Sunday, July 29, 2012

Birthday Extrravaganza

I basically got to celebrate my birthday for an entire week this year so I'm thinking getting older just keeps getting better.  It started off a few days early when I received a giant package.  I had no idea who it was from and I had no idea what it could be.
When I opened the box and found the card from Julie I was so excited!  She does such awesome crafty projects (which you can check out here) so I knew I was in for a treat.  Check out this awesome collage!!!
I absolutely LOVE it and I couldn't stop looking at it after I opened it.  She used my favorite colors and picked out my favorite pictures.  She did such an awesome job and I was so surprised to receive such a heartfelt gift.  I"m so proud of it I placed it on the fireplace so anyone that comes by can see it.

What a great kickoff to my birthday weekend.  Later that weekend we biked to Golden and met Amy and Dion for brunch on the patio at The Golden Hotel

We also went to Jodi's house for a birthday dinner for me and Sue, as our birthdays our only four days apart.  We had a wonderful dinner and then played some games. 

On my actual birthday my colleagues treated me with delicious cupcakes from Gigi's.  (Is it bad that everyone knows of my love for cupcakes?)  Yummy!

  Then the next night Jenny treated me to a happy hour at The Tavern and a Rockies game. 
Then the following weekend I got to celebrate with Ryan.  He gave me this beautiful purple necklace (one of my favorite colors).

Then we painted pottery (so much fun), bottled wine at Vintages, had a nice dinner at Austin's, enjoyed the cute little Fort Collins old town, and stayed overnight at The Armstrong Hotel

Pottery painting!

A tasty "Whipping the Mule" cocktail at Ace Gillett's.
Bottling wine:

Awesome sign and Coke made with real sugar we found at an old fashioned candy store.

Messing around at the hotel and the awesome resident cat: that pretty much just decorated the lobby furniture.

What an awesome birthday week I had!  I guess it wore me out...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent

The Denver Art Museum housed an Yves Saint Laurent exhibition for a few months and I really wanted to see it it as I'm interested in fashion (I was an apparel textile marketing major for awhile).  So Ryan took me the last weekend it was in town and I absolutely loved it.  I thought it was curated very creatively and the pieces were gorgeous!  I've never knowingly seen any piece of haute couture up close and personal and I was amazed at the precision and intricacy of craftsmanship.  There were a couple of jackets there inspired by Van Gogh paintings and they were so beautiful.  I wish I could have taken a picture but I don't think that would have even shown a fraction of how amazing these pieces were. I could be a little off on the timing but I believe they said it took almost a third of a year to complete each jacket. 

You can tell how excited Ryan was:
And here I am in front of the wall art outside the exhibition:

I'm so glad I got to see this exhibition.  I think I appreciate it even more because I'm not around or involved with art and this type of creativity very often. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Two weekends ago, Scott and Sue invited us on a bike ride as Sue had just gotten a new road bike.  We left (way too) early that Sunday morning and talked about going maybe 15-20 miles round trip.  Well, it was such a beautiful day and we kept riding and riding...and finally were so close to downtown Denver that we ended up just riding all the way there!  We ended up going 43.86 miles, which is the farthest I have ever ridden on my bike.  I don't know how Scott and Ryan did it on mountain bikes because I was pretty tired by the time we got home and I know my bike is way more efficient on the paved trails.  And I don't know how Sue did it on her first long ride!  But we all made it and I thought it was a really fun ride and a great workout.

Us as the Arvada Beer Company is the only other picture I have from that weekend:
We had so much fun on our bike ride to Denver that on the 4th of July we decided to bike to Golden for breakfast/brunch at Table Mountain Inn.

It's a good thing we got home when we did because later that day there were air quality warnings because of all the fires.  Eek.  You wouldn't have had to hear it on the news to know that the air was bad.  We walked out of the house after about an hour and the smell and haze were noticeable.  So, we decided to stay inside the rest of the day and watch Batman to prepare for The Dark Knight Rises.  :) 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chi Town

The last week of June I was in Chicago with some colleagues for training.  We got to stay right off of Michigan Avenue by the lake.  This was my view:
Being a Midwest girl, I grew up spending a lot of time at lakes so I always enjoy it when I can be anywhere near water.  One night after class we spent a few hours on the River Walk and the next night we ate right on the river:

And of course I had to have some Chicago style pizza while we were there:

I didn't get to do any sight seeing but I've been to Chicago a few times before so I've been lucky enough to have some experiences in the city.  I failed to get any pictures of myself but that's probably for the best because it turns out I melt when I'm back in the Midwest these days.  I'm not used to high temperatures and high humidity anymore!  But I know it's the perfect kind of weather for hitting the lake or pool!  :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Advocare 24 day challenge

I got an awesome package today and I can't wait to post about it but I'm so far behind on my posting and need to catch up!  So I'm going to try to do just that in the next few days.

For most of the month of June, Ryan and I were doing Advocare's 24 day challenge, which is basically a 10 day cleanse and a 14 day healthy eating challenge.  The cleanse consists of fiber drinks (which were not as bad as I expected) supplements/vitamins, and 3 healthy meals and 2-3 healthy snacks per day.  The last 14 days you're off the fiber drink.  Also, working out is highly recommended throughout the challenge as Advocare is very focused on fitness and nutrition.  I was a bit intimidated at first because I've never been the best eater but it actually became a lot of fun to plan our meals and everything was really delicious.  We had lots of fresh fruits, veggies, healthy fats like peanut butter, and lean proteins.  Oh and I personally loved the morning shakes because a) they're really tasty and b) they're so easy to mix in a shaker cup and go, especially for someone like me who usually skips breakfast - so, I'm still drinking them everyday!

During the challenge, I lost 5.5 lbs and 5.25 inches overall!!!  I felt great and even a few weeks later I've kept the weight off (even though I may have stuffed my face with a cupcake or two or three since then).  Anyway, I'm thinking I might continue to do the 10 day cleanse every quarter to kick start me into eating healthfully (if I'm not still doing so).  Ryan got great results too.  He was already super lean and muscular but he shredded the last tiny bit of body fat that he had.  And of course, he has not since stuffed his face with sweets and has instead continued to be Mr. Super Fit and Healthy. 
We liked the Advocare products and programs so much that we became distributors so if anyone is interested, here is a link to our website.
I really feel better than I've felt in a long time and everything about the program made sense so hopefully I can continue to keep it up.

Monday, July 9, 2012


After my last post I remembered I had a picture taken about a mile from our house that shows the visible smoke from one of the fires.


A few weekends ago Ryan and I went on our first camping trip of the season.  It was before the sad, destructive, massive wildfire outbreak that has burned thousands and thousands of acres all around the metro area so we weren't in any danger at the time. 

It was SO nice to be up in the mountains and relax!  We spent a lot of time playing games and reading and I loved every minute of it.

Ryan setting up our ringers game:
Reading and basking in the sun:

China the mountain goat:

Even though the wildfires hadn't gotten completely out of control yet, there were still some wildfires burning at the time so there was a fire ban in place and we were cautious and didn't mountain bike to ensure we didn't deeply inahle too much smoke as some people have been struggling with that for the past month or so.  I think we probably would have been fine as we've been on bike rides since but I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry.  It seems that the recent rains have helped the firefighters a lot so hopefully they will be able to completely contain these fires. 

Fuzzy Wuzzies

I know I'm kind of crazy dog lady but I can't help myself...they are too darn cute!

China helped herself to the garden dirt:
Mojo and Peanut sunning on the deck before Ryan stained it:

Ryan tries to remind me that I have a "horse" too but it's not the furry kind and she's kind of sick right now.

Prepped for the paint job:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Memorial Day

Over Memorial Day my Mom came to vistit for a long weekend.  And this is what we do:
I watch while she makes me momma's home cookin!  Ha!  Mmmmm, fried noodles?  Yes please!  Aisan vegetables?  Yep!  This is my comfort food.  It was so nice to go to the Asian market with Mom and get to eat some of her cooking for several days.

We made sure to go out for dim sum a couple of times.  It is so much better when she is there because she knows what everything is and she can converse with servers and get us the best stuff.  She tried to teach me how to say some things in Chinese but I'm pretty sure my accent is atrocious because it doesn't seem like anyone can ever undersatnd me. 
We went to church and Marlene and Roy asked one of the members if we could come by and see the train set he and a friend had worked on for years.  It was amazing!  Here is the New Orleans section:

The Chicago section:

I thought this was hilarious - someone actually in the outhouse!  The attention to detail in this model is just unbelievable!

I had to take a picture of this flyer because the band "The Fray" actually used to practice in the room where the model is before they became famous (one of the model builders is the grandfather of the drummer).

One day we went to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.  It is such a beautfiul place (so devastating that it's on fire right now) and I'm so glad Mom got to see it.

We also went to Pike's Peak.  It was amazing how cold it was up there!!!

We indulged in some high elevation donuts.

We had so much fun!  It was so nice having my momma come visit me for several days.