IMG_9286

waiting for winter to pass

waiting for spring to pass through

Not all days are good, but most are.

Some days are a little gloomy, inside and outside. And with winter slowly seeing its way out, spring has never been more welcomed. Meanwhile, I’m learning to see the beauty in the gloom and keep my eyes on the horizon for better, brighter days.

I hope that somehow you see the beauty in the storm, too.
colorado windmill

Cheers to a lovely spring.

Xo,
Melanie

lil guy is all grown up

Happy Birthday Stig Nation!

IMG_3969

Stig as a pup and all grown up.

As today is Stig’s 2nd Birthday, I thought I would write about how far he’s come (rather than making a homemade bday cake, putting a hat on him and making him pose).

Feels like just the other day he was 16 pounds and easy to carry around. 60 pounds later he’s finally grown up and still causing trouble.

And, while he’s not been the easiest pup to raise, he’s worth it.

A Little Training Goes a Long Way

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Dog Training, his trainer Melinda, and a lot of hard work, Stig finished his private lessons last week. We worked on loose-leash walking, impulse control (for when he sees other dogs, rabbits or squirrels), and some fun tricks too (notice the “easy” button in the photos).

Next up I’d like to get him certified as a Canine Good Citizen and eventually a Therapy Dog by his 3rd Birthday. So, here goes to more hard work!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Man’s Best Friend, and More

lebkuchen_loft_stig_bdayIt’s definitely true what they say. Somehow this four-legged guy has not only been a good companion, he’s given me a lot of strength lately…

Sometimes I think God gave me Stig as a reminder to be strong in times when I need it most. Because, with a tough past year, whenever I’m sad or lonely I’d look around and he’s right there…

Xo,
Melanie

lebkuchen_loft_colorado_open_space

calm before the storm

beauty in simplicity

I can’t seem to help myself from taking photos constantly. And while often they are far from perfect and very simple, they still help me hold on to memories.

This morning I left for a jog and snapped this photo on my way to the trail. You can see the storm in the clouds but it was still a beautiful almost-spring morning.

Just before I got to my halfway point it started to snow, hard. With police monitoring the path, sleet, wind, and unprepared running attire, it definitely ended up being a very memorable, mentally challenging experience (that i’m glad is over).

But of course, there’s the beauty in those types of memories too.

calm before the storm

xo,
Melanie

Broomfield Colorado Open Space Sunset

open space and a heavenly sunset

They say running is the best therapy… and they’re right.

I needed a little cheering up today so I took out the running leash, grabbed my furry-trainer and we headed out to the nearest “open-space.” They have these spaces throughout the Denver communities and they are simply divine (whomever made reserved open space a priority… thank you)!

It may not be the Pacific sunsets which I miss more than I can express, but today it was my solace. I made it out right before sunset and stopped halfway around to snap this picture to share.

Broomfield Colorado Open Space Sunset

Now I’m refreshed, the pup is tired, and I’m ready for my sweat pants and a little relaxing.

Wishing you all a lovely evening,
<3 Melanie

a 2 degree sunrise

I’ve been working really hard to get into a good gym routine, and it’s been a challenge. There are many reasons why I’ve always been scared of them (people, germs, and the fact that I look ridiculous trying to do pullups). But! With the help of my Brother and Sister-in-Law Ruth, we’ve been making it happen.

My reward for baring the 2 degree temperature at 6am this morning (other than the $1.25 Mochaccino while exiting the rec center)?

This moment.
broomfield_co_sunrise_lebkuchen_loft

Wishing you the best Friday and weekend,
Xo Melanie

My 7 Quotable-Resolutions to NOT Repeat 2013

Well Hello 2014 (and Friends),

Thank You For Showing Up

...the best is yet to come.I can’t even tell you how excited I was to see the clock strike 12 on New Years. Why? Not because I was partying like it’s 1999 (more so I was watching a movie with Kobi, chowing on chinese and lounging in sweats, which was pretty much perfect…but I digress), because basically, 2013 sucked. And I wanted it to end, asap.

It was not my best year (a post for another time).

So, I found myself for the first time ever wanting Christmas to be over, so that New Years would pass and I could start fresh. (Why I needed a date on a calendar to start fresh? Good Q. But roll with me…).

I’m ready to make this year incredible and I’m pretty psyched about it. So, here I go. Here’s my no-pity-party-make-it-what-you-want reminders for the coming year. Feel free to join-in, add, remove, or ignore this list as you’d like.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go.

My Quotable-Resolutions to Kick A** and Take Names in 2014

1. Burn my candles, wear my nice sweaters, eat the chocolate and stop saving things for a special occasion. Today is special enough.
2. Choose happiness, every day. I’m done letting things keep me down.
3. Forgive. Truly-madly-deeply style.
4. Get rid of anything that isn’t joyful.
5. Stop getting in my own way (at work, in my relationships, at the gym and in my head).
6. Keep it in perspective, I have it good (as most of us do).
(My Fave) 7. Remember that today’s struggles are not permanent, the best is yet to come…

So no looking back anymore, just blessings and opportunities to make it an incredible year.

Cheers to an incredible year for us all,

lebkuchen-loft-stig-nation

hipster halloween

Hipster Nation Halloween

What happens when you don’t have kids, costumes, or the dedication to go and find them (Well, understandably finding and taking kids is kidnapping)… This happens.

Pipe Cleaner + bow tie + shirt and cardigan + my Husbands “Dope” hat = Hipster Stig Nation

I realize that I’m one of those people who post too many photos of their kid/dog… but some of Stig’s pics are pretty ridiculous and need to be shared, much like this one. You’re welcome.

I did go to Target yesterday for some basics, but when I swung through the costume section the only options were a few witch hats, or pomeranian-sized jail apparel. Since that wouldn’t even cover his snout… I left empty handed.

Let this be a lesson to plan ahead in the coming Halloween’s, and if not… make it happen and call it a diy halloween costume!

Happy Spooks from the least-spooky halloween hipster dog ever.

Lebkuchenloft making pork chop seasoning

spicy mango pork chops

Helllllo Summer Grilling!

Lebkuchenloft making pork chop seasoning

Crushing up fresh coriander will ensure a flavorful delicious seasoning

On my way back from visiting my Brother in Denver I picked up a recipe magazine at the airport….and for $10, I found that it was worth every penny as I found a delicious pork chop recipe! I’ve always been on the hunt for one, but have only tried maybe twice to make pork chops and they never turned out as I remembered them growing up (mine were always overcooked…).

Once my Best Friend Nicole and I met, we were pretty much inseparable- that meant we took turns eating at her house or my house… Thankfully our parents just knew to plan for either her being a guest, or me a guest at their house. Nicole’s Mom, Renae, used to make the most delicious pork chops, and I was always so excited when it was pork chop night at the Haberman’s. So, Renae, thanks for all the dinners at your house! Here is me trying to make the comfort food you made for us, with my own twist!

Below is the first recipe as I made it, or you can view the original recipe here.

Mango Salsa
1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut up into small cubes
1/3 purple onion
splash of orange juice
splash of lime juice
pinch of salt
1/4-1/2 tsp of Milpas Pico De Gallo Seasoning
chopped cilantro to taste

Lebkuchenloft pork chops ready to eat!

Bon Appetit!

Pork Chops
2 bone-in pork chops fresh from the market seasoned with:
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS paprika
1 TBS freshly ground cumin
1 1/2 TBS freshly ground coriander
Pinch of Milpas Pico De Gallo on each (for spice)

How To Cook Pork Chops Perfectly
Season pork chops as per above and then heat your pan with about 3 TBS of olive oil. Place the pork chops in the pan and leave until golden brown for about 3 minutes per side.

Remove from heat, and cover the pan for about 5 minutes to let the pork chops finish cooking internally. Hint: It should still be slightly pink when you turn the heat off and cover.

Plate the pork chops and top with the mango salsa! I served with toasted corn tortilla chips and some rustic bread heated in the oven with butter.

Look delicious? Let me know how it goes! Your taste buds will thank you!