{My Mission} This Week ...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A long time ago a dear friend encouraged me to regularly ask myself the following two questions:

1. What sorts of things brought me life and happiness as a child?
2. Am I still making time to do those things today?

These questions have been my motivation behind taking this week off from work. My only objective? To do the things I LOVE.


For as long as I can remember I've always loved going to flea markets and antique stores.

I inherited this passion mostly from my dad who has a love for restoring and repurposing old things. He's kind of like Bob Vila, Macgyver, and the guys from American Pickers all mashed into one.

Two points if you can you guess what ended up coming home with me in this photo? I just couldn't say no after I saw the entire booth was marked 50% off.

And if money / space weren't an option I would have brought home this old wooden parts bin for our coffee mugs.

Instead, these things maybe might have ended up in my Mountainsmith because they remind me of a special someone.

On the way home I got to drive around looking at restored bungalows. Restored bungalows / craftsman style homes make my heart happy.

Last night Husband and I ended the day by stuffing our bocas with tacos from Torchy's. Pretty sure he's HOTTER than their diablo sauce. NOT. GONNA. LIE.

Today = DAY 2 of OPERATION REJUVENATION. Be sure and check back this week for updates from Kansas City, as well as LETTERS FROM MR. LOERKE!


Ps, what sorts of things brought you life and happiness growing up?

{Today's Letters}

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, this weekend we slept in, ran the Katy Trail, cooked these, attended Charley Jane Grubb's 3rd birthday party, and made late night Sonic runs for shakies with extra malt. A GREAT weekend. Dear Accountability, without you I'd still be in the biscuit. Thanks for making my long runs happen. Dear Morrison's, after long hours of quantitative analysis and deliberation we've finally determined that Abby Kate is the cutest wiggly poop sack we've ever seen. Can't wait to teach her how to throw fist pumps and leg kicks. Dear Dragon Slayer, today you begin your outpatient internal medicine rotation. Three points for being the bravest man I know.


{Twinner Winners!}

Monday, August 30, 2010

You didn't think we'd have just ONE winner did you? We're twins silly which means TWO lucky people were chosen at random for last week's giveaway.

The Twinner has prepared 4 half pound bags of freshly roasted coffee for each of you!

Go ahead, start smelling your computer screens because these beanies are the shiz.

Please email your contact info to em@todaysletters.com so the Twinner & Mr. McFeely know where to ship your major awards. They will even hand stamp your box F-R-A-G-I-L-E.

Note: you can currently purchase the Twinner's coffee at The Beehive Farmer's Market in Berkeley on Saturday's. She'd love to meet you, so be sure and stop on by if you're ever in the neighborhood!

Lastly, a special thanks to all who entered our giveaway. There were over 120 entries and each of your comments had Husband and I throwing chest bumps and leg kicks all. week. long.

{Strawberry - Blueberry Magic Cobbler}

Sunday, August 29, 2010

This weekend we made our favorite cobbler in honor of summer's end. Recommended listening while baking: Caravan by Van Morrison. Both are guaranteed to put you in your happy place.

1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups chopped fruit (we use 3 cups strawberries, 2 cups blueberries)
1/3 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Add butter to a 9"×13″ baking pan and place in oven to melt. I usually place it in the oven while it preheats and just remember to keep an eye on it.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, milk, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk together until smooth.

3. Pour the batter into the baking pan with melted butter. Do not stir – the butter will ooze up around the batter and may pool on the top. Totally OK.

4. Sprinkle berries evenly over batter, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until it tests done. The top should be golden brown.

Serve warm with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla or eat cold for breakfast. You can even put some in your overall pocket for an afternoon snack.

{Shinya Kimura}

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Been loving this short film by Henrik Hansen featuring Shinya Kimura, a custom motorcycle engineer from Toyko.

Vroom! Vroom!

{Today's Letters}

Friday, August 27, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, Wiki says the odds of finding two yolks in one egg is less than 1/10 of a percent. Wanna buy a lottery ticket? Dear 11 Day Vacation, free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I am free at last. Can't wait to see the adventures you'll bring. Dear Missing Boobie-Baskets, somehow three of you have gone missing in one week. I've finally decided to offer a REWARD in hopes that I can stop wearing swim suit tops to work. Dear Husband, a couple of nights ago when we we're in a large crowd you put your foot on top of mine just to let me know you were there. I loved this. Ps, ...


What are you most looking forward to?

And don't forget to enter this weeks giveaway! Just leave a comment below by Sunday, August 26th and we'll announce our winners on Monday!

{Today's Letters}

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night you asked me if I'd lick the bottom of your stinky cheese feet for 100 dollhairs. Reason #244 why boy roommates are AWESOME. Dear Morning Run in the Rain, I couldn't have asked for a better way to start the day. Thanks for the good company, cooler weather, and for keeping my heart rate below 165. Dear Friends, by 5:30 this morning Husband had a) made coffee in the French Press b) sang Frank Sinatra's You Make Me Feel So Young c) danced in the living room in his unmentionables d) all of the above. Dear Beloved, whenever I look at this photo I see an old man with a handlebar moustache. You see a race car and a large mouth bass. Three points for making cloud pictionary that much more fun.

Don't forget to enter this weeks giveaway! We'll draw the names at random and announce our winners on Monday.

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night you informed me that Sydney Rice is out for 8 games due to a hip injury. My fantasy football team thanks you from the bottom of their jockstraps for the scouting report. Dear Lake House, yesterday you offered [rest] here. Thank you*. Dear Sprinkler System, at midnight you always turn on and let me know it's time for bed. One of these days Mr. Clause and I are going to run through you while shouting, "Happy dreaming to all, and to all a good night!" Dear Husband, today is the last day of your hospital medicine rotation. Three fist pumps and a leg shimmy for you! Ps, only 262 more days until graduation.

Don't forget to enter this weeks giveaway! We'll draw the names at random and announce our winners on Monday.

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, while waiting in line at Whole Paycheck you looked at me and said, "Emo, I'm so glad you're my best friend." Two points for making me smile, four points for making me wanna make out in a grocery store. Dear Three Potato Four, your NEW SHOP has me searching Priceline for flights to Philly. Know that your eye for repurposed objects inspires me. Dear Movie Theater & Scrubs, Team Loerke is convinced you go together like brussels & tofu. Thanks for making our date night. that. much. better. Dear Beloved, yesterday you decided to give up right here. After PA school I have high hopes that you might actually make it into the biscuit. To the moon!

Don't forget to enter this weeks giveaway! Winner will be announced on Monday.

Today's Letters receives over 37,000 page views per month and would love to rock your website or small business under our RECOMMENDATIONS heading for the month of September. Please email me if you're interested in a rate sheet!

{Holy Giveaway Batman!}

Monday, August 23, 2010

In honor of the blog's 4 month birthday the Twinner has decided to give away TWO POUNDS of her very own roasted coffee. TWO POUNDS! Did you know she has been a roaster for almost 6 years? She's kind of my hero. She even has coffee bean burns on her feet, which is I guess what happens when you refuse to roast in anything but your Rainbows.

This weekend Twinner came up with two special blends for you.

Today's Letters Woobie Cape & Smartwool Blend + Today's Letters Fist Pump & Leg Shimmy Blend.

To enter, just leave a comment below by Sunday, August 26th and we'll announce the winner next week!

Ps, Hope your weekend was lovely. We took 3 naps, ate 4 Popsicles, and watched 2 movies. We. Are. Happy. Campers.

{Today's Letters & Your iPhone}

Saturday, August 21, 2010

For those of you who have been asking about an app for the blog I give you the next best thing: A SHORTCUT ON YOUR CELLY'S HOME SCREEN.

1) Open Safari and go to todaysletters.com
2) Click on the "+" button located at the bottom of your task bar.
3) Click on "Add to Home Screen."
4) Enter.

Ps, We maybe might be having a giveaway on Monday courtesy of the Twinner. Maybe ...

{Ulysses by Josh Garrels}

Friday, August 20, 2010

A great way to start the weekend ...

{Today's Letters}

Friday, August 20, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, in an effort to squeeze the last bit out of summer I've decided to plan a road trip to KC. Don't worry, promise to bring you back a case of Sweet & Mild with a side of Zman and fries. Dear Leaky Bathroom Pipe, yesterday our plumber came over and fixed you. FOR FREE. Insert lots of humble shimmyin' and shakin' here. Dear Batman, holy hibernation. Three leg kicks for getting more than 5 hours of sleep last night. Dear Husband, this weekend do you want to a) sit outside b) eat our weight in Popsicles c) study lab values or d) all of the above. Ps, still can't believe I get to kiss you everyday.


What are you most looking forward to?

{Today's Letters}

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, yesterday you sent me a text saying you were thinking about silver bullet trailers while listening to Regina Spektor. This made. my. day. Dear Traveling Man, you are a 38 foot tall, 35,000 pound steel sculpture that constantly reminds me to have an open heart and a cabeza full of music. Thanks for making Deep Ellum so magical. Dear Dude, Sweet Chocolate, Husband and I are convinced that you are the Willy Wonka of all chocolatiers in Dallas. Even your homemade guava-mint popsicles have us shouting "I want it now!" Dear Beloved, you often reminded me that sorrow is noble and gracious. Thanks for helping me reevaluate the things that are most important. To the moony (in a silver bullet trailer of course).


{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, before salting the heck out of your Mac n' Cheese you always let me have the virgin bite. I love this about you. Dear Clif Mojo Mountain Bars, every day at 10:30 you faithfully quiet the bear waging war inside my belly. Pretty sure I could marry you. Dear Readers, lately your emails and comments have made me laugh, smile, and cry my eyes out. Three fist pumps and a leg kick for being so fan-to-the-tastic. Dear Husband, whenever I make bread you save me the middle; I save you the ends. We look out for each other because that's how we roll.

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, this morning you sent me a text that said you loved me beyond the galaxies. Does this mean you have a crush on me or something? Dear Dentist, what the what? NO FREAKING CAVITIES? Looks like becoming bff's with my floss this year is finally turning out to be one of the BEST. DECISIONS. EVER. Dear Fellow Music Lovlies, Ray LaMontagne releases his new album today. Just sayin. Dear Abominable Husband, Reason #981 why I love Thee: Whenever you shave, you commit. Ps, please don't ever stop playing with your toiletries.

{Today's Letters}

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, this weekend we caught up on sleep (big sigh), got tickets to see Sufjan & The Mumford Boys, spent time with friends, watched a movie, and stuffed our faces with these. LOVED this weekend. Dear Belt Buckle, thanks for affirming my love for flea markets and for reminding me of my favorite season. Can't wait to rock you while listening to Neil Young's Harvest Moon. Dear Car Wash & Detail Service, you were the best 40 dollhairs I've spent in a long time. Who knew you could make a '99 Ford Exploder look like a Maserati? Dear Husband, love you more than a hundred trips to the moony on a Vespa. Over and out.

{A Letter} from Home

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On Friday my dad sent me this cook book.

Along with this letter (which changed my life, because letters can do that you know).

Then I found something magical written inside.

See note #78.

"There are many things that can change a life. A letter is one of them."


{Today's Letters}

Friday, August 13, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night you downloaded something having to do with Fantasy Football onto my iPhone. Also a medical application that allows me to look up things like leprosy & ulcerative colitis. Three words: you. complete. me. Dear Daytrotter, FREE music from First Aid Kit and The Portland Cello Project?! Why yes, yes I will partake in this offering of awesomeness. Dear Newlywed Couples, we haven't met you yet but Husband and I are already looking forward to being your Foundation Group leaders for the next 15 months. Promise to teach you lots of important things about marriage, mostly involving forgiveness, leg shimmies, forgiveness, fist pumps, and forgiveness. Dear Husband PA-S III, sometimes a weekend free from being on call makes you do this. CAN'T WAIT.

PS, this text kind of made my morning:
"Mumford is coming back in November to HOB.
Tickets on sale today.
Put your woobie cape on and buys some!"
Jonathan Tyroch


What are you most looking forward to?

{Today's Letters}

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, when putting on my running shoes this morning you told me I was brave for exercising in the dark. This made me run as fast as an injured mongoose. Thanks for always believing in me. Dear Meghan, just when I thought your baby booties couldn't get any cuter you turn around and sock us with with these. You get four points for making us want quadruplets. Dear SMU, tomorrow your tickets go on sale for Sufjan's October 2oth concert at McFarlin Auditorium. CAN'T WAIT. Dear Beloved, last night you said you'd rather stay up and dance than go to bed. So that's exactly what we did. To the moony ...

{To Build A Home by Cinematic Orchestra}

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ending the day with Patrick Watson and the Cinematic Orchestra.
(Insert three deep sighs here).

To Build a Home (Edit) - To Build a Home - Single

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night you brought me a pickle while I was in the shower. A PICKLE. Reason #243 why boy roommates are AWESOME. Dear Brooks, please send Twinner a B15 Swallow Saddle for her new track bici. Pretty sure she's the cutest thing cycling around the streets of Berkeley these days. Dear Friends, did I tell you that the Mr. and I recently added a 4th question to our Tuesday Questions? It's been a great addition. Check it. Dear Husband, pretty sure this whole photo is a bag of win. You. Blue Bell ice cream. Homemade Magic Shell. Doesn't get much better.

{Homemade Vegan Magic Shell}

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Can I get a what what? Those of you who know us well will understand how freakin excited I was to find this recipe in my inbox last week. (Thanks T.Jett!). We practically bleed and bathe in this stuff! That said, we're already predicting this will be your favorite recipe of 2010. We made it three times over the weekend and finally feel like we've perfected our ratios of coconut oil / chocolate. Yep, that's right, only two ingredients. Booya.

3/4 cup coconut oil (we used Whole Food's 365 brand since it was cheapest).
1 1/2 cups chocolate, coarsely chopped (we used Sharffen Berger Dark Chocolate)


1. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan on LOW until it turns clear, stirring often.
2. Slowly stir in chocolate until melted and well blended.
3. Pour into an airtight container and serve with Blue Bell's Homemade Vanilla.

NOTE: We also made a batch of MILK chocolate Magic Shell (for all of our non vegan friends) and liked it just as much. Really, you can use any chocolate as long as you keep the ratios the same. Be sure and store it in your pantry or at room temperature; placing it in the fridge will ensure you nothing but a brick of disappointment.


Original recipe found here.

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, when I came to bed last night you said you were fixing sick people trapped in the mountains. Then you asked me for a defibrillator. So I handed you my Woobie and said CLEAR and goodnight. Dear Bahama Bucks, there are only a few things in this world that Husband and I would drive an hour out of our way for. Your red raspberry & cream snow cone = 100% detour worthy. Dear Papa, your most recent craft: a blessed Virgin Mary statue (offerer of all things cucumber) to watch over your plot at the community garden. Bob Vila and I are so proud. Dear Beloved, love you more than thick woolen scarves, Griswold #8's, and things made from pumpkin and allspice. Can't wait to experience another Fall with you.

{Today's Letters}

Monday, August 09, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night we had breakfast for dinner and watched one of my favorite movies. Three points for rockin out to Simple Minds, four points for dominating an exploding omelet the size of my head. Dear Husband's Boxer Briefs, you are the most awkward thing to wear but the most comfortable thing to sleep in. Must. get. over. the. man. pouch. Dear Homemade Blackberry, Honey and Yogurt Pops, for real, BEST POPSICLES EVER. Thanks for being worth every stain on our kitchen countertop to make. Dear Beloved, you are patient with me when I struggle to communicate, love me through my insecurities, and bring out my inner child. Beyond blessed to be your wife!

{Homemade Dill Pickles}

Sunday, August 08, 2010

We just got done making our 1,129th batch of these this summer. This recipe is as easy as placing the ingredients in a jar, waiting a day, and then stuffing the face yo mama gave you.

4 Kirby cucumbers (about 1 lb) sliced into coins
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup hot tap water
1/4 small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

1. Place the cucumbers in a 1-quart jar (0r half-pint jars) or some other container with a lid.

2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, onion, garlic, sugar, dill seed, peppercorns, bay leaf, salt, and 3/4 cup hot tap water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

3. Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar with the cucumbers, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 day before serving. The pickles will last up to 1 week.

Original recipe found here.

{The Fingerpost Shop}

Friday, August 06, 2010

Meet Damien Howard and his daughter Brae. A couple of weeks ago they were kind enough to send me some of their goods.

Pretty sure they had me at Legos and father-daughter jewelry making team.

Be sure and check out their Etsy shop. It will make you shimmy, it will make you shake, it might even have you doing leg kicks until your hammy's hurt.

And this maybe might be my new favorite wedding video OF ALL TIME (made by Noah Stoner). It features Damien's second youngest daughter Kyrie and her husband Eric who just got hitched last week. Damien, I'd say you're one lucky Papa!

What are you most looking forward to?

{Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine}

Thursday, August 05, 2010

In honor of Eat Pray Love. Kind of in love with this song.

Dog Days Are Over - Lungs

{Today's Letters & Reason #980}

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, yesterday you performed your first arthrocentesis on a patient's knee. Two fist pumps and a leg kick for being the bravest man I know. Dear Fall, you are just around the corner; I can feel it. (Insert HUGE sigh here). Dear Jude Fish, we've shared ice cream. I've helped you tie your shoes. You've even taught me about Bakugans. Know that your 5 year old world fascinates me and I am incredibly grateful that my girl cooties aren't getting in the way of our friendship. Dear Nefertimmy, reason #980 why I love Thee: you leave me hieroglyphics written on our shower walls. Over and out.

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, whenever I see your reading glasses sitting on the nightstand I can't help but feel old. Kind of like we've been married for 20 years. I love this feeling. Dear Early Morning Run, I dread you like eating meatwad covered in ketchup. That's all. Dear Friends, whenever Husband gets an unexpected package he A) carries it under his arm for 2 hours B) tries to convince me that waiting to open it until bedtime is lame C) bench presses it 17 times while I'm in the shower D) shakes it so hard he turns its contents into 1,000 pieces or E) all of the above. Dear Love of My Life (who always gets two letters), to the moon!

A special thanks to Taza for being the inspiration behind writing Mr. Loerke two letters. It has made all the difference in our marriage.

PS, do you tear into packages like the Mr. or save them for the biscuit? I think opening mail in bed is M-A-G-I-C-A-L.

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night we laid on the floor and talked about your love for snow cones, the paracentesis procedure you'd be performing today, and how lately you've been fighting off wolves in your sleep. Reason #242 why boy roommates are AWESOME. Dear Student Driver, every Saturday morning you practice parallel parking in front of our house. So far you are 0-3, but don't give up. One day you will slide into parking spots like the best pair of New Balance you've ever known. Dear Puppy, you were the last thing I expected to see when walking into work yesterday, but I'm pretty sure holding you should become a mandatory addendum to company policy. Dear Beloved, you've always said that any food purchased within 5 miles of Casa de Loerke means it's homemade. Thanks for making me feel better about feeding you my leftover Pad Thai for dinner last night.

And a special thanks to all of who started following the blog! You are feeding the left side of my brain which is finally able to put a face with your name.


{Today's Letters}

Monday, August 02, 2010

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, in honor of your absence this weekend I watched an episode of Boston Med, drank juice from the carton, and slept in your unmentionables. I maybe also might have used your razor to shave my legs. Maybe. Dear Houston, we have a problem. 105° forecast and a three minute drive to work = already have back sweat and swamp ass. Dear Tour de Goatneck, we have officially made amends. Thanks for the 3.5 hour ride with WMBM and for the thoughtful cyclist who grabbed my saddle and helped push me up one of your toughest hills. Dear Husband, my favorite part of the weekend? Tackling you here, because airport reunions are the shiz. Welcome home!

If you're a faithful reader of Today's Letters would you mind following this blog? I'd love to know who you are!

And don't forget to check out our AUGUST RECOMMENDATIONS!
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