Spritzer Leyba Out and About Journal

Living the good life February 28, 2007

I love this post by Felicia Sullivan featuring 25 ways to save money. In our house we do most of these already (except for #2, go through people's dumpsters, which I'm not sure I could ever do) and that made me feel good. I especially like Felicia's emphasis on cutting down on the crap in our lives (like cable and magazine subscriptions), stretching the life of clothing and household goods, and reusing everything from plastic bags to water bottles.

In an earlier post in this series, Felicia talks about Alex Beauchamp's method for allocating her money so that she can live the good life. Put those two posts together and you have us. We spend our money on quality goods that we feel strongly about (such as organic produce or Oakley sunglasses with UV protection that I have worn every day since 2002) and save for things that really matter to us and enrich our quality of life, such as our organic mattress (above) or David's mountain bike. To some people, those items may seem extravagant, but to us they are essential to our lives and our health and our wellbeing. And if that means we don't buy the latest gadgets and wear the same clothes and continue using our older computers, etc., that's just fine with us. It makes sense to us both fiscally and environmentally.


Thank you February 27, 2007

Our Tribute to Audrey Hepburn MySpace page now has over 1,000 friends! How amazing is that?! People keep adding us as their friend and WE ARE THRILLED! Thank you, Audrey Hepburn fans, for being so supportive!

And thank you, wonderful readers, for putting up with this cutesy color theme. Only one more day to go before I unveil our March banner. Stay tuned...

Wow, three entries in one day! Now that's being productive.
Or something. I had better go eat breakfast.


My dad and his kite February 27, 2007

This is one of my favorite pictures of my father. Look at the glee in his face while flying that kite! I also love that he's not completely in focus, because even today my dad is always on the move.

Happy Birthday, Daddy! We love you!


We're all about plants this week February 27, 2007

It's raining outside (of course!), so I thought I'd post a picture from last week of the beautiful pink and white flowering trees blooming all over the park. Spring is on its way and I love it. Hope you all stay cozy and warm today. I am trying to psych myself up to go run in the rain. Now that's dedication.

We're going vegan this week. Dairy products are so expensive and, while I totally love them, I do think they are meant for fattening up baby animals (cows, sheep, goats) rather than feeding grown people. So we're having a bit of a change just for a week or two. I'm curious to see if we'll feel any differently. Last night I made a phenomenal (if I do say so myself) coconut curried vegetable dish. I used fresh spices and they worked so well that we've decided to through out those curry pastes in the fridge! Who cares if they save time, obviously they are more processed and they sure don't taste as good. Anyhow, I have a bunch of cookbooks that I've been combing through: vegan ones, Thai ones, vegetarian ones, and I think we're going to eat really well this week. At least, I hope so!

Please let me know if you have any great vegan recipes and remember we're also allergic to gluten and tomatoes! (I know, we are so complicated!)



I'm also gluten-free, and I have a client I just starting cooking for who is allergic to tomatoes. If you know any great tomato-free recipes that might be kid-friendly or know some good sources for tomato-free reecipes I'd love to know. I will fwd you a couple of recipes I like that are gluten/tomato free as well, when I am on my own computer (currently using my boyfriend's). Take care! :) Aviva

Posted by Aviva on March 4, 2007

Family photos February 23, 2007

Above are my fraternal grandparents. The left photo is from my grandmother's college graduation; the one on the right is from their wedding. My grandmother passed away five years ago, my grandfather over thirty years ago and I never knew him.

I keep these photos on the bulletin board above my desk and see them every day. I love the sepia tint of the photos, the expression on their faces, the way the photos are worn, no longer crisp. I love seeing them when they were my age and seeing them together.

When I look at them it makes me feel both happy and sad. (Even now, in writing this, my eyes are filled with tears.) Yet I love that they are immortalized in this photo, and always here in me, and now--through these pictures--with you.


Pregnancy in America February 22, 2007

Check out this fascinating trailer for the documentary "Pregnancy in America." The trailer touches upon on why David and I have no intention of giving birth in a hospital. Some parts that were especially interesting to me:

Doctor in the Netherlands: "We don't see [birth] as a medical thing. It's a natural thing and sometimes you need medical assistance."

Woman with European accent: "In America, it's not usual that you deliver at home?"

No, it's not usual. In America most babies are born in hospitals (in Europe most babies are born at home) and we have one of the highest newborn death rates amongst developed countries. You do the math.

(And we're not pregnant.) link via Elaine


hey carrie,

I totally hear you on the pregnancy/infant mortality rate in the US issue. One of my favorite books has an amazing chapter on that, which further opened my eyes: it's called Reclaiming Our Health: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Sources of True Healing by John Robbins

I have friends who just had a baby and had a midwife guide them through the process, it was so natural and beautiful and the whole community felt involved in the baby's growth. They have a beautiful baby boy now.

One of my client families had both their daughters at home and have beautiful moldings they made of the mother's belly at the height of her pregnancy. One girl was born in each of their bathrooms! LOL They said that's just how it turned out.

ENjoying the pix of your incredible CA weather - it's sunny and windy today, making it cold but brisk!


Posted by aviva on February 23, 2007

Welcome to the movement Carrie and David! :-) Other interesting sites are www.cfmidwifery.org and www.inamay.com, from that site "It's not just the making of babies, but the making of mothers that midwives see as the miracle of birth."

Posted by Ranni on February 26, 2007

Stop the Presses! February 21, 2007

Congratulations to our dear friend Stefan on passing his comprehensive exam! Wish we could celebrate with you!


Don't view this page with Internet Explorer! Get yourself Firefox!
(I'll be fixing the layout for IE soon... Sorry about that!)

Rain blowin' in February 20, 2007

It looked like it was going to rain all day today -- so beautiful. All the greens were vibrant and there was a lovely breeze. I got all bundled up for my walk, which involved putting on a Polartec. Above are some pictures from my stroll (it's my day off from running!). Isn't that sky so stunning?!

Because of the long weekend, my sense of time has been completely off. I kept thinking today was Monday instead of Tuesday... or maybe Wednesday though I cannot explain why. Tonight David has his yoga class and I shall continue setting up my newly reformatted computer (oh, how fast she is running! so nice!). I also have a date with the kitchen. Menu items for this week include spinach, garlic, mushrooms, and onion lasagna, enchilada casserole, curried noodle patties, and a variety of salads. Yummers!

Did you hear that Tori Amos is releasing a new album on May 1, 2007? I am curious about the sound she'll go for this time. I am partial to her Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink albums... haven't been as in love with her more recent stuff. Keeping my fingers crossed for lots of piano and soulful singing.


Day at the beach February 17, 2007

75 degrees, sunny and beautiful out, so we headed to the beach today. As we were leaving, the fog was rolling in from the bay out to sea (right picture--goodbye blue sky!). Absolutely gorgeous.

Have a great three-day weekend, everyone!


Ever the biologist February 16, 2007

It's been gorgeous out (think 70s!) and I've been running up a storm. I've actually been running so hard (and far) that I am now only running about five times a week, because frankly I am too tired to go everyday. Since I am running so much, I don't feel guilty skipping a day here and there... and I love it so much I look forward to going again. It's actually worked out rather perfectly.

Here are some pictures from my camera phone. They really don't capture how beautiful it has been outside. I think I may lug my real camera over to the park sometime, so you can see what it really looks like. I've also been trying to photograph the two great egrets that I've seen every day this week. They are so stunning. On Tuesday I stopped running and just starred at them for about 5 minutes completely in awe (right photo - good luck finding them!). Egrets in February a couple miles from my house... Just thinking about it still blows me away! Amazing!


what kind of (camera) phone do you have? those pix came out pretty well! :)

Posted by Aviva on February 16, 2007

So damn cute, you'll wanna hurl February 14, 2007

Since we both hate the idea of Valentine's Day, we don't celebrate it. Single people feel bad, couples feel pressured to celebrate with cards and sugar-loaded treats and expensive flowers. Oh, the commercialism! And how ridiculous that couples celebrate their relationship just once a year. I mean, come on! As far as we are concerned we celebrate Valentine's Day pretty much every damn day... and we certainly never waste money on cards or blood diamonds.

So, that was my little Valentine's Day rant. Now comes the part that is so cute, you'll want to hurl. Yes, this is one of those "we're so fucking happy" entries. Feel free to stop reading now and save yourself. Trust us; we know that Valentine's Day sucks.

And now brace yourself for sugar and spice. A few random things about our relationship.

1. We really only shout when one of us is in the shower and needs more soap. Or if we are on opposite sides of the house then "I love you" phrases are thrown back and forth.

2. Every night, all night, we sleep holding each other. Occasionally David sleeps on his back, in which case I sort of sprawl across him.

3. We hate getting out of bed in the morning. (Lots of snooze-button hitting and "I'm so cozy! I don't want to get out of bed!") This has gotten much worse since my grandmother bought us a primaloft comforter.

And now let's move the focus away from us, shall we. Enjoy these beautiful, love-inspired photos: heart kite at sunset, mirror view, stone heart, dancing, and sisters.


Raw Food/Real World Granola February 12, 2007

This weekend we made phenomenal Cranberry Maple Granola from the awesome raw food book Raw Food/Real World. It is SO tasty and addictive and I cannot wait to make more. After a year of hemming and hawing, last month we finally broke down and bought a dehydrator and this recipe has already made it so worthwhile.

Cranberry Maple Granola (Raw)
From Raw Food/Real World, page 269
Yields about 10 cups

1 apple
1½ cups date paste (I used whole dates)
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ cup sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours or more
2 cups almonds, soaked 4 hours or more
3 cups pecans, soaked 2 hours or more
1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked 2 hours or more
1 cup dried cranberries
1. In a food processor, place the apple, date paste, maple syrup, lemon juice, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and ¼ cup of the sunflower seeds and grind until completely smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the remaining ¼ cup sunflower seeds, the almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds to the food processor. Coarsely chop the nuts and seeds in a few quick pulses. Add them to the bowl with the apple mixture, add the cranberries and combine well

3. Spread the granola on lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 6-8 hours. Flip the granola over onto the screens and peel away the liners. Continue dehydrating for another for 8 to 12 hours more, or until the granola is crunchy. Break into pieces and, once completely cooled, store in a airtight container. To maintain freshness longer, store the granola in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.


This sounds SO delicious! And everything fine on our diet!!!

You might consider sending out gift package/samples to those you love!!! Hint... hint!

At least bring some of these goodies to Tom's house in May - they will be such a hit!


Posted by Mom on February 14, 2007

Kenyon comes to wine country February 11, 2007

Yesterday David and I had a fantastic time at a Kenyon alumni event up in our neck of the woods at the Dutcher Crossing Winery. I had forgotten just how awesome Kenyon alumni and parents are. What a smart, interesting, and fun group. We saw old friends, met wonderful new people, David drank fantastic wine (I was driving--I only got a few sips!), ate delicious food, and had an all-around great time! I almost felt like I was back at college for an afternoon! It was so nice having social time and doing something new.

Today the rains have parted and everyone has headed to the parks across the street from our house. This afternoon we were running our way through the masses. I love how Californians really take advantage of--and appreciate--nice days. We saw so many families out walking and running and biking. But as much as I loved seeing all this enjoying nature together time, I think I'm ready for the rains to come back so that I can have more quiet solitary runs with my husband. Terrible, I know.


Hey -- this is a great way to find new friends! You're right, you don't really appreciate that community til you're out in the larger world. Kinda take them for granted I guess. I know how much I love my SCILS profs & librarians!

Did you meet anyone you might call or see again?


Posted by Mom on February 14, 2007

WIP (Work In Progress) Friday February 9, 2007

Quilt project with squares from the charming Amy Butler Belle Jolly Pack.


How pretty! What is the Amy jolly pack? All pre-cut squares? Anything to make it easier to finish a project!


Posted by Mom on February 14, 2007

Grapefruit and avocado salad February 9, 2007

Grapefruit and avocado salad on a bed of arugula and cilantro with pear dressing served with last nights dinner. So simple! So yummy! We are SO going to make it again soon. (Inspired by this Domino recipe!)

Btw, check out our new love: Missy Higgins. David recently discovered this wonderful Australian musician. We've bought a cd and are so hooked. You can hear her most recent disc online at her website. Check it out!

p.s. What do you think of our new layout?! Expect lots of tweaking.


Yummmm!!! I have got to come out soon and start eating that wonderful California way! Like we cooked and ate the last time I visited!

Of course, here it is cold out, so I tend to want to eat rich, warm comfort foods - thick soups, hot vegetables and rice, etc.

Can't wait to start eating lite again! Hopefully, spring is around the corner...


Posted by Mom on February 14, 2007

Settling in February 8, 2007

We're adjusting to winter here. Rain, lots of fog, tons of birds visiting for the winter and chirping all over the place. It's really quite lovely and I am so thrilled there is no snow in sight.

Yesterday, David and I were totally soaked by the end (middle?) of our runs, despite cutting our normal routine in half. We came home and took hot showers, ate tempeh reubens for dinner, and enjoyed desert wine from Ravenswood. Very relaxed, very warming. I feel like we're hibernating.

Today I've been busy in the kitchen making corn bread, cranberry maple granola, banana bread, black beans, grapefruit and avocado salad, and enchilada casserole. What better way to spend a rainy day than to hang out by the oven?


Yum! How fun!

Glad you are so enjoying being home! (And being so productive!!!) Remember when David cooked for you every night?! I bet he appreciates your cooking efforts now!


Posted by Mom on February 14, 2007

Spritzer turns 27 February 5, 2007

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes! You guys blew me away with the cards, emails, messages, and presents! Thank you!

Yesterday we celebrated my birthday with Kenny and Yuni with tasty Indian food and a tour of the UC Botanical Garden. The weather was amazing --- just the right temperature for wearing t-shirts outside (a very good birthday present). We had a great time together and it was so fun to get out of town, meet up with friends, and see something new. My birthday celebration started the evening before (in true Spritzer fashion) when David took me out to dinner at our favorite celebratory restaurant in Yountville (with food that was to die for). We then finished up the partying last night with incredible pizza and a movie marathon. It was a perfect, relaxed, and fun birthday weekend.

Oh, and we had strawberry shortcake too! My favorite!


so fun! i'm glad you had a lovely birthday! :) it's great to see pictures of you guys!

Posted by celina on February 9, 2007

I can't believe your 27!



Posted by Daddy on February 14, 2007

Winter colors February 2, 2007

Beautiful browns and greens from my excursion yesterday across the street at the park.

p.s. I'm taking a break from email and the phone. Leave a message and I'll get back to you.


Happy Birthday! I know I'm a day late - sorry! But it looks like you're taking a break from email and the phone, so I suppose calling wouldn't work so well anyway. Hope you had a nice day!

Posted by Beth on February 5, 2007

Daily tally February 1, 2007

Reading Lucifer's Hammer - after watching Deep Impact, I couldn't resist reading a post-apocalyptic drama...

Listening to Speak for Yourself by the ever quirky and talented Imogen Heap...

Working on our Kenyon class 5th year reunion website, new jewelry designs, knitting myself a scarf (see left)...

Savoring my morning cup of English breakfast tea!

Pumped to go for a run (it's beautiful outside!)...

Excited about our plans for this weekend... we're doing dinner in Yountville on Saturday and then meeting up with Yuni and Kenny on Sunday!

So giddy (and sad at the same time!) about the final Harry Potter book coming out on July 21, 2007! (that's a Saturday, so plan accordingly!)


I LOVE the scarf! It looks beautiful!

Posted by Rachel on February 3, 2007

Website designed and maintained by Carrie Spritzer 1997-2007.
Powered by English Breakfast Tea, iTunes, Bluehost, and Mozilla Firefox.