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TQ Mountain Home Award issue


My TQ Mountain Home issue is here! I LOVE this issue: People put so much time, attention, detail and love into these homes and it shows. Often, the homeowners and architects and designers aren’t just sharing a house; they are sharing a dream.

In the 13th annual issue, I write about an Alpine Meadows cabin that was once the home of 1950s screen siren Hazel Court. It’s been updated, enlarged and remodeled by the crew at Olson-Olson Architecture and Bruce Olson Construction. I also write about a Sugar Bowl townhouse that was remodeled in a European Alps style, thanks to the design vision of the talented Justine MacFee, as well as a unique, organic-style Martis Camp cabin that lives even larger than its 3,200 square feet, and was dreamed up by builder Mark Neave and executed by architect Dennis Zirbel and designer Julie Johnson-Holland.

There are so many other amazing stories in this issue: The Outstanding Home, which was built into such a steep mountainside that the construction superintendent estimates he traveled the vertical distance from sea level to the top of Mt. Everest 3.5 times; a funky waterfront estate named “Tahizzle”; a smartly designed Martis Camp cabin that lives in just 1,718 square feet (at least half, and, in some cases, just a small fraction of the square footage of many of the Martis mansions); as well as many, many other amazing homes and stories. Pick up a copy around Lake Tahoe or subscribe here!

hollywood-tahoe wood


Semester at SNC!


I have some really exciting news—I’m going to be taking over two classes at Sierra Nevada College for the semester! SNC is this great little campus in Incline Village, and I’ll be teaching out of the library, which is a beautiful newer building. I got the initial email just before Christmas, and I wasn’t even sure if it was definitely going to happen until very recently. But I met with HR on Monday, as well as the woman whose classes I’m taking over. She’s been teaching the classes—a journalism course and an editing course—for the past five years, so she’s got fairly in-depth syllabi, tests, worksheets. Still, I have to read up on all the assignments, see if there’s anything I want to change, plan lessons—it’s a lot of work and it’s been very little time to prepare.

My classes are Monday/Wednesday, so my first class will be this coming Wednesday. Then I’m out of town that second week (hubby’s got a conference in Orlando so we’re taking the girls to Disney!). The woman I’m taking over for can cover those classes, though I feel bad that I won’t meet my once-a-week editing class until the second week of school. Still, not much I can do as the trip’s been planned since long before I knew about the job.

Anyway, I’m very excited about the opportunity! It’s just for the one semester, but I’ve always wanted to get into teaching at some point in my life, and this seems like the ideal introduction. So whether it leads to anything or not, I’m just really excited to try my hand at it—I have a feeling I’ll be learning as much as the students. And in case you were wondering about the cupcake up top, it’s my celebration sweet!

Homey Feelings

I’ve got a couple of assignments for the Mountain Home issue of Tahoe Quarterly (my favorite issue!) and I’ve started the write-up for one of the Martis Camp homes. The application states the home will make you “experience the multitude of feelings no home has made you feel before.” Whew—I feel like I should have a talk with my house and make it clear that it is strictly for professional reasons that I’m experiencing feelings for another home!

Day at the Office


IMG_5237I go into my office all of maybe ten times a year but I love being there! Partly it’s that I really do love editing, partly it’s that it’s nice to get out of mom-mode and be around other adults, partly it’s because my editor always brings me a snack (frosted brownies, thank you, Kyle!) and partly its because of the breath-taking views going the mountain. As much as I love living in Reno, there is just no competition on the views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. Anyway, the Winter issue looks great, the brownie was delicious and the drive was gorgeous, so another good day at the office!


Nora: “Who do you love more, me or Audrey?”

I’m off to London! It’s been a great time in PA, involving drinking beers in the back of the truck, seeing my college roommates, hikes with Claire, sparklers with John, and a ton of other things I’ll have to update when I have time. For now, I am very excited to see Mo and start phase two of the vacation (and SO happy that United did not successfully reroute me into an additional day of travel). I’m leaving Nora and Audrey in very capable hands, so even though I bawled briefly as I left, I know they’ll have fun. Feel free to send smooth travel wishes for me, and here’s hoping I’m not sitting next to any children (I’ve deserved that, right?). Okay, I’m off to London, baby!

Resolution Fail

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to post more often. Sadly, I’m also failing on the New Year’s resolutions to keep my house clean and to get rid of the baby weight (the baby is now 18 months old). Oh well.

Anyway, lots of good stuff going on! I finished two very fun articles for TQ‘s Best of Tahoe issue and recently got to enjoy a cooking demo by Flare Chef, a Tahoe-area expert in “culinary entertainment,” which includes some pretty cool fire demonstrations and knife tricks (I may have moved farther away when he started juggling knives). I did a small job for a freelance editor, which will hopefully turn into additional work, and I just finished proofreading the Tahoe Forest Health System magazine.

I’ve got some new articles for TQ that should be fun and will be in the office this week and next to proof the Best of Tahoe issue. I recently began re-editing one of my novels that has been a work-in-progress for the past few years, and kind of started another project that I think has potential, but that I just need to find some time for. For as much time as I spend playing Anna and Elsa from Frozen, I should probably be able to find a little more free time to write!

Pennsylvania Convalescence

A belated happy holidays and happy 2014 to you all. My own holidays haven’t been particularly successful: I forgot how stressful it is to travel with a one-year-old, then I broke my pinkie toe and it suddenly became impossible to travel at all.

I had a lot of high hopes for getting work done during my Pennsylvania convalescence, but the crutches, pain pills and babies made it hard. Anyway, the silver lining was I got to spend an extra ten days with my parents being an only child (first time in 29 years). Tomorrow, however, I’m heading back home and to reality. Between the one-year-old, the three-year-old and a bad foot, the day of travel has potential to be pretty rough. Wish me luck!

Winter Issue Edit


Great day yesterday—I got to spend it in the TQ offices with my red pen! We’re proofing the Winter issue and it looks amazing! It is, obviously, the Olympic issue, and I’m proud to report that I wrote one of the cover stories, about local athletes who hope to compete at Sochi. It was so interesting learning about the athletes’ experiences: So many of them have dealt with injuries (some fairly horrific ones), others do charitable deeds with their competition winnings and others are just so excited about their chances to compete on a world stage.

Some other articles that are really great pre-Olympic reads as well as plenty of interesting Tahoe-centric reads. One more proofing day next week, then this magazine is ready to go!


San Francisco Style!

Nora and I tagged along with Jason on a trip to San Francisco and have been having a great time! We’ve done the Ferry Building, Chinatown, North Beach, Pier 39 and, my favorite, Ghirardelli’s Square for a brownie sundae. We lived in the city when we first moved West and I’d almost forgotten how much fun it is; I’m loving sharing it all with Nora, though she seems pretty content to sit in the hotel and play with the phone. Who knew landlines could provide this much entertainment, especially when there’s an entire city outside?

TQ Mountain Home Issue

I am sadly overdue on my updates! In my defense, I’ve been traveling, working, writing and found out a few months ago that I’m pregnant with baby #2. All of that, combined with a rambunctious toddler, makes my free time fairly nonexistent. However, I’m done slacking! Anyway, as I’m currently working on my articles for the Summer issue of TQ, I wanted to make sure that I updated with the Mountain Home Awards, which came out a month ago and is always my favorite of the TQ issues. As always, the photography is gorgeous (please check out the glass home featured on the cover!) and I am inspired to remodel. I wrote three of the Home Awards pieces, all of which feature really incredible homes. The most unusual is the Ward-Young home in Martis Camp, which boasts a curving roof line, exotic materials and a very funky theater room.