, we ventured to L.A. and back and I continued to seek beauty wherever I could find it. I snapped these two photos from our seats on the airplane. How gorgeous and how small we all are.

This is for you, Marna. A piece of beauty I’ll share in your honor.

The reason to eat ice cream.

There is only one reason to eat 99% of ice creams out there: rainbow sprinkles. The regular kind, not the nonpareils. Rainbow sprinkles make me smile. They make me giggle if I think about them for long enough. They’re a bit wild. All over the place in color, crunchy, but not that crunchy.

Mia, my niece, says sprinkles are absolutely yummy! She goes for chocolate on chocolate with a little bit more chocolate. Plus sprinkles. I go for sprinkles — rainbow only — with ice cream on the side. Truth be told, Mia subsists off of chocolate croissants, bagels and english muffins with butter, and hot chocolate. She is chocolate. I am the joy that is rainbow sprinkles.

Enough silliness for today. We’re off to enjoy Venice, CA!🍦

Addendum.

Mia’s love for chocolate led us to Blue Star Doughnuts where we found chocolate sprinkles. Similar, but different than the sprinkles above.

Here’s our Chocolate Editor in Chief:

The view a quarter mile from my (new) house.

Breathtaking, right? We moved to Louisville, CO at the beginning of this month. Our home is at the start of an extensive trail system. This pond is across the street from us. Heaven!

We don’t do expensive.

My morning runs land me in front of cool art, ads, scenery and people. Going to start sharing some of what I see as I wander the world in my running shoes.

D.C. in the rain.

I popped into D.C. for work and snapped this photo as I exited the cab to go to my hotel. For some reason, this photo is magical to me. It has a sense of wonder but also mystery.

My favorite breakfast.

I could live off this. Truth be told, I do. This is what I have for breakfast every single day I am home and Scott isn’t cooking up something delicious and elaborate. (He is picky about breakfast so anything he cooks for us for breakfast is luxurious and flavorful.)

Recipe entails three ingredients. Simplicity at its best! Ezekiel Bread + fresh almond butter + fresh berries. Welcome to heaven and don’t forget to pair it with a cup of jo.

The best measuring spoons.

Measuring-Spoons.jpgWe’re hardcore OXO fans. What’s not to love about their appealing and friendly design? We have their bowls, kitchen tools, measuring cups, and more. OXO is Simple Human’s long-lost cousin

. This week, though, OXO experience a sad day in history; I found a measuring spoon I like far more than what OXO offers.

Why are these spoons better? Simple, it’s dual-sided to fit both in narrow containers like spice jars and any other larger container. Instead of two sets of measuring spoons, we now have one. These spoons are color coded and there is no ring to secure the spoons together. It’s magnetic! I’m in love.

Check them out here on Amazon for $10.99 a set.

Best carry-on suitcase.

I’m picky about suitcases, especially carry-ons. It took me two years to find the right one. I’ve bought and returned so many suitcases that it’s now a running joke in our house: any time there’s a large box on our porch, Scott jokes that it’s my next failed suitcase.

For ages, I eyed my husband’s Int’l Tumi carry-on. The $600 – $800 price tag is more than I am willing to pay for any suitcase. Thus, my search began and two years later, I’ve got a carry-on I can fit into for a seven to ten day trip.

Here is the run down of a handful of the carry-on suitcases I tried. I looked at many other brands in stores, but all had the same point of failure. Read on.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 10.44.07 AM Northface Duffel (No Wheels)

If you’re willing to go wheel-less, this is the bag for you. It’s more spacious than any other carry-on. I was able to squeeze nearly twice the amount of clothes, shoes, and toiletries into this bag than any carry-on including my husband’s Int’l Tumi.

Downside here is the weight. I’m 5′ 3″ and athletic, but the constant pressure on my shoulder(s) makes travel uncomfortable if not miserable. The bag has backpack straps which helps, yet the weight is still too much for me.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 10.45.03 AM.pngNorthface Wheeled Duffel

This pales in comparison to it’s wheel-less cousin above. The hardware added to include wheels makes this bag anything but spacious. It’s bulky and out of balance — too much hardware for too little space.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 10.46.37 AM.png Eagle Creek Tarmac Carry On

I love Eagle Creek. My full size suitcase is Eagle Creek’s Tarmac AWD 30. Their carry-on version of the Tarmac just doesn’t cut it. Like so many others, the interior compartment houses too much of the suitcase’s hardware.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 10.47.21 AMTumi Int’l Two-Wheeled Suitcase

This is the suitcase my husband has. The two wheeled version has more space than any four wheeled Tumi carry-on. This suitcase is a winner, but at a high price point around $600. What makes this a winner is that unlike all of other wheeled carry-ons I looked at, this one has a simple interior design. The interior doesn’t have hardware taking up a good fourth of the cavity. This suitcase is almost a winner, but the price is too high.

Tumi Four Wheeled Suitcase

I can no longer find this one online. It’s like this one, but a lower price point. It’s bulky, the interior houses far too much of the hardware which takes up valuable space in the main compartment. Features like the plastic caps on every exterior corner are unnecessary and add weight and bulk. It’s narrower than many of the other rolling carry-ons I tested or looked at in stores. This is a Tumi fail.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 10.48.20 AM.png Travelpro Crew 10 22 Inch Expandable Rollaboard Suiter

And we have a winner. This suitcase has it all. Limited hardware sucking up valuable packing space in the main cavity in the suitcase. It’s lightweight (lighter than the four-wheeled Tumi carry-on). It’s $150. It’s expandable.

 

Key Failure Point

The failure point of most of the carry-ons is the amount of the hardware present in the main compartment of the carry-on. That coupled with excess builk in fabrics and compartments within the suitcase make for a carry-on with less space. Never trust the volume measurements of a suitcase; you must see the suitcase to know how much it can hold.

Happy travels!