Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Proud Accomplishment

So... a week ago yesterday, Claire and I had our girl's night out Sewing Night. Last night? I decided to test out my new found skills and ridiculous amount of enthusiasm and try to make something a little bigger (and slightly more complicated) than the ID pocket we made last week. After scouring the web for easy, simple designs, patterns, etc. I finally decided to just go balls out and make something up on my own using tutorials for similar things. What did I make? A purse/bag! Its definitely got some flaws... but I am REALLY happy with the results. Check out the pictures while I do a little happy dance....
The first purse!!!

I plan to add more stars to the front
 So as far as first attempts go, I would say this is very successful. I will add a couple more stripey stars to the front of the bag before I use it all the time. But I love the how the combo of the blue and stripes turned out! Next purse... will be actually reversible (this one is close - I have to work on the handles) and have pockets. Perhaps even a button closure instead of ribbon ties. All in all... PROUD!!!
I wanted a picture of the purse flat on the ground... which was made very difficult by the fact that Willow thought it was a new spot for her to lay down. She kept circling the purse... hence the picture above. Gus stayed far away. He had a bad experience with sewing needles as a kitten... I think he learned his lesson! 
More to come from my sewing room!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A little less conversation...

...a little more action please! And that is exactly what Jay and I got at the Mammoth game on Saturday night!!!  It was an exciting, rough game from the get go. Both teams were physically beating the crap out of each other (and it was awesome).  The Mammoth were down 3 points with 2 minutes left in the game... and somehow... bam! bam! bam! They scored to tie it up and send the game into overtime!!!  A quick goal and the Mammoth won the game!!!! Fantastic energy throughout the crowd and great end to the Saturday night.
Jay and I

up close to the action

go Mammoth!!

Sunday was all for sleeping in (whew!) and dancing my butt off during a private lesson. We have a dance competition coming up in a few weeks... so I have my work cut out for me. Goals have been set... now to kick some butt and get there!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Alternative to girl's night....

is...sewing night!!! A what?!? Yes, sewing night! Claire and I decided to dedicate a girls night to taking a sewing class. Random, but something we've both wanted to do.
We chose this cute little fabric/craft store near me, called Fancy Tiger.  Its adorable and cute and has the neatest fabrics and prints and craft ideas. They also offer classes! Hooray! Claire and I opted for the Sewing 101 class... since she has never touched a sewing machine before and I was pretty much all thumbs around one. So, off we went on Tuesday night to learn about sewing on sewing machines.

The class was literally "sewing for dummies" which was awesome! There were 5 of us girls, and we all learned the most basic skills needed for sewing on a machine... we are now ready to conquer some crafts! Or at least attempt some without the fear of blowing up the machine. We learned how to wind bobbins, thread the machine, how to troubleshoot, change the stitch, the tension, etc. It was great! As a final cherry on top of the whole shebang, we got to make a little project to take home with us. We made ID pockets. Kind of a catch all for your IDs to throw in your purse in lieu of a wallet, or as extra protection to throw in your back pocket. It was little and simple, but it was our first project on our own that was totally completed. Hooray!!!!!
My empty ID pocket... ignore the imperfections - I did it all by myself!

With IDs in it! Perfect size... even fits my cell phone if I want

Playing catch-up

Its been a while since I posted... mostly because I was recovering from St. Patty's and partly because I am lazy. It is what it is. You know?

Anyway... it was a fun weekend... it started with pizza and beer with Miss Stacey on Friday night. We were both such old ladies we didn't stay out late, but it was good to chill and catch-up with Stace about her life, my life and everything in between.
Saturday morning... I ordered new glasses. And got my eyes checked, but of course the exciting part is the new glasses! I can't wait for them to arrive!
Saturday night was the Rapids home opener. They finished last season as the MLS champs... so it was great to see them at the beginning of this new one. They played the (new expansion team) Portland Timbers... and totally won 3-1!!!!!!!!!  Jay and I went to the game with Claire and her friend Adam. Claire and I were sporting our new Rapids shirts that I scored for free at the St. Pat's parade last weekend...
Claire and I!!!

MLS 2010 Champ flags for everyone

 Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of the guys or a picture of the whole group of us OR a picture of the massive amounts of Yogurtland we all consumed after the game. A great night out with a great group of people...
Sunday was all about being lazy. Sleeping in, eating brunch, going bowling. So, bowling is not so lazy, but its a lot of fun... Jay and I bowled 3 games and I finally beat him on the last one. Hooray!!!

All caught up... for now :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

It has come and it has gone...

St. Patty's Day that is!!! The greenest holiday of the year. For me, its also the most glittery, shamrock filled, busy day of the year. Its all about the dance, dance, dancing for Irish Step Dancers. Dancing in schools, nursing homes, hospitals, restaurants, cafeterias and bars. This year I started with my first show at 8:30am... and finished with my last show that started at 9pm. *sigh* It was a long day. Today I feel like I need a walker to get around the office since I am hobbling like a 90 year old woman. Was it worth it? Totally. To see the looks on young faces, the excitement and wonder... the surprise in those older faces and the overall enjoyment of all our audiences. Plus, the dancing is a lot of fun too! We started the day with a gorgeous Colorado spring day and it ended with snow. One extreme to the other... but thats to be expected... and it went hand in hand with the day. After all that beer, no one cared it was snowing... :) A few pics from the day:
some of the girls before our first show

dancing during our second set of shows

our awesome group

bar shows begin!


bar chaos
Now... its over until next year. Which should give me plenty of time to find a new pair of feet to replace my tired dogs. Once again, a loooong day but fun and filled with laughter, beer and GREAT company. Tucking away the shamrock bloomers and capes, green stickers and tattoos... until next year.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Its all about the green...

St. Patrick's Day is on Thursday. It will be a day filled with green, glitter, fake curls, sparkly dresses and a whole lotta dancing!!!!!
The St. Pat's season began on Saturday...with the Denver St. Patrick's Day parade!!!!
The morning of the parade was gorgeous. We had perfect parade weather!

Sully and I, pre-parade
I got to take some pics with my dance girlies before the parade kicked off. Since I was not dancing in the parade with my dance school, I didn't get to see most of my girls! But I did see... Shannon and Gabby and of course, Miss Stacey!

I danced with the pipe band's Irish Dance corp. Such a fun group of people to dance with!!!
Denver & District Pipe Band
Parade stepping!
Look at all the drummers!

Right now, all of our pipers and drummers have different kilts. Well, almost all have different ones. In that last year or so, City of Denver Pipe Band combined with the Isle of Mull Pipe Band to form Denver & District Pipe Band. So some of the kilts are Mull, some are City and some are the new ones that will be the uniform of Denver & District. The piper above on the far left is wearing the new kilt.
The whole group
Of course, once the parade was over... we still had to dance! Shows and shows and shows galore. Luckily I had a couple of fantastic fans to cheer me on while in the parade and at our first show:
Aren't I a lucky girl? Seriously though, its nice to have people come out and see us dance and hear the pipes and drums. Ahhh, st. patty's!

More to come on this green holiday....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sometimes you just need comfort food

Last night was one of those nights. It had been cold and windy the last two days... and I had a giant knot in my shoulder that made even the smallest movements painful. So comfort food was needed!  Thankfully I could call up my personal massage therapist and tempt him with hot homecooked food... Jay is always a willing participant when food is offered up.

Last night's comfort food... Hearty Sausage Veggie and Rice soup with cheesy Beer Bread. The soup turned out fantastically! The bread wasn't bad... but I think next time a different recipe will be needed, or I am going to have to do some major tweaking to the recipe. It was a bit dense for both mine and Jay's tastes. But, all in all it was yummy. And once Jay had a full belly, he was more than willing to work out the painful knot in my shoulder. :) Nothing wrong with bartering food for massages, right? If only that worked in the real world.

Cheesy Beer Bread
Yummy and delicious soup

This is only the second time I have ever made soup - that didn't come out of a can - and I have to say that I am quite proud of the creation! I based the soup off of this recipe. But since I like to do things my own way in the kitchen, I added and took away what I wanted and what I didn't want to make a creation all my own. Jay was satisfied with the soup as well... his only suggestion? More garlic! (he likes to keep the vampires away...hahahaha!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

9 days and counting...

...until St. Patty's Day!!!

We all know that St. Patrick's Day is a time for...
Shamrock capes! and Irish kisses!
But most important of all... its a time for

Irish Dancing!!!!
Looking forward to lots of shows, excessive glitter, green beer and dancing with friends!!!!


I know, I know, I have been slacking in the updates. Its been busy... not that that is much of an excuse, but I can pretend, right? Right.... a recap of the weekend then. :)

Friday night was my annual "holiday" dinner for my department at work. Holiday? Yes, holiday. Its a small department so we try really, really hard to have everyone and their significant others attend. Even if it means waiting until March to hold the dinner. We all headed over to Breckenridge Brewery after work for drinks and dinner and fun conversation. It was great after a long day of packing. (Packing?) Yes, packing. Long story short, our main office is being renovated (has been for 6+ months) so we were temporarily relocated to another floor in the same building back in October. Now we've moved back to one of the regular floors, but its only temporary... But thats not important, what is important was how much fun it was to sit down with everyone and raise a beer.

Saturday was pretty typical. Sleep, eat, watch Labyrinth. Oh wait, thats not typical. But thats what we did. What a bizarre movie!! However...Saturday night we headed over to my alma mater for a hockey game. DU v. St. Cloud State! I haven't been to a game since my senior year... and it was awesome. Even if all the players looked like babies.
Two rows up from the ice
oh the action!
my honey and me
It was Jay's first ever DU Hockey game. I am glad we got to sit as close as we did and that it was a winner-winner chicken dinner for DU. It was funny to see during the "intro" they show a video of some of the great (recent) DU hockey alums. They were all our boys, Claire! Ryan Caldwell, Gabe Gauthier, Peter Mannino, Matt Carle, Paul Stastny....

Sunday was a sleeping in day. And... IT WAS FABULOUS! Jay and I headed to a movie in the afternoon, we saw:
It was good! Enjoyable for sure. Later that evening, we met up with Claire and her friend Adam for dinner. 5280 week!!! This time, we headed to some place a little more unique.  8 Rivers... which was Modern Caribbean. The food was interesting for sure, we had a little bit of something different. Conch fritters, plantain wontons, and jerk, jerk, jerk spices! Yum. Really though, the best part about Sunday night was not the food, it was the company. The four of us talked, laughed and joked for hours. It truly was a great night out for that reason alone.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Food Happiness

5280 week. Otherwise known as...eating at places you've never heard of or could never normally afford. I love it!!!! Ok, ok, its actually called Denver Restaurant Week (which is funny because its 2 weeks long). I call it 5280 week because at any of the participating restaurants, you get a full meal (apps, entree and dessert) for $52.80 for two people. This can be a REALLY good deal when you find restaurants that have entrees for close to that amount. Check out the list of restaurants.

Last night, Claire and I had our first 5280 eating experience. We have both been very aware of this dining special, but have never taken advantage of it. We headed to the Cork House Wine Restaurant... this was our 5280 menu to choose from:

First Course
Appetizer (choose one to share):
  • Spicy Calamari ~ Breaded by hand and deep fried with peppers and onion; dip in a creamy chipotle aioli or savory red sauce
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus ~ Served with warm pita and drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • 5 Cheese Flight ~ Preselected from our famous list, served with Crème Fraîche, Strawberry Balsamic reduction, fresh fruit and candied walnuts

Salad (choose one each):
  • Caesar Salad ~ Crisp romaine tossed in authentic Caesar dressing with croutons and parmesano, from a restaurant who loves and respects their cheese
  • House Salad ~ Mixed Field Greens, fresh tomato and cucumber, croutons and your choice of dressings

Entrée (choose one each):
  • King Salmon ~ Parmesan crusted fillet baked in a steam infused convection oven, drizzled with a ginger reduction, and served over three bean succotash
  • Steak Diane ~ Filet medallions sautéed with red wine, scallions, mushrooms, garlic and bordelaise, served with garlic mashed potato and seasonal vegetable
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu ~ Tender breast stuffed with Danish ham and baby Swiss wrapped in puff pastry, laced with creamy Alfredo and served with a side of garlic mashed potato and seasonal vegetable

Dessert (choose one each):
  • Crème Brûlée ~ Made in house to rave reviews from our favorite French guest!
  • Chocolate Mousse ~ Perfectly light, layered with rich whipped cream
Yum!!!! Claire and I started with the 5 Cheese flight. Who knows what kind of cheese we ate, but it was all very, very tasty. We followed this by the soup du jour (creamy potato cheese!). Then our entrees...Claire had the Chicken Cordon Bleu and I had the Steak Diane. Both we so tasty and delicious. Sadly, the most disappointing part of the meal was dessert. Claire's chocolate mousse was pretty good, but my Creme Brulee was pretty blah.
Other than that... dinner was amazing!!! The company was even better. It was the perfect combo of yummy food and girl's night. Could you ask for more?

We have another restaurant picked out for Sunday evening...maybe this time I will remember to take pictures!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ski-cation Bliss

4 days + snowy mountains + snowboarding + good friends + great boyfriend =
                                                    pure bliss

This past weekend was a fantastic weekend. Four days off. Four days away. Four day mental holiday.

We kicked off the weekend with Jay and I heading up to the mountains early Friday morning. It was snowing, but that just made the day so much better. It meant fresh powder on every single run. While on the slopes, we met up with Anne and her hubby Josh to coordinate getting to the house we rented for the weekend. After a full day in the snow, we were all ready to settle in. The house was awesome! Huge rooms, hot tub, giant shower, etc.
snowy first day on the hill

on the drive to the rental house
 Saturday...we decided to rest my knees (yes, my knees) after a powder day. So, Jay and Anne and brother-in-law Pete and I headed to the tubing hill. So much fun!!!!!! We all felt like kids giggling and laughing and yelling on our way down the hill. It was great to be out in the snow, without having to fight lift lines and the massive amount of people on the mountain.

Tubing buddies!!!

Sunday was a day of pure laziness. Jay and I slept in, had breakfast in the sun on the deck, headed out and wandered around Frisco checking out all the random little shops and stores along Main Street.  The one thing we actually purchased during our perusal? Matching hats of course....

matching MONKEY HATS!!!!
Bahahahahahaha! They are awesome. And surprisingly warm. Which made them perfect for our afternoon hike outside of Frisco. It was snowy and only a few other people around. Perfection!!!
Monday... was sadly the last day of our ski-cation. But... we headed back to the mountain for a gorgeous day of skiing and snowboarding. There was some fresh powder and not too many people, which made for a great day of riding. Being sunny and clear skies didn't hurt either!
enjoying the beautiful day
All in all, a great four days off. I cannot wait to do it again next year. Or sooner... vacation planning has just gone to the top of my To Do list!!!