Daily Life

Creative paleo summer days

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Is there any brave soul who would try our ‘Longest Day’ salad? We named it after last Saturday. Koldo also enjoys preparing portrait-dishes trying to capture the personality of our guests, but such strange things come out. shiftfwd-paleo-2 A summer paleo salad: fetuccini shiritaki Konja (to avoid carbs) slowly cooked in oyster sauce, grilled calamari, shrimp and chives, caramelized tomato sauce with dehydrated cherry tomatoes, plus crispy squid tips battered with pork rinds and crispy cheese.


We found this card on the floor when walking to the lake. It’s supposed to mean good luck!


Supporting creativity

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It’s been great to have a video chat this morning with Andrea Lewicki, a brave and lovely soul! She’s starting a series of interviews about creativity. It’s a pleasure and honor for Naomi and I to help other people embrace creativity in their lives.

BBQ & Basque Piperrada

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Who wants to join us for an American barbecue and Basque piperrada?


The colors and smell of peppers make us feel alive


We decided to try Nopales for the very 1st time.



A touch of extra virgin Spanish olive oil. Always!



American, Mexican, Basque, and now… Pineapple & pork skewers for a Hawaiian touch!


Piperrada is served!



With so much barbecuing and party nonsense we missed overnight!

Our trip to Keuka College, NY

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We spent 3 days at Keuka College for the restructure of their whole online experience. It was amazing to work with such inspiring group of people who are really passionate and full of love for their work at one of the most innovative colleges in the USA.


The evening sun entering Keuka College is just magical! But it’s inside the campus where all the miracles happen,


Listening to and learning about the needs, visions and dreams is one of our favorite parts of our work. We’ve been astonished to find how Keuka College and their brilliant people are full of unique treasures to work with. Best case scenario ever!


We felt at home in the guest house by the lake where we spent a few days. Most of the meetings where held here and the atmosphere was cozy. Thanks Pete Bekisz and Keuka College!


The view from the guest house door. Morning coffees were so inspiring!


After pretty intensive meetings, sitting here, just the two of us, talking about our excitement about the project was the cherry on top.



We have such a beautiful memory of working by the lake early in the morning, before the meetings.


Penn Yan, a few miles from Keuka College, has a nice East Coast flavor.


Pastel colors from the old times.



Aged mid-century modern is always so anachronic!


At the local restaurant, we had the best meat ever!. We didn’t order this roasted garlic but they served it as an appetizer.


The mid-century modern supercute Clock of Nations at Rochester airport was designed by Gere Kavanaugh in the 60’s. It was a really nice surprise!!



Traveling back home. Detroit Express Tram reminded us of those futuristic trains in Disneyland!


We were amazed with the Light Tunnel at Detroit’s airport, that connects several concourses at the terminal.


A very relaxing experience which reminded Koldo to his old days in ambient experimental performances.


Arriving at Seattle after a long trip coast to coast makes you feel like embracing the Space Needle!


The beginning of a beautiful creative story with Pete Bekisz and all the amazing people at Keuka College. Thank you guys!

Coast to coast to toast

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Dear diary: I woke up this morning in Rochester; NY with the singing of the birds, then I’m going to bed listening to the cuckoos in Seattle. Today, Naomi and I crossed the US from coast to coast. We have taken two planes, drove two cars, we have seen an anacronic Quaker woman driving a horse cart, a 4 y.o. kid playing piano on a tablet device, two little deer dead on the sides of the roads in New York, a new baby born squirrel in our backyard… all in the same day.

But the image that prevails is this one: Naomi and I, dead tired after such a long trip, toasting and talking on top of each other for hours about all the LOVE that we carry in our luggage. It’s love from an amazing team of people from Keuka college who feel a passion to make our world a little better. Pete Bekisz, a guy with a vision of future from whom we’ve learned so much…Sandra Devaux, our companion designer, such a special artist whose work has been so inspiring… So many stories and individuals full of illusion, proud and passion for their work! Tonight, Naomi and I feel infinitely fortuned because, my friends, there are still so many pretty things to do…

Spanish rice

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Who wants Spanish rice? When the sun is out on Sunday mornings I just cannot resist cooking some rice while listening to Flamenco music. Then Naomi and I sit in the garden, we eat and talk about what could we do next to this crazy world a little happier!

Olive oil for ShiftFWD!

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A lovely client sent us this amazing hand-pressed and local olive oil for Christmas. As I help them put together an organizational chart today, I’m reminded how much people in organizations are like branches, connected and dependent on one another. Just like the olive bush. ~Naomi

Things Best Enjoyed in the Summertime

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Summertime…and the living is easy.

We’re been on temporary hiatus from ShiftFWD’s main endeavors the last few weeks since our Epokka Kickstarter campaign ended so that we can get some rest, recoup, and enjoy the summer. We’re still deciding what the next steps for Epokka will be and what exactly we’ll do next. We’ve got lots of ideas, but they need to simmer and get refined.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of the fun things we’ve been up to outside of work.

The week before last, we bought a pop-up gazebo so that we’d have a place to better enjoy the back yard. We’ve been doing small things like adding lights and making it cozy so that it’s a nice place to hang out. And I have to say, it’s amazing! We’ve pretty much been living in it since we got it. In fact, I don’t remember the last time we ate indoors.


It’s like a cozy little space where you can chill and have your own little intimate gathering. We’ve used it to eat, to sleep, to work, and to enjoy various nice tasty cocktails.

On Saturday, we decided to take a trip to Birch Bay, WA. We usually go at least once or twice every summer, but somehow we’ve never managed to go this exact time of year before. We were surprised to see the tides so low.


What you see isn’t just water, it’s sand with puddles of water on top.

When we were coming back, I started to get tired and sun soaked and had a surreal type of feeling like we had been walking a long time in the middle of the desert. It was amazing…and a little odd!


We took off our sandals and walked far away from the shoreline in the sand from one end of the beach to the other.



Here’s a stuck little boat taken from where we were walking.

I felt kind of sorry for it. I hope it gets to see water again some day soon!


Some lovely rainbow sailboats to brighten the day even more.


If you ever come to the area, it’s definitely worth a visit. If you visit in the right moment, you might even get to experience the sensation of “walking on water” during the low tide.


Beautiful views of the birds and the San Juan Islands.



On the drive back home, we got a pretty little view of Mt. Baker. Perhaps that’ll be next weekend’s trip!


Photography: Naomi Niles and Koldo Barroso

epokka notebook

Lavender, UNO, and Seafood Cream

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The weather has continued to surprise us in the best way.

Since the summer began,  everyday I’ve been enjoying my morning coffee time sitting on our porch and taking notes about whatever comes to mind in my Epokka’s UNO Idea Book System. Right now, the lavender out in front of our house is blooming in all its glory!

epokka notebook

The lavender scent was mixed with the fresh breeze from the sea.

Koldo said it reminded him of Spain and every time he says that he then has to cook up some Spanish food.

Fish and Seafood Cream

Today, Koldo prepared a delicious cold cream of fish and seafood dish.

We’ll be spending the rest of the day gearing up for this year’s 4th of July fun. How about you?

Birthday Fun

By | Creative Combo, Daily Life, Tradition | No Comments

Not that we need any real excuse to have fun, but I have to say that my birthday was pretty delicious this year. I turned 32, which was not in any way angst-filled and is in fact, a lovely age to turn. And we had some real sun for the first time in a few weeks, glorious sun. And a lot of food, glorious food.

Huevos Estrellados

For lunch I asked Koldo to cook me Huevos Estrellados, which is a popular Madrilean signature dish from Casa Lucio, one of the most well-known Spanish restaurants usually frequented by Hollywood stars.


This recipe, by the way, is also very popular at Javier Bardem’s restaurant La Bardemcilla in Madrid.

It’s very simple, yet spectacular. It consists of potatoes fried in extra virgin olive oil, eggs, and jamon Iberico (although sadly he had to use Italian prosciutto because it is the closest thing we can find in this area).

Huevos Estrellados

Koldo and I often talk about the fact that sometimes the most beautiful dishes are the most simple ones. No special decoration, just an exhibition of a few beautiful ingredients in all their glory.

Birthday Shoes

Later we went to the park and enjoyed the sun. I just had to wear my new birthday shoes, of course.


In the evening, we had an intimate gathering with a petit comité, who made the day particularly special.

Birthday Candy


We decided to maintain the simple theme and make some organic tomato, basil, and mozarella skewers with Spanish olive oil.

Koldo always reminds me that the general rule of thumb to a great dish is to keep the ingredient list as simple as you can, but use the very best ingredients you can find.

I’m happy to say, everything was a hit!

We had various types of sandwiches to choose from; homemade pâté, Spanish blue cheese with cranberries, cream cheese with pecans, Alaskan salmon cream, and smoked turkey with vegetables.



Koldo made crunchy mozzarella meatballs. I could swear they were made with little pieces of heaven.

Black Forest Cake

Finally, we had the most gorgeous Black Forest cake ever. I mean, just look at this thing!


It was a beautiful day.


Photography: Naomi Niles
Cooking: Koldo Barroso