Sunday, January 30

ewok on a leash...

Hey there, bloggers! 

Here for a weekend update! For starters, just thought you should know that I saw an Ewok on a leash at the dog park today. Haha. It looked an awful lot like this:


The dogs were SO thrilled to be out of the house and running in the mud/water/tall tall grass. See how happy they were?

Gryffin ADORES running!

This weekend was wonderful! Friday night I went out on the town with some of my ladies {note to self: NO MORE bottle service! Sitting in a booth drinking and taking pictures gives me a falce perception of my levels of drunkness...} Made for a bad Saturday morning! But it's always fun to get dolled up!

Saturday afternoon my girl Pro came up and we had a loooong chatfest followed by an ogle-fest when we went to see No Strings Attached. It was such a great movie! Everyone in it was so funny and it had phenomenal one-liners! Quite a different character from Portman's role in Black Swan! I loved it. We then went for dinner at BJ's, where I had a classy giant glass of chocolate milk with my dinner. Haha. Real mature...and delicious! At home we gabbed more on the couch, watched The Blindside {for the first time, go Sandra!}, and enjoyed root beer floats! Unfortunately, Pro and I always are too wrapped up in our fun, and we never remember to take pictures together! So I have no documentation of our fun :/

What did YOU do this weekend? Have you seen No Strings Attached?

I am really excited because I rented The Pillars of the Earth tv miniseries. I read that book last fall, and was super excited to hear about the miniseries...only to miss the miniseries when it aired!   

I am also looking forward to the SAG awards tonight!  I've been really into the award season this year for some reason...

Cheers!

Thursday, January 27

the help

Well friends, I have officially finished my second book of 2011! I bought The Help over the summer on a whim shopping at Costco {the question is --- what DON'T I buy at Costco???} after hearing rave reviews about it. I didn't even know what it was about, just that it was good. 

I'm glad I bought it :) and I'm so glad I finally got around to reading it!

The Help takes place in 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi. It is a story told from the perspectives of three characters. Miss Skeeter is a young twenty-something college graduate questioning the lines that have always been drawn between whites and colored people in her community. Aibileen is a wise and loving black maid, hired help to take care of white women's household duties and children. Minny is Aibileen's best friend, also works as hired help to white women, and has an attitude like a firecracker! These three women collectively embark on a brave journey --- writing a book about what it is like to be a black maid and working for white families. The peril these women are in is very real, as their controversial book is put together in the midst of Jim Crow Laws, MLK Jr Speeches, Rosa Parks, and "separated but equal."

This book is moving from start to finish. I smiled fondly at the eccentricities of Skeeter, laughed at Minny's audacity, and tears stung my eyes throughout Aibileen's telling segments. The end had me crying like a baby and left me thinking about perspective.

The author of this book, Kathryn Stockett, is a white woman who was raised in Mississippi. She credits her childhood hired help as the inspiration and motivation for writing this story. Her most beloved line in the book {and one of mine as well}, is said by Skeeter:
Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought.
 This quote summarizes the purpose of the book, to get humankind thinking about the way we perceive others. Ms. Stockett was so effective with her writing style that it left me curious about what the other characters {like Ms. Elizabeth Leefolt} would have said had they been given the opportunity to have a tell-all segment. 

If you like plunging deep into the heart of characters, and are remotely interested in a story regarding civil rights --- and ultimately, our civil duties to each other --- I highly recommend this book to you :)

Cheers

It's 3 am and I just had to get this post off my chest. Now, maybe, I will sleep.

Sunday, January 23

catching up on movies...

Hey guys! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I worked most of it, but had last night off, so my husband and I decided to catch up on some award winners!

We poured some glasses of Da Vinci Chianti {YUM} and settled in first to watch The Kids Are All Right, starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo {also the girl who played Alice in Tim Burton's fab production and the boy who was in Bridge to Tarabithia, but anyhoo...}. This one won 2 Golden Globes. And they were well-deserved! I absolutely LOVED this movie! It wasn't pretentious or overtly Hollywood-ized to create excess drama. It was just a story about a family. A lesbian couple who used a sperm donor to conceive their two children, and the children decide they want to find the donor. It is completely believable, and the acting is incredible throughout. I really recommend this movie :)

We then watched The Social Network. I wasn't wildly excited about watching this one, but it won 4 Golden Globes, so I figured I should give it a shot. From an informational perspective, it was really interesting. The history if Facebook was pretty cool. The acting was good as well. But it wasn't exactly riveting. I mean, I don't feel like it was a waste of my time, but it wasn't something I'll be watching again. 

And now, just for fun, I'm watching Charlie St. Cloud :) Not because it's a Golden Globe winner, but because I had a rent 2 get 1 free coupon for Blockbuster Express, and I've been wanting to see it. Zac Efron is some seriously delicious eye candy and a pretty good actor, in my opinion. So anyway, there's my update. 

I still really want to see The King's Speech before the Oscars roll around. And whatever else I have the time for :)

Off to cook! On tonight's menu: Crab Ravioli with Lemon Butter sauce. I'm already drooling...

Cheers!

Wednesday, January 19

mini shopaholic

Happy Wednesday, readers!

I successfully finished my first book of the new year! My lovely brother gave me Mini Shopaholic, the latest Shopaholic book of the series, for Christmas. I adore these books :) So much fun! For those 418 pages, I was thrown into the bubbly life of Becky Brandon as she raises her two-year-old daughter {already showing signs of a great love for shopping herself} and tries to plan a fabulous surprise birthday party for her husband --- on  a budget. If you're into this series, then I recommend it!

I wish they would make more movies based on these books! Because I adore how Isla Fischer played Becky Bloomwood! 

What are you reading right now?

xoxo
Cheers

Tuesday, January 18

movies + award season

Hey heyyyy! I'm sitting here watching Biggest Loser {hellooooo hottie new trainers!!!} and thinking about Sunday night's Golden Globes. I was super thrilled with Glee's success! In case you don't know, Glee won Best TV Series --- Comedy or Musical. Chris Colfer {Kurt} won best supporting actor in a TV series and Jane Lynch {Sue Sylvester} won best supporting actress in a TV series. I'm so happy for them. Those two are funny as hell and have done such a great job with their roles. 

I was also so glad to see the success of The Fighter! Christian Bale was PHENOMENAL as the drug addict Dickey, brother of Micky the boxer {Mark Wahlberg}. So insanely good in his roll --- and very much worthy of his Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a drama. And the wacky Alice, mother of Micky, won for best supporting actress in a drama.  

I was happy that Toy Story 3 won best animated film, because that one made me cryyyyy! And GO Natalie Portman! I didn't even think best actress was a competition this year. She was stellar in Black Swan. Incredible. God I love her.

Still need to see:
Social Network {<--Seriously cleaned up the awards! I really need to see this one asap!}
The King's Speech {Colin Firth won best actor}
The Kids are Alright {high priority on my list}
The Pillars of the Earth
Temple Grandin {a professor at my alma matter --- CSU!}
Despicable Me
How To Train Your Dragon
The Town
Animal Kingdom {also high priority}
Red {looks sooooo funny!}
Burlesque {I just have to see it :) }
Blue Valentine
Rabbit Hole

YIKES! I have a lot to catch up on...

The 2011 Oscar nominees are anounced one week from today! Hopefully I'll have seen some of those movies on my to-see list before the Oscars come around!!!

What have been your favorite movies this season? I ADORED Black Swan, The Fighter, and Tangled. {while Little Fockers was funny, I did NOT adore it. Same humor, and Jessica Alba's character was a little too outrageous for me...}

Cheers to AWARDS SEASON!

Oh and if someone would like to buy me Olivia Wilde's dress, that would be great. Thanks. Here's a link to it http://www.peoplestylewatch.com/people/stylewatch/package/gallery/0,,20449763_20457354,00.html#20899511 --- and my birthday is coming up soon --- :)

Monday, January 17

a reason for liking snow

Hey friends! I hope you all are able to enjoy your 3-day weekend! I just had some funny videos to share with you --- they show Gryffin playing fetch in the snow. He's so cute. The lighting wasn't good in the videos, but here's some cute little puppy videos for your MLK Jr Day!

video
video
video

I'm a Colorado girl, but that doesn't mean I like the snow. I only like snow in these instances: a) on Christmas b) when my puppies have fun playing in it c) when it's light and fluffy {none of that heave, wet crap} and the temps aren't subzero and there's no wind d) when I'm snowboarding in c's conditions. If it's not a - d's circumstances, then snow should stay in the mountains. That's my opinion :)

Cheers!

Saturday, January 15

dave & busters

So --- I have wanted to go to Dave & Busters for YEARS, y'all! 

And guess what we did last night? I bet you guessed right! Got together a group of friends and went to our local D&B for some food, drinks, and games! It was such a blast! What a different way to spend our Friday night! And with the $10 off coupons we had, Tyler and I ended up spending $70 total for the night out! I'd say that's not too shabby for a fun night out in Denver for 2 people! Here are pictures of the fun we had :)

Tyler playing a tanks game

I love love love racing games!

Best team game ever! 6 players!

Ms. PacMan time!

Love fun date nights with my honey!!!

Haha love this game. 

 Beer + Games

 Yeah, get it get it! Vrooooom!

I hope Daytona USA lives forever. 

Thank you for your time, D&B!

What is YOUR favorite way to have a fun date night?
Cheers!

Wednesday, January 12

new eateries + drinkeries

In an effort to show you guys that I am in fact doing lots of fun/new things already this year, I should probably share with you the list of new things I have done! 

- I ate at BamBu near the Denver Tech Center with friends. It was delish! Reminded me of a Noodles-esque place, except for Chinese food! Yum!

- We stopped by Ototo's Food and Wine Bar for a glass of wine while waiting for our dinner reservations across the street. The bartender was friendly and knowledegable, and offered us samples of our wine before we decided on our glasses. We loved the atmosphere, and the prices weren't too shabby! 

- We then went to dinner at the Sushi Den! I have heard soooo many good things about this place, and I must say that it was fantastic! If you're looking for a good place for sushi in Denver, go here! Elegant and delicious!

- I visited the Curtis Hotel --- so awesome! Retro, mod, and entirely fun! This is where Mandrew are getting married in August! I am beyond excited!

- We ate at The Yardhouse --- a new restaurant on 16th Street Mall that has 130 beers on tap! Holla! It was delish! I totally recommend this place if you're on 16th Street shopping!

- Last weekend I FINALLY did the New Belgium Brewery Tour! I have done tastings there, but never the full brew tour! It was so much fun! We then went to Equinox Brewery in Fort Collins. It was quaint and quite tastey! Here are pictures of the fun we had!

A warped mirror that said, "I Like Beer."

Love you, Fat Tire!

They had funny little mosaics all around the beer vats!

Beer facts...

Where it is all bottled!

Tyler going down the slide - a mandatory part of the tour!

With my mama and my auntie :)

With my honey!

Equinox tasting - $7 --- Worth it!

 CHEERS!

Oh, and just for fun, I took a picture of the big blue bear at the Convention Center. Why? Because it's #51 on my big list of 101 Things All Coloradans Should Do! Hi Mr. Bear!!!

extreme blog giveaways!!!

The fashionable divas over at Bon Bon Rose Girls are having one of the most extreme weeks of giveaways I have ever seen! It is literally unreal the cool swag they are giving away daily. Here is a link to their blog : http://www.bonbonrosegirls.com/. Trust me, visit their site :) You won't be disappointed!

Cheers {to online window shopping!}

Tuesday, January 11

of course this would happen to me...fml!

Okay, friends. It's story time. Like this-story-is-so-ridiculous-but-yes-it-really-happened-to-me. Not sure if you remember THIS LOVELY POST --- the one where my dogs locked me out of our townhome. Yeah, true story. Well, in the post, I also talked about how being locked out of the house made me realize I have zero neighbors to turn to in the event I need help of some sort. No one talks to us, and no one really hangs out outside their houses, so there hasn't been much of an opportunity to meet our neighbors...except for the lovely lady sharing our west wall with us. We'll call her Naggie.

We've always gotten the sense that she doesn't like us very much. Kind of snooty. Reported us to the HOA for not cleaning up our dog poop last winter when it was frozen to the snow. Then, this summer, Tyler chopped branches off of our tree because it was hanging over the fence into her yard. For the first time, she started to be friendly to us. I was so excited to be maybe getting into the good graces of a neighbor!

When the holidays started rolling around, we gave Naggie a Christmas card! She seemed delighted and surprised, and returned our gesture with a snowman cookie jar filled with homemade peanut butter cookies. With this, I knew we finally had made friends with a neighbor! 

Then, in early December one evening, she came over to ask us to turn down our music. We didn't have even a tv, let alone music blasting, on. We told her as much, and she complimented us on our holiday decorations, then we said goodbyes and she went home. 

Then, on December 26th, during the early afternoon, she came a-knocking on our door. Asking us to please turn down our music. At this time, Tyler had a migraine and was upstairs sleeping it off. Being the lovely wife that I am ;) , I was just doing dishes and laundry and other quietish activities. No music, no tv on. She seemed confused and told me she heard a bass music sound thumping through the wall we shared. I told her we didn't have any electronics on, and she asked me to come listen in her house. I spent 45 minutes in her living room, listening for bass music. Never heard anything. She said she always feels the bass music rhythm in her chest, and proceeded to gorilla pound her own chest to demonstrate. She gave me a tour of her house, I gave her our phone numbers, and asked her to call us if she heard the music again so that we could try to figure out where it was coming from. We smiled, hugged, and parted ways. 

Fast forward to last Wednesday. I work nights, for those of you who are new to my blog and don't know, and I had worked the 7pm-7am shift on Tuesday night, so I was sleeping all day Weds. I woke up around 5pm on Wednesday afternoon, and Tyler said, 

"So...uhhhhh...the police came by today."
Um - excuse me - WTF? Yeah, apparently a police officer came by to investigate a noise complaint filed against us by our neighbor, Naggie. Ridiculous. I had been asleep all day. Med student husband had been studying on the couch. Dogs napping. Complete quiet. The officer took note of the silence, the lack of bass music that had been reported, and went on his way. I was livid. Like, I dropped more f-bombs than I have in a loooong time. I decided to shower before going next door to confront her. 

I just cannot believe that she had the nerve to call the police after we had such a productive conversation a few weeks ago! After I had given her our phone numbers, told her we were more than willing to try to find a solution to the continuing problem, and ended with a hug. She didn't even call us to try to fix the problem. Straight to the cops. 

So I realized she's a lying passive aggressive biatch. I know how to deal with people of that sort. By confronting them head on. Confrontation is the scariest thing in the world to passive aggressive folk, and I'm not shy when it comes to having a good ole honest discussion. So I marched my butt next door Weds night. She didn't answer the door.

After work on Thursday morning, I marched right back over there. She didn't answer the door. I called her. She answered. I politely said hello, and asked whether she had a minute to talk. She responded that no, she did not have time to talk. In a sugar sweet voice, I let her know that we were going to have to, at some point, discuss the fact that she called the police on us when we didn't do anything wrong. She seemed unnerved upon realizing that I wasn't just going to avoid and drop it. 

After work on Friday morning, I called her again. Asked her if she had time to talk. She said she did not. I let her know that I would call her tomorrow to schedule a time to talk. A few hours later, she actually called me back! She said, "I have 10 minutes for you." I went over, and our talk commenced. She actually admitted that she thinks we blast our bass music, then conveniently turn it off when she and the police officer came over. Are. You. KIDDING? I told her we don't have enough time or energy to purposefully try to ruin her life by playing loud music. She proceeded to again tell me how the bass music gets her deep in the chest, and she demonstrated the rhythm, reminding me of a really bad beat boxer. And I'm beginning to think she just has a heart condition. If she wants to think we're lying, awful people, then that's her problem. We ended the convo on goodish terms, I suppose. But I still don't think she believes me. 

Ugh. What would you do???

Because we own our townhome and we WILL be here for at least the next 2 years, and I'd rather not have a delusional bitch neighbor trying to accuse us of things we're not doing.

This is who Naggie reminds me of:

Yeah. Crazy Samuel L. Jackson in Lakeview Terrace. Seen it?
Does getting the cops called on me count as a new experience for 2011?

Cheers ---

Monday, January 10

to do: fort collins edition

As I mentioned in my post this morning, my 2011 goal is to do more fun activities this year. While I was comprising this MASSIVE list of things to do, it got me thinking about what an awfully boring host I've been to guests over the years! When people have come to stay with me and have asked what there is to do, I usually responded with something like, "Uhhhhh, I don't know...there's a good restaurant I know...". I wince at these memories, and have since vowed to never be a lackluster host again! With my new activities lists, I am all set to show guests the best places in Denver and all of Colorado to do fun things!

And yes, I even made a list of hotspots to hit in my hometown of Fort Collins :) Now that I have this list made, I won't be caught again with no ideas of neat things to show or tell people to do. Here is my list of Fort Collins must-dos:


-       Drive-In

-       Breweries:
o   New Belgium
o   Anheuser – Busch {Budweiser}
o   Odell
o   The Fort Collins Brewery
o   Coopersmith’s
o   CB & Pott’s
o   Equinox Brewing

-       Rafting {Poudre River}
-       Swetsville Zoo
-       Fort Fun
-       Arapahoe National Forest {hiking, camping}
-       Horsetooth {hiking, reservoir}

-       Avery House
-       The Haunted Game Café
-       Big City Burrito

-       Lyric Cinema Café
-       Old Town 
  - City Park

For my Fort Collins friends --- are there things I am missing on this list? I'm sure there are :) What are you favorite things to do/see/show off to others in Fort Collins?

Thanks for your input :) 

new year, new ambition!

Hello, friends in blogland!

Please excuse my month-long absence from my blog :) The holidays were both a busy and wonderful time for me. We traveled or I worked every weekend from November til last weekend! I have lots and lots to tell you :) But for my first blog of the new year, I should probably be cliche and start with my plans for 2011 :)

I will definitely be continuing along the road of health & fitness goals {especially since I'll be in a wedding this summer!!! --- more on that later} as well as being better with my budget and minimizing excess spending {since the hubs and I will be living off of loans come this summer...} but, my

main ambition for 2011 is
to spend more time with the people I love,
making memories and trying new things

It all started a few weeks ago at work when a coworker of mine found this website that outlines 101 Things Every Coloradan Should Try in 2011. It says that, "We live in the best state, it's time to enjoy it to the fullest." I was inspired by this website, and wrote down every thing on the list. If you're ready, I'll show you what the list looks like. I have it split up into 5 different categories...

First: Things I really really hope to accomplish in 2011 ---


1. Hike a 14er: use 14ers.com. Try Mt. Elbert or San Luis Peak first.
2.    Join in the fan club in the supporters’ terrace at a Rapid’s Game
3.    Ride on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad --- Summer: Rails & Ales Festival
4.    Denver Food Trucks – Justice League of Street Food
5.    Take a tour of the Redstone Castle in Carbondale
6.    Tubing at Frisco’s Adventure Park
7.    Go Dog Sledding {$70}
8.    Race to the top of the Stanley Hotel {Estes Park}
9.    See a play at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival {Boulder in the summer}
10. Attend the Mile High Music Festival
11.  Taste of Colorado {Labor Day Weekend}
12.  Parade of Lights
13.  Banjo Billy’s Bus Tours {Denver and Boulder, Sats @ 2pm}
14.  Adventure Golf & Raceway {Westminster, bungee drag race!!!}
15.  Denver Gorilla Run --- run a 5K in a gorilla suit on Halloween!
16.  St. Patrick’s Day Parade
17.  Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs {the first Beau Jo's}
18.  Comedy Works
19.  Alpine Slide at Heritage Square {shops, in Golden, $33 for 5 rides}
20. Tour Celestial Seasonings in Boulder
21.  Denver Zoo’s Brew at the Zoo
22. Halloween in LoDo
23.  Sled/ski the Great Sand Dunes
24.  X Games in Aspen
25.  Colorado Dragon Boat Festival {beer garden, vendors, July 30-31}
26.  Rent a red bike with Denver’s Bicycles
27. Light the Lights Celebration {Thanksgiving weekend}
28. Renaissance Festival {summer in Larkspur}
29. Buy a book at the Tattered Cover on Colfax

Things I would like to try--- 
30. Buy a record at Albums on the Hill
31.  Go to the first Chipotle on Evans
32.  Sunset @ Peaks Lounge {in Grand Hyatt Regency @ Denver Convention Center}
33.  Thanksgiving fries at Big Game
34.  Brewski @ Woodcellar Bar & Grill {Evergreen}
35.  Play roulette in Black Hawk
36.  Buffalo Bill’s Grave
37.  Make out on Lookout Mountain
38.  Paddle Boat in Wash Park
39.  Central City Opera House
40. Madame Lou Bunch days {brass beds, Central City}
41.  Add a dollar to Bonanza Casino’s ceiling {Central City}
42.  Fly from DIA to Durango {Durango brewing}
43.  Nuggets Game
44.  Outlaws Lacrosse
45.  Ms. Hooters Colorado Pageant {April 28, 2011 at Suite 200}
46.  Order a beer from Captain Earthman: beer vendor at Coors Field {Left Field}, Fillmore, Red Rocks, and Comfort Dental Ampitheatre. Cell: 720.371.4252
47.  Cherry Creek Sneak {Sunday, May 1st}
48.  Ski opening day at A-Basin
49.  Tiny Town {summers}
50. Make homebrew
51.  Picture next to the big blue bear at the Convention Center
52.  Bike 66 miles along Highline Canal Trail
53.  Indoor Skydiving
54.  Play pinball in Lyons {and eat at Oskar Blues}
55.  James Peak Yurt & Poo Yeti {Blackhawk}12
56.  7-lb burrito at Jack-N-Grill {Westminster}
57.  Have a beer at San Luis Valley Brewing Company in Alamosa
58.  Wine in Grand Junction – American Spirit Tours
59.  Mountain Boarding
60. Ghost stories at Chautauqua Park
61.  Balloon rides in Boulder
62.  Mile High Pedicab

Things on the list I have already done --- 
63.  Eat at The Cherry Cricket
64.  Concert at Red Rocks
65.  Rock & Roll Marathon
66.  Road Trip on Independence Pass à Aspen
67.  White Water Raft {with the Adventure Company}
68.  Snowmobile in the backcountry
69.  Camping in a state park
70. RTD Lightrail
71.  Bottle Service at Suite 200
72. Aspens changing on Trail Ridge Road
73.  Water World – Voyage to the Center of the Earth
74.  Elitch’s – Tower of Doom
75.  Cave at Casa Bonita
76.  Denver Mint
77. Bohemian Nights {New West Fest}
78. Rocky Mountain Showdown {CU vs CSU}
79. Look for wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park
80. Hot Springs pool
81.  Tailgate at a Denver Broncos game
82. Sundown Saloon in Boulder
83.  16th Street Mall Ride
84.  Rockies Game
85.  Ziplining
86.  Garden of the Gods
87. 4 Corners, USA
88. Pole Dancing at Tease Studio
89. Hold breath in Eisenhower Tunnel
90. Jeep tour in Durango {Rhino in Moab}
91.  Paint by Wine {Canvas & Cocktails}

Things on the list I really don't feel like doing, this year or ever, for that matter --- 
92. Rocky Mountain Oysters at Buckhorn Exchange
93.  Eat Bison Tongue at the Fort
94.  Fly Fish in the Colorado River
95.  Zombie Crawl
96.  Ice Hut & Fish
97. Golf TEC
98. Lance Armstrong race Aug 22-28
99. Dive with the sharks at the Downtown Aquarium

Things I would like to do, but can't afford to --- 
100.              Stay in America’s Best Ski Hotel: Beaver Creek’s Westin River Front Hotel
101.               $550 Martini
102.               Steamboat Powercats Tour {$$$}

So there you have it! I'm not really sure how I got to 102 items since it's supposed to be a 101 item list...but whatever :) For all you Coloradans --- is there anything NOT on the list that you think is a "must-have experience" when you live here? I've decided that I have lived in this beautiful state for almost 25 years, and I really need to take advantage of the amazing experiences it holds for me!

So here's to a new year with hopefully plenty of new experiences with the people I care about :)

Cheers!

PS --- It feels good to be back :)