Friday Five: February 14, 2014

<< One >>

Happy Valentine’s Day friends. I hope you’re spending the day with someone you love. You still have time to whip up some watercolor hearts!

Friday Five: February 14, 2013

<< Two >>

It has been snowing for almost two weeks and as I type it’s still coming down. It looks like winter may finally be arriving in Idaho.

Friday Five: February 14, 2013

<< Three >>

My sister has clued me into the idea that microfiber couches can be steam cleaned with an at-home steam machine. Have you ever tried it? I’ve seen mixed reviews for red couches, but I wouldn’t mind a little deep clean (especially since mine is covered in dog).

Friday Five: February 14, 2013

<< Four >>

I wrapped up Mike’s gift in a box from Red Envelope, lettering stenciled on craft paper, and a little bit of washi tape. What’s in the box, you ask? A triathlon top.

Friday Five: February 14, 2013

 << Five >>

I’m an Olympic addict. I have been watching non-stop since the games began. Kaitlyn Farrington, a Sun Valley native, won the women’s snowboard halfpipe this week so the whole town is celebrating. I love the more obscure sports: biathlon, nordic combined, skeleton. Which events do you like to watch?

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Explore: Powder at Sun Valley

Well usually I space my winter activity posts over a longer time span and you don’t get them back to back. But since it’s the second week of Feburary and we’ve just had our first storm, I’m feeling unusually snowy. After a beautiful morning of cross country skiing on Saturday we headed to the alpine slopes of Sun Valley for a full day of skiing on Sunday.

Explore: Powder at Sun Valley

The big snow had come on Friday night but Saturday night still dropped another 6 inches. Sun Valley‘s groomers are some of the best in the world and they have spent all season doing amazing things with their man made snow. But nothing beats real powder.

Explore: Powder at Sun Valley

Mike and I split up for awhile in the morning so that I could take a few runs on the perfectly soft groomed trails and Mike could go straight to the deep stuff. The soft groomers were like heaven on earth – it felt like I was skiing on a cloud.

Explore: Powder at Sun Valley

We met back up and both started skiing the ungroomed, and sometimes untracked, powder.

Explore: Powder at Sun Valley

The mountain was quiet (though I’ll be honest, Sun Valley is never crowded) and except for the occasional 3 minute lift line it was smooth sailing. The biggest problem people seemed to be having was losing a ski in the snow and having to laboriously search for it then dig it out. {Below, ski patrol is helping look for a ski, not a person, I swear.}

Explore: Powder at Sun Valley

We stopped for a quick lunch break and then were out again. We spent the afternoon in Sun Valley’s lift serviced bowls. The bowls are my absolute favorite place to ski but they have been closed for the lack of snow. This weekend they were all open with knee deep loose snow.

Explore: Powder at Sun Valley

Explore: Powder at Sun Valley

And now we’re scheduled to get another storm mid-week. I say: keep it coming! There is still a lot of winter left to enjoy.

Explore: Powder at Sun Valley

Mike has a friend who is pro photographer, and shot Mike on the mountain last week. Check out one of his shots on Instagram.

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Explore: Cross Country Skiing

Explore: Cross Country Skiing

Sun Valley has finally – finally! – had it’s first big snow of the season. Much like northern California (where we get our storm patterns from) we are in a drought. If San Francisco isn’t getting rain we aren’t getting snow. Luckily, this weekend, the tides seem to have turned.

Explore: Cross Country Skiing

The weather forecasters had promised a good storm but I am always wary of predicted snowstorms. They usually disappoint.

Explore: Cross Country Skiing

Explore: Cross Country Skiing

But this was a good one. We were due to get 4 inches overnight and instead we woke up to 10 inches.

Explore: Cross Country Skiing

Explore: Cross Country Skiing

Before the sun had even risen we were up, shaking the dogs awake, and grabbing our backcountry cross country ski gear.

Explore: Cross Country Skiing

The roads weren’t plowed but our Subaru made it to the trailhead of the gulch. The dogs, fully awake now, bounded out of the car and promptly sunk to their chests.

Explore: Cross Country Skiing

We broke trail for an hour, covering a few miles and watching the sky lighten as the sun rose.

Explore: Cross Country Skiing

The snow is supposed to continue through the weekend, and I truly hope it does! Tomorrow we’ll hit the slopes in search of hidden powder.

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Made: Large Rustic X Bench from Ana White

I have always wanted a bench in our small entry way. A bench would not only be useful for putting on shoes, but would also solidify the entry as a “room” instead of a pass-through.

Every time I was in a furniture store or thrift shop I looked for the perfect bench: narrow but long enough, stained (but not painted) wood, sturdy. Nothing ever caught my eye.

After painting the entry way I started to look online for a bench to build. And there is only one place to look, really, when you want to build something: Ana White. I found the perfect bench in her Large Rustic X Bench, gave Mike a “pretty please?” and off he trudged to build it for me.

Made: Large Rustic X Bench from Ana White

He spent a morning sawing, slicing, and assembling in the garage.

Made: Large Rustic X Bench from Ana White

It took surprisingly few bouts of cursing, which is impressive considering how great it turned out. Three cheers for Ana’s clear instructions!

Made: Large Rustic X Bench from Ana White

After the glue had set and the holes filled in, we brought it inside. It’s light to carry, yet sturdy to sit on. Plus, it fits perfectly.

Made: Large Rustic X Bench from Ana White

Made: Large Rustic X Bench from Ana White

I am going to stain it a dark color, but with few enough coats to see some of the beautiful grain in the wood.

Have you ever built with Ana White’s (free!) plans? Are you tempted?

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Friday Five: January 31, 2014

Happy Friday friends!

<< One >>

My Sherwin Williams Color Resolution project is coming along, but slowly. I am currently in the process of re-texturing (by hand!) the bathroom walls. Do you want a sneak peak of the color? I thought so.

Friday Five: January 31, 2014

<< Two >>

To get to a home supply store, or to any store at all really, we drive an hour and a half to Twin Falls, Idaho. We went last weekend to pick up home supplies and it was frozen fog the entire way down. It created a great photo opportunity to shoot the frozen sagebrush and lava rock out the car window. Do you have stores close by, or is it a haul for you too?

Friday Five: January 31, 2014

<< Three >>

I’m participating a year-long virtual 5k race series being hosted (for free!) by Licorice and Olives. I ran my first “race” 5k this week and spent most of it tip toeing across ice sheets. If you’re interested in joining it’s not too late. Sign up now.

Friday Five: January 31, 2014

<< Four >>

My modern ampersand was featured on Creative Life Blog’s 31 days of letters. Check out all 31 days here.

Friday Five: January 31, 2014

<< Five >>

We finally, finally, got a little snow in Idaho. At House Bella we had about 5 inches, but up in the mountains they got a foot. I can’t believe we’ve gone so long without a storm. Go away, polar vortex!

Friday Five: January 31, 2014

<< Bonus >> I am teaching Lemhi a few tricks, and he’s pretty much mastered crawl. It’s so cute!

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January Race Report: Billy Goat Loppet Freestyle Ski Race

Instead of setting a mileage goal for 2014 (like I did last year, then beat handily) I am challenging myself to race once a month. I love the energy and experience of racing, it’s a great motivation to train and push my limits.

Running races are hard to find in Idaho in the winter, so for January’s race I chose the Billy Goat Loppet freestyle nordic ski race run by the Sun Valley Ski Club. I am not a ski racer, but I decided it didn’t really matter. I figured I’d just get out there and do my best.

January Race Report: Billy Goat Loppet Freestyle Ski Race

It didn’t escape my attention that I hadn’t actually been on my nordic skis in over a year. Ignoring rational thoughts is the better part of any race. I loaded up my ski gear and headed to the start.

The race was supposed to be at a ski loop called Billy’s Bridge, and was scheduled to be a 10k. Due to lack of snow the organizers moved the race and lengthened it slightly to 12k. 12k is a little under 7.5 miles. 7.5 miles on no ski training sounded hard, but not impossible.

I registered, got ready, and looked around. There were 50 racers, and approximately 45 of them looked serious. I saw many sponsored racers, a local (and intense) women’s ski training group, and four other people who looked like me. We lined up to start. The men started a minute before the women. I placed myself at the very back of the women and set a goal to enjoy the race.

January Race Report: Billy Goat Loppet Freestyle Ski Race

Mike is fighting tendonitis in his shoulder so he didn’t race – instead he took pictures. It was a stunning bluebird day in the Boulder Mountains, with temperatures in the 30’s and no wind. The race was an out-and-back, and the climbing was intense. I silently cursed the hills while reminding myself to have some fun. I passed a few racers (I’m a decent climber and usually use hills to pass people when running) but most folks were out of my sight almost immediately.

I had on my Garmin, and checked it occasionally. For a 12k I knew the turnaround would be around 3.75 miles. 3.75 miles passed and still no racers had passed me heading back to the finish. I kept thinking “Where the heck are they?” followed by “This can’t be good.” Eventually the men’s leaders did pass me, and as I cruised I wondered where the turnaround was. 4 miles? 4.5? It wasn’t until the 4.75 mile mark that the turn appeared. 12k…not so much.

January Race Report: Billy Goat Loppet Freestyle Ski Race

The race after the turnaround was faster because it was (with the exception of one notably large hill) mostly descent. I cruised along, giving a tired but happy smile to Mike 2.5 miles from the finish.

Racers who were already done were skiing a cool down lap and when I passed them, they cheered. I knew I was in the back of the pack, but their encouragement was uplifting. I glided into the finish at 1:14:58 which was ahead of a few, but way behind most. The final distance was 9.4 miles, or 15k.

January Race Report: Billy Goat Loppet Freestyle Ski Race

And that’s my January race done! I was aiming for a half marathon in Boise in February, but three weeks of illness in late December/early January threw off my already tight training schedule. So now I’m in the market for a new February race – any Idahoer’s out there have a recommendation?

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Friday Five: January 17, 2014

I’m trying out something a little new here on House Bella: Friday Five! I’ll share five things that happened during the week with topics ranging from the house, to running, to travel, and beyond.

<< One >>

Even though it’s winter, I’m still running. Not as much as marathon training, but enough to keep my legs happy. This week Mike and I found a paved bike path in Sun Valley, and were grateful for a surface not covered in black ice. Running is hairy in the winter.

I’m trying for a race a month in 2014. Running races are scarce in Idaho in January, so I’m racing a 12k nordic skate ski tomorrow morning.

Friday Five: 1/17/2014

<< Two >>

Earlier this week I announced my 2014 Sherwin Williams Color Resolution. I settled on a color and picked up my paint on Wednesday. The store manager was incredibly helpful as I thought through hiding the tape lines on my textured wall from my current paint treatment. I’m interested to see how that works out.

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<< Three >>

After work on Tuesday I stopped by a few thrift shops, hoping for a gem to inspire a new living room coffee table. Instead, I walked away with a three drawer vintage campaign dresser by Bernhardt in near perfect condition for $25. Do I have place for it? Nope. Did I buy it anyway? Yup.

Friday Five: 1/17/2014

<< Four >>

Red Envelope sent me a beautiful gift in their signature packaging. Have you ever seen wrappings so stunning? And I love my bull catchall.

Friday Five: 1/17/2014

<< Five >>

I was able to catch Monday’s sunrise and sunset from my front steps. I am constantly amazed I get to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by my little Idaho family.

Friday Five: 1/17/2014

Happy DIYing this weekend, all! 

 

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