Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What I've been doing

What have I been doing? I have been celebrating my grandma's 89th birthday, with her, my mom and my brother. Always nice to spend time with family. Happy Birthday Nana!
Grandma and mom
 The long weekend was much needed. It was great to have 3 days off to sleep in... and not do a whole lot (unless I wanted to).  Jay and I popped in to see my mom on Saturday. We headed to the craft store so I could work on a birthday present for a very dear and wonderful friend who has a birthday coming up... and is leaving for Chi-town. Jay and I went out to dinner at a variety of places over the long weekend as well. Yummy food! On Sunday, Jay went and played golf, while I spent that time being crafty and making all sorts of goodies (pictures to follow once the gift has been given). Then, Sunday afternoon, we headed to the park to have a picnic! A great way to be outside without my broken-ness being a hindrance.
our picnic spread, fruit, guac, hummus, potato salad and pasta salad!

beautiful City Park

hi babe!
 Sunday evening was spent at the local bar and grill, sitting outside on the patio enjoying cold beers and people watching. Very relaxing and entertaining all at the same time. Monday... Jay and I kicked off our extra day off with Waffle Brothers for breakfast.  Denver-ites... if you've never been here, go check it out. DELICIOUS. Seriously.
Jay's Waffle choice
 Jay picked a waffle that came with fresh strawberries and caramel sauce, pecans and whipped cream. Very tasty. I chose the waffle that came with bananas, walnuts and nutella. Because you can never go wrong with nutella.
A bit of a sweet way to start the day, but we love checking out new food places. And this one was totally worth it. The rest of the day was spent hanging at a BBQ thrown by Jay's tattoo artist (they've become buddies with how much time Jay has spent at the shop) and cooking up a birthday meal for Jay's mom. All in all... a good weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Consider this my downtime

I haven't been updating much... or really, at all for obvious reasons. I mean, broke my foot a week and a half ago, right? So I consider this my downtime.  Downtime? I don't really know what that is. Most of my weeks are spent going, going, going. Dance on Mondays and Thursdays, girls night on Tuesdays, date night with my man on Wednesdays and then the weekend...
So, what have I been doing with my downtime? Not a whole lot. I've been a bit of a hermit, not socializing with people outside of work and my man. But I will get out, I promise! I am finally off my crutches and now get to walk around wearing an uber sexy black walking boot.  This is both good and bad. The good? I get to take it off to shower. Which means I don't feel like half my leg is disgusting like I did last year when I broke my other foot and they casted it. The bad?  Major blisterage on my heel. Apparently, the boot wasn't fit right when they first put it on, so my heel got to rub, rub, rub on the back so much it wore down the padding and started to wear through the actual boot part. Thankfully...duh da da duh! My mom came to the rescue with some extra padding. I am finally feeling better when walking... and it was never my foot that bothered me!
Jay and I have been trying out some new food places while I am out of dancing commission. On Sunday we headed to Marco's for pizza. I have heard great things from my dancer buddies, and I am glad we tried it!
Last night, we hit up a different type of cuisine, Mexican, by heading to El Diablo. I had also heard great things about it and the food... and once again the recommendations were spot on!
photo courtesy of Yelp.com
For dessert... we headed across the street to Sweet Action for tasty ice cream. It was perfect for after dinner...
soooo good!
This weekend is a long weekend. Originally, Jay and I had planned to head up to Buena Vista and go camping and rafting. That is not going to be happening... the camping part we may try later on in the summer... but sadly, no rafting. So... it will be interesting to see how we fill this weekend. Perhaps painting Jay's place? Perhaps going for a drive in the mountains anyway? Perhaps having a picnic in the park? Who knows! But I am looking forward to have time to figure it out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DC Trip... Fun and Disasterous

Last week, Jay and  I left on our very first trip together... headed to D.C.!!! We had 5 whole days to see all the sites, meet up with my old friends and generally have a good time.
We certainly started off that way....
We packed in a lot of stuff on Friday (after having a fab dinner out on Thursday). We started on the Mall. Jay carried around a big sword ;)

 My best friend Jaime and her husband Kurt were nice enough to let us stay with them... and played tourist with us!
 We stopped by the World War II Memorial....
we've been friends for a loooong time!

 We also went to the Korean War Memorial (and the Vietnam, but there were too many tourists around to stop and take pictures)
 We said hi to Abe Lincoln...
 Waved to the President
 Went up in the Washington Monument!
 Walked around the Cherry Blossom tress (too bad they weren't blooming)
 Stopped at the FDR Memorial
 Stepped into the Jefferson Memorial
 Found what I want for my Birthday at the Natural History Museum
 Got eaten by a shark
 ...went into the National Archives
 All in one day.... It was crazy jam-packed! But so much fun. On Saturday, we got up and met my wonderful friend Leslie and her boyfriend for brunch and a wander through the Eastern Market. I haven't seen Leslie in 3 years, and it was great to catch up with her again!!
 We seperated from Les and her bf for a while and hit up the National Portrait Gallery, which was really cool, and technically I wasn't allowed to take photos, but I snapped a few anyway, like this one:
 That evening we celebrated Leslie's birthday with her friends and food and drink. And... disaster struck. I broke my foot. Yes, seriously. The opposite one from last year. But broken, nonetheless.  Let me tell you, that kills the vacation pretty quickly. We spent 5 hours in the ER Saturday night/Sunday morning. Slept most of the day Sunday, and changed our plans to fly back on Monday.
So, early Tuesday morning, I went and saw the Orthopedic. I was expecting the worse news... and received something much better. No surgery required, no cast necessary!  I am in a walking boot for at least the next 6 weeks, and barred from dance and other high impact activities for 10 weeks. IF...the healing goes well.
Broken foot, 3 days after the "incident" most of the swelling has gone down, and no, those are not shadows, those are bruises
I snapped the pic above at the doctor's office Tuesday morning. Almost all the swelling had gone down, but the colors of my foot nearly match the tattoo on my other foot! I will be eating calcium pills for the rest of my life.

**Side note** I have the best boyfriend ever. Seriously. I don't know what I would have done without him, his physical presense, his support, his hugs and his kisses.  My tears and emotional outbursts and break downs (anger, pain, frustration, annoyance, embarrassment - I have covered all the emotions) were met with smiles, hugs and kisses and words of encouragement.  He has always been a great guy, but he turned into a pillar of strength for me... and I am so incredibly thankful!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Ultimate Girl's Night

Tuesday = girls night

Usually its just Stacey and I. We eat, we chill, we talk. Last week she and I went and saw "Water for Elephants". Good movie. Totally chickie, but good to see!

How so?
Wine + Cupcakes + Fave girlies = Awesomeness.
This might have to happen more often.

My beautiful friend, Julie, came up with this brilliant idea after our dance show a few weeks ago. She suggested it... I put the plan in motion. It worked well since Tuesdays were already a night Stacey and I got together... and Julie had the night off of work, and Claire was more than willing to drive down from Boulder to escape for a few hours.
First up, the cupcakes. After scouring the internet and perusing my Food Network and Cooking Light magazines... I came up with Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes. Yum!
I pureed the strawberries (fresh!)
Hello strawberry goodness
 Mixed up the batter
tasted just like strawberry ice cream
 And voila! The cupcakes were done! The recipe called for a few drops of red food coloring to add more color to the cupcakes. But... since Julie is allergic to red food dye, I decided death by cupcakes was not a good plan. Less pink but less death. Always a good thing.
 The original recipe I found called for Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting. I don't know what went wrong... but it was so very, very wrong.  I ended up going with a simple whipped chocolate frosting with mini chocolate chips. So tasty!
 Julie brought a mixed box of cupcakes that had Brownie Fudge, Bavarian Cream, Raspberry Lemonade, Cookies and Cream... and many more. Between all that sugar, a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne... the laughs were flowing, stories were being told and girls night was a BLAST.
cupcake lovers

random shot. Love you, Claire!

The Carnage
The best part of this girls night... was that it followed in the wake of Claire giving her notice at work. She's movin' to Chi-town! We have about a month more to enjoy Miss Claire, but after that... its road-trip time. I will miss you, Claire!!
Girls night was a total success. A plan for another one is already in the works... so we'll see what we come up with for next time!
Next up.... leaving for D.C. tomorrow!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Just going...

Following last weekend's giant dance show... I have literally been a lazy bum. I didn't go to class this past week, instead opting to go out running in the beautiful weather we've had. Lunchtime runs, pre-work runs, post-work runs. I figured it sort of made up for missing dance class.

Since the weather has been so nice, Jay and I decided to hit up a local restaurant for some southwestern flavor in spirit of the warm temps and cinco de mayo. Melon margs, anyone?
goes great with chips and guac
 Friday night, Jay and I headed out to celebrate Miss Sully's birthday. We didn't make dinner with the gang... but we met up with them at Rhythms. This funky music bar with a live band. It helped that we knew someone in the band.... a fun night out for sure!
Happy Birthday Sully!!!!
 For Mother's Day... we decided to go against tradition. Mother's Day brunch? No way. Mother's Day picnic? Heck yea! The weather was gorgeous... so we headed to City Park with food and beverages. A great day to chill outside with family.
Hi mom!

the leaves are a bloomin'

fam. weirdos, but fun!
The rest of this week will be pretty packed. But hopefully I will get a chance to update... Cupcakes and Wine night tomorrow and headed to D.C. on Thursday...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spirit of Ireland

I haven't written lately. Partially because I have been really busy, and partially because I didn't feel I had much to write about.  The fact is, I always have things to write about, I just get too lazy to do so. So...without further ado...
Sunday May 1st was the "Spirit of Ireland" showcase, presented by my dance school, the Bennett School.  We tend to put on many little shows and performances throughout the year for various schools, nursing homes, bars, community centers, etc. Once a year, we put together a large show.  Last year... I had a broken foot. So I was delegated the task of kid wrangler, show assistant director, photographer, and all around chaos organizer.  It was stressful. But it worked out just fine because I wasn't dancing.
This year, I was delegated to stage helper, kid wrangler and dancer. And let me tell you, that was tough to balance.
Me backstage pre-show rehearsal
Our dance school is pretty lax on scheduling and show prep.  Which means that the 3 or 4 days leading up to the show are non-stop rehearsal, preps, run-throughs, etc. For example, Thursday's regular class time was used for number run-throughs. Stace and I got there at 5:15...and left around 8:30. Friday was a scheduled rehearsal. We started at 6. I walked in the door at home at 10:00pm. Saturday... same thing. Dress rehearsal. Started at 3pm and finally left around 7:30. On Sunday, the day of the show, we had run-throughs on the stage...starting at 1pm. The show was at 3pm and lasted 2 hours. By the time we actually started the show... I just wanted to be curled up on the couch with my man and a beer.
running through a number. See the badge around my neck? That gave me permission to yell at people if needed
In the end, the show went incredibly well. We had some great choreographed pieces that looked great and were a bit different from the normal traditional Irish dance. My family was there to watch (mom, bro and grandma) and of course my ever-supportive boyfriend and his friend. There was a lot of people in the audience and everyone seemed to enjoy the diversity of talents and music. The non-profit foundation associated with our school (that benefits all the Colorado dance schools) raised a lot of money through a silent auction held during intermission.
12-hand choreography
So, 4 days of rehearsal, dancing in 8 numbers + the finale and encore, wrangling kids, teenagers and adults alike, fixing last minute hair issues, runs in tights, missing socks, shoe changes and all the other bits...made me exhausted. I am glad we're done with the big show... until next year.