Nov 30, 2009

November - Check

Today marks the final day of NaBloPoMo and I did it, I posted everyday in November and even threw in a couple extra posts. No promises that I can keep that pace up, but do know that it is my intention and effort to post more often.

With that, weekends are wonderful, so wonderful in fact that mine extends through today with an extra day of vacation.

Wednesday night started this turkey filled weekend adventure by the office closing a little early. I made it home and decided that we would eat leftovers and not cook something new. We of course had to run out to Walmart because I was certain I should have bought more cranberries (if you fast forward to thanksgiving day we had a ton of leftover cranberries, but better safe than without them). I cooked up our cranberry sauce that evening and just enjoyed the excited energy of the weekend.

Thursday I woke up around 7:30 thinking I could have tried to sleep a little longer, but good thing I didn't, I ended up short on time anyway. I turned on the Macy's parade, picked up the house, opened up the newspaper hoping to read all the Black Friday ads, baked corn bread muffins and showered al before leaving the house at 10:45 to head to my parents house. We listened to our favorite Alice's Restaurant on KBCO, a family tradition, and then headed to Jas' parents. In total we were a smaller group this year due to some being sick with good 'ol swine flu, but there were 16 of us still celebrating together. After stuffing ourselves with all the turkey day fixings, we headed back to my parents. Jas watched the Broncos game while my mom and I sorted through the ads making our shopping plans.

On Friday as I posted early we were up early and out the door to shop and shop and shop. Jason and I rented Angels and Demons to watch at home that night. Together we enjoyed round #1 of turkey day leftovers. Open faced sandwiches and some sides.

Saturday we cleaned out some donation items for Goodwill and ate turkey day leftovers round #2, a turkey pot pie I crafted.

Sunday I finished up a little Christmas shopping and worked on my Christmas cards. And, ate turkey day leftovers round #3, a turkey BBQ pizza.

Today I plan to wrap gifts until my fingers bleed or all the presents are wrapped - whichever comes first. I'll certainly post a few pictures of the event, as it is one of my favorite days of the holiday season. I'm one of those strange people that enjoys wrapping.

Thanks for bearing through this long weekend post, and for reading all November long as I posted each day. May December fill your heart with joy and may the holiday spirit bring a smile to your face.

Nov 29, 2009

Card Swap

Today I spent the morning hand crafting my cards for Brooklyn Bride's 3rd annual card swap. I'm going with a snow flake theme and am very excited with how the cards turned out and now just need to put together the finishing touches. Here is a sneak peak of the card I'm putting together (look forward to more pictures of my own cards, and the cards I receive in the mail in the coming weeks).

Nov 28, 2009

Black Friday Shopping

Project365 Day 110: black friday shopping

I'm still recovering today after shopping til I couldn't shop anymore yesterday. The morning started at 4:00 when we got up to be able to leave the house at 4:20. First stop, Walmart. I've never seen anything so manic! I hunted around while Jas stood in a line for a new bedroom TV. I picked up a few DVDs and a couple Wii games that will be perfect for presents. Long story short, I got a better deal on the games than advertised after one of the games didn't scan right {big smiles}. Then we went to Target, followed by Best Buy, followed by home for a quick breakfast and then back out again to another Target, Ulta, Aaron Brothers and Hallmark. After that Jas and I hit the grocery for a quick stop and then come home so he could watch some football and I could nap. Later in the afternoon we went to Costco, where we scored some great deals and I got an awesome free cookbook they were handing out. Love the free stuff.

All in all that was the Black Friday shopping experience. Lots of purchases, lots of crowds. I'm almost done with my shopping. Only 3 gifts left to buy and that includes my gift for the work gift exchange.

More of a complete weekend recap coming tomorrow.

Nov 27, 2009

Golden Turkey & Black Friday

Although I'll spend more time detailing the holiday, yesterday was a day of golden turkey and it was wonderful. Today is a day full of black friday shopping and it too will be wonderful.

Hoping that everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend celebrating with friends and family.

Nov 26, 2009

Christmas Tree Decorating

I normally wait until this Thanksgiving holiday weekend to decorate the Christmas tree, but as I mentioned in the last wonderful weekend recap, I took advantage of my joyous feeling and put up the tree a week early.

This is the first year I've had a full sized tree and I'm in love. Here are the steps of the tree becoming beautiful:
1. Right out of the box.
2. Fluffed and ready for trimming.
3. Beaded garland in place.
4. All the beautiful ornaments, and topped with a star (J really wants an angel for the top so that is what we will be on the look out for this holiday season).

Nov 25, 2009

My Little Hobby

Again a swoop and a dart has left me such inspiration! Recently I saw a post over there where she used her Kodak Duaflex to take pictures with her digital camera. Well I decided this past weekend to grab my one of my cameras from my new collection and experiment.

The results weren't as easy I was hoping, but I really like the idea of it. I might continue to play around with this idea.

Celebrate Today

Today you would be celebrating 27 years of life. 3 years ago we gathered together to celebrate your life. A life cut too short. I think of you often and wonder the countless what ifs. The main what if is always what if you had lived, what if you were still alive today? Where would the past 3 years have taken you? Would you be overseas flying high? Would you be living in some Arab country speaking a language you had fallen in love with?

This time of year brings back so many memories of the years of our friendship. From countless requests for chocolate silk pie from your mom to birthdays mixed with thanksgiving. Today I'm thankful for those memories.

Someday we'll all be gone, But lullabies go on and on...

Nov 24, 2009

Grateful Tuesday

Today my gratitude is all over the board

1. Thanksgiving and my father's willingness to cook a turkey even though the family is going to be celebrating together at Jason's parents' house. Who else would cook a turkey because the kids want leftovers for the weekend?

2. My marriage. Last night I watched the final episode of Jon & Kate plus 8 and I wasn't sad it was ending because I think the show is maybe ready to be over, but I was sad thinking back over the years of watching Kate and Jon, despite their fighting, moving together for their family and sharing those tender moments. Those moments won't ever happen again and it made me grateful for my tender moments and the years ahead.

3. Oprah. In light of her wrapping up the Oprah show to move to the OWN (her new cable channel), I decided I'm thankful for all the knowledge her show has shared with the world. Some of it has been fun, the latest gifts to give, and other moments have been eye opening, how to protect yourself in moments of terror. All in all, I enjoy having something on the DVR when nothing else is on tv to tune into.

4. Christmas music! Yes, I'm streaming it non-stop right now. It is just so merry and joyous.

5. The train. I've met some great friends on the train and really enjoy sharing stories from the day with this little pod of people. They share my love for magazines and dinner plans. Plus, I enjoy the quiet moments each morning in the darkness just reading or thinking.

Nov 23, 2009

Vintage Vixen

I saw this over at The Less Than Domestic Goddess and just had to share.

Before the glitz, makeup, bling and crazy rants, Lady Gaga had a former life. A life that appears much more simply and lovely.

Can you believe that this video is the same Lady who now looks like this:

Wonderful Weekends

Listening to Christmas music this morning and enjoying a warm cup of coffee. Weekends seem even greater when they end with a three a work week ahead followed by a 5-day weekend. Friday before I left work I cleaned my desk off and it feels very refreshing this morning too.

As for the weekend, Friday we cooked some pork chops and just watched some TV. Saturday we got a head start on you guessed it, errands and more holiday shopping. We had Which Wich for lunch, and just love that place. Then we went and saw The Blind Side. I. LOVED. IT. It was the best movie that I've seen in a lonnnng time. Every person cast in the movie was outstanding. Sandra Bullock fit the role perfectly. Time McGraw can act. Quinton Aaron was impressive and I just loved that little Jae Head as S.J. Go see that movie this weekend, or tonight for that matter.

After the movie we went to check out Cheddar's for dinner which just opened near the house. I was really hoping that I would be in love with this place. The autmosphere is great, but the service was very lacking for a newly opened place. We started off with an order of onion rings and then I ordered a burger and Jason ordered some ribs. He got a baked potato with his meal. The food was beyond slow to be delivered, and my water glass sat empty most of the meal. When they finally brought our main meals, Jason said we were still waiting on a baked potato and the server said, oh we ran out of those. WHO runs out of a meal item and doesn't tell you in advance?!?! At a new place?!?! Anyway, I'm sure we will go back someday as the prices are reasonable and the food was fine, but I'm giving them a few more weeks to iron out the wrinkles and for the wait to get a table to die down. We waited for 40 mins to get a table and were there at 5:00 PM.

Sorry... long post...

Sunday I put up the Christmas tree while Jason watch football. Then I gave myself a facial and manicure. After that, whipped up some red velvet cupcakes (that my coworkers will be thankful for later today). I took a quick photo walk and snapped about 40 pictures - it was hard to pic a photo for Love What You Live yesterday. Then we cooked dinner together and enjoyed a peaceful evening.

Looking forward to a short week and a holiday with friends and family gathered near.

Nov 22, 2009

Photo Inspiration

Although I'm creeping up on being a third of the way through my photo challenge, I saw an idea over at a swoop and a dart that I feel in love with and can't wait to try. She took a photo of her backyard everyday and it is just so fun to see the changes from fall to winter.

I feel so inspired I can't wait to give this a try sometime soon hopefully!

Nov 21, 2009

Free Printable 2010 Calendar

This year, as with all years, I fall in love with the dozens of beautiful calendars that are created. I sweat over which one I should purchase. I stress as I compare sizes, ink types and paper types. Well maybe I should just put all that behind me because How about orange blogged earlier this week about a free printable 2010 calendar available at Love. Obsess. Inspire.

This would make the perfect holiday gift for those on a budget. And I love the idea in the PDF that says "If feeling fancy adhere a swarovski crystal to the outlined dot in the lower right vertical dot row."


Nov 20, 2009

Food Drive: After Photos

The Food Bank of the Rockies food collection bins are full. The food drive ended yesterday. Stay tuned to know how many pounds of food we ended up collecting.

Nov 19, 2009

Spreading the Holiday Cheer

This year there is just something in the air and I am beyond excited for the holidays. Maybe because there is so much I'm thankful for this year I'm just feeling extra joyous. Jason has been telling me it is ok for me to put up the "November tree" if I feel it is that important, so we may end up with the Christmas tree up a week earlier than normal this year. Generally the Christmas tree gets decorated the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, so stay tuned to see if I can hold out one more week or not.

In October my company started their annual food drive and today is the last day of the drive. Last year we donated 920 lbs of food, this year we are aiming to beat that. Here is the before photo, and after photos will be coming:

Nov 18, 2009

Oh Ray, You Are the Best Thing

Last night I went to see Ray LaMontange at the Ellie Caulkins Opera thanks to a last minute ticket from Kayla.
It was such a fab show. Here was the view from our seats, thanks to Lauren being sneaky and capturing a photo inside the venue where cameras weren't allowed.

All in all, highly recommended show. He is funny, he is talented and it was a great evening.

Nov 17, 2009

Grateful Tuesday

Today I'm thankful for life, for the celebration of a life well lived, for being able to enjoy the sun rises and sun sets.

Today marks the third anniversary of my dear friend Chris' passing. I miss that kid. May he be flying high among the clouds.

Today I wish that you too take a moment to appreciate life and celebrate the little things.

Nov 16, 2009

Wonderful Weekends

Weekends are wonderful, but man are they busy.

Friday was my day off. I again tackled some early Christmas shopping and remarkably got a lot checked off my list. The day started with the post office for holiday stamps, a stop at the bank, Target, Costco, Hobby Lobby, lunch, Dollar Store, another bank (was looking for something specific), Grocery Store, red box at McDonald's, Walmart, hair cut, Kohl's. Seriously I was gone for the entire day, as if it were a work day. We watched the Ugly Truth, which was just ok. I won't need to see that movie again, but I suppose it was enough entertainment for a Friday night.

Saturday I ran a few more errands with J and then I cooked a big pot of bean soup. It was perfect for a snowy night.

Sunday we headed to J's parents house to watch the football game and I worked on my photo album with his mom. Then for dinner I cooked up a big dish of chicken curry.

This week looks to be another busy one, but at least the light at the end of the tunnel is Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Nov 15, 2009

Sunday Evening

The weekend is winding down. It feels like it was remarkably short. Stay tuned for a recap coming tomorrow. I think I'll enjoy some ice cream and relax by watching some TV.

Nov 14, 2009

One of my favorites: Martha Stewart's Mediterranean Chicken Packets

There are some recipes you become so thankful for having found, and after cooking them so many times you no longer need the recipe. This dish is slowly becoming one of those.

It is quick enough to make on a week night, and tasty enough to entertain with.

Here is what you need to serve 4:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
4 artichoke hearts (from a 14-ounce can), quartered
12 Kalamata olives, halved and pitted
4 teaspoons capers
1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
Here is what you do:
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place four 12-inch squares of parchment paper or heavy-duty foil on a work surface. Place a chicken breast on one half of each square, leaving a 2-inch border; season with salt and pepper.
2.Dividing evenly, top chicken with tomatoes, artichokes, olives, capers, and feta. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and oil. Fold parchment over ingredients, and crimp edges to seal.
3.Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until chicken is opaque throughout, 20 to 22 minutes.

Source for recipe and image.

Nov 13, 2009


Today is my compressed work week Friday. Today I'm so thankful for having every other Friday off so I can run errands, check things off my list and go into the weekend already feeling accomplished.

Happy Friday, Happy Weekend!

Nov 12, 2009

Get in on the Turkey Day Family Fun

One of my favorite blogs for inspiration, It's the Little Things that Make a House a Home, recently posted on some fun ideas for Thanksgiving crafts. You know I'm a big fan of crafty projects, and although I don't have kids, I was just smitten with this ideas:

How about making the traditional hand drawn turkey artwork into a gloved puppet? Reader's Digest gives you all the details of the craft project with step-by-step instructions.

Or if you are looking for finger-licking good crafts, because we all love to play with our food, how about creating Rice Krispy turkeys with feathers made of sweet candies. Alpha Mom gives you a supply list to create a craft that's both fun to make and to eat!

Nov 11, 2009

Today We Honor Those Who Serve

Best Wall Paper Ever

A few weeks back Jason and I were touring new homes. Model homes always seem to have, um, unique, themes for the rooms. One room we saw had a pet theme with the CUTEST wallpaper I've ever seen. Not sure that I would ever actually use the wallpaper, but it was sure cute:

Nov 10, 2009

Grateful Tuesday

Today I'm thankful for my developing photography talents. I never expect to make money with this hobby, or have my work published, but I've been enjoying capturing the moment. I've enjoyed watching how my work has progressed. Most of all it has simply made me happy because I have a creative outlet, so for that I'm grateful.

Nov 9, 2009

Win a Free Vacation

Monograms is giving away a free vacation to any destination they travel to. The grand prize package includes airfare and is valued at $7,500. They are also giving away other prizes along the way. Check it out - you know I'm entering!

Wonderful Weekends

Another weekend, another Monday.

Friday night started with a lovely date. Jason and I went to PF Changs for dinner and simply indulged in their dinner for 2 option. It was so tasty, and I loved that we had leftovers for the next day's dinner too.

Saturday we took the car to the car wash, and got it cleaned for free as we are Colorado Athletic Club members. Nice little bonus perk. Then we met my parents for lunch at GB Fish & Chips and went to the Denver Art Museum.

The DAM had a special exhibit on Charles Russell, my father's favorite artist. It was really nice to do something different from the typical weekend routine.

We also toured some of the other wings and admired the work of various artists.

Sunday I tackled a few projects I've been meaning to get to including pulling out all of the holiday decorations and storage boxes to see what type of wrapping paper and ribbons I had left from last holiday season. As well as put all the various decorations that have been laying around the house back in their rightful boxes.

I loved on my little dog a lot this weekend, and Jason and I started some of our holiday shopping.

I even took in the sunset yesterday evening and snapped a few photos of the golden s

Nov 8, 2009

In Love with this DIY on Design Sponge

I saw this over at Design Sponge and I'm in love. If I was needing another weekend project to add to the list this might make it pretty close to the top.

They are wine bottle vases attached to the wall. Get the exact how-to over at Design Sponge.

That's it, I'm off to go find some beautiful wine bottles of my own to replicate this idea. I'll post pictures some day when this little project happens.

Nov 7, 2009

My Plans for June 12, 2010

We bought our tickets for U2 in June. The tickets were pricey and the show is a long way off, but I'm hoping it will be one of the best shows I've ever seen. Looking forward to it!

Nov 6, 2009

Funny Money

On Monday I blogged about Vectra Bank's marketing idea where they have put stickers on $1 bills. Well, it's making headlines.

9News here in town has said that the bank "the bank actually had to get permission from the treasury department before launching the promotion last Wednesday."

To get your hands on your own "funny money" as 9News is calling it, you can visit:
  • -Famous Dave's BBQ in Stapleton
  • -Dazbog Coffee at 9th Street and Downing in Denver
  • -Boulder Breadworks
  • -Aspen CafĂ©,
  • -The Market
  • -Newberry's (all locations)
  • -Under the Umbrella at 12th Street and Madison
  • -Brewed Awakenings at Glendale
  • -Cherry Creek North area, Wolfe's on West Colfax and Downtown
  • -The Cup in Boulder
Let me know if you find any other witty sayings on your own dollar bills.

Hello Friday!

Bounding into the weekend. This week has been completely killer, a roller coaster of work and busy life.

I'm ready for the weekend! On the agenda of weekend fun:

Date Night: Trying to decide where the hubs and I should go for dinner tonight
Art: Tomorrow headed to look at some art with my parents and enjoy lunch with them
R&R: Gotta spend some time at home sleeping and nesting

Happy Friday, Happy Weekend!

Nov 5, 2009

A Moment

My life at times feels like I'm not the one living it, like I'm not the one in control of the day to day happenings. You know those moments when it occurs to you that you literally only spend 3 1/2 hours at home awake each day, and that is if you are lucky. That each morning you leave behind the chance to spend hours petting your little dog and loving on your husband because something else is beckoning, calling, forcing you to move forward. Maybe that is how I feel this morning...

Jas is traveling for business so last night I took one of those nights were I simply came home, made a 'bad for you dinner' and laid on the couch watching some horrible TV. I didn't have the computer at home to even check email, facebook, or any other random site. I didn't multitask. I simply let the moment of peace be, and maybe that is still how I feel this morning...

Nov 4, 2009

Shelf Gallery

I've posted before about my love of the shelf gallery, well I finally got around to getting my act together and changing up the guest bedroom.

Here is the before:
Here is the after (notice the cameras on display):

I think it turned out great. Thank to Jas who installed the shelf system (and they even turned out level).

Nov 3, 2009

My New Collection from Brass Armadillo

As I mentioned yesterday, my parents and I went to The Brass Armadillo Antique Mall for the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of the find.

With over 600 dealers, this place was huge. I believe we made it through about half of the store and we were there for over two hours. So many beautiful things, so many ugly things, so many "do you really think that is an antique things?" I've been wanting to the the Brass Armadillo for awhile now, however I didn't know what I was looking for. I've also been wanting to start a new collection of something, just again not sure what.

Finally after about 1 million rows of antiques and peaking and poking my way through items, I found a little beauty of a camera. Then, I found another, and finally a few rows later I was on a roll. Here are the cute little things I brought home with me.

So, there you go, my new collection. I don't know any details about my finds, but I'm hoping to continue adding to the little family of cameras.

Grateful Tuesday

Today I am grateful for...
...sunshine... ...the upcoming holidays... ...routines... ...a good sale... ...time to craft... ...time to blog... inspiration... ...the relationship I have with my mother... ...etsy... fun it is to say 'swwaannn' while tilting my head... ...transitioning at work... ...being cough free... ...ok, fine, being optimistic about being cough free... ...about 100 more things

Nov 2, 2009

Vectra Bank Marketing Idea

While with my parents this weekend at lunch, we received a few dollars back from our waiter on the check. The thing about this money was it was unique and having that marketing brain I've been stewing over these dollar bills. Allow me to show you:

Each of the dollar bills had a sticker in the upper right corner with a speech bubble coming from George. I don't know how many different stickers are out there, but here are what the 4 read that we received:

Did someone write a phone number on my back. I can't see from here.

Spent all of last week in a tip jar. These creases are killin' me.

After that register, I need som wallet R&R.

Keep me away from your 20s. It's humiliating.

Each of the stickers simply ended with "Make dollars. The serious kind." and the Vectra Bank logo.

I've shown the dollars to a couple of people and the first thing someone says is "Is this legal?" The sticker easily comes off, so I'm not really thinking that. But, interesting that is the reaction.

Here are the things I'm wondering: What was the objective of this campaign? Just branding? How long do you think the stickers will last, certainly no other bank will leave them on? There isn't a call to action, no website listed, no locations listed, nothing that makes me figure out where to find this bank. Who thought of this, how many impressions they must be getting. Well still stewing on this idea...

What do you think of this marketing campaign?

Wonderful Weekends

Back to Monday again so soon? I thought with 4 days off I would have tackled the world, however it is Monday again.

Friday I did indeed start some Christmas shopping and enjoyed a great lunch with my friend Kristin. I ran about 100 errands between Target, the bookstore, the liquor store, the scrapbook store, Home Depot - you name it I probably ventured there. Friday night cooked up some great jerk pork with black beans and rice for dinner and played a game of Monopoly.

Saturday - Halloween - we had a few more errands to run together this time. And then played another game of Monopoly before heading to dinner at Chipotle. We had a BOGO coupon, but so many people were there for the free burrito if you dress like a burrito. It was so funny to see all these people wrapped in foil. Then we went to see the Michael Jackson This is It movie. I actually really enjoyed it although, it was exactly what I was expecting.

That's right dear readers, we didn't dress up for Halloween, we went to the movies. Jason's barber said that we were lame when he told her our plans.

Yesterday I had a mother/daughter date that included my father. We went to lunch and then to the Brass Armadillo anqitue mall. It was a great day of hunting for treasures. I started a new collection (more in coming post, and over at Love What You Live). Then I came home and just crashed.

I'm still sick today, nearly a week later. I think I over did it this weekend and probably should have just rested. Hopefully this week won't be too bad and I'll start kicking this cough.

Here is to a great week!

Nov 1, 2009


Well here it goes...
I'm going to attempt to particapte in NaBloPoMo on this blog. It is easy over at Love What You Live to post a photo everyday, so what should be any different on this little blog were I ramble about life. I hope you enjoy the next month.