Friday, July 30, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. The last thing I do before going to sleep is turn on my fan, turn off my light and snuggle in!

2. When I can't sleep I toss and turn and eventually turn on the light and read.

3. The first thing I do when I wake up is make my bed. Yep, I'm that girl. Then I brush my teeth, take off my eye make-up and grab my coffee.

4. When I'm tired I get whiney and/or snappy. I've been known to get a little weepy if I'm super tired and stressed. And, I usually hit that point where I'm so beyond tired that I'm hyper and can't sleep.

5. My dream bedroom would be in shades of yellow, white and grey with a little green and blue thrown in for good measure. It would have a window seat, an old-fashioned 4 poster bed, lots of soft throws for snuggling up with, a reading corner with an overstuffed chair or a chaise lounge and it would be a soft, welcoming space. Oh, and there would be a couple of awesome lamps...I love lamps.

6. If I could wake up anywhere tomorrow morning it would be in Tuscany with my Mom, Jamie and her Mom. I think a bestie mother-daughter wine and cooking trip would be amazing. And even though my Mom isn't a huge wine drinker, I think she'd appreciate it and would love to see Italy.

7. The longest sleep I've ever had was probably when I got back from Germany. I was exhausted and remember falling asleep on my friend's couch (while the superbowl was going on) only to wake up and go right to bed.


8. I sleep on my back or right side.

9. When I sleep, I like to wear boxers and a tank.

10. My bedtime is usually between 10 and 11 because I am not a night owl.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nepotism at its finest

I just heard a co-worker complain about not getting off on a ticket he received yesterday. Apparently, he never actually receives tickets, despite being pulled over, because his cousin is on the Police Force. Wow, really? And, to top it off, he called his cousin to tell him what had happend and his cousin was shocked that he didn't get off! What does this say about my city's fine Police Department? Well, to me it says they create their own rules despite what law dictates, and they hand pick their own players as well. Now, I have my own issues with my town's police department and some bias, but this may be the worst I've heard in a while.

Nepotism is a common thing and I think we've all played with it at some point in our lives, but if you break the law and get caught doing so, I don't care who you are or who you're related to, take the ticket, pay the fine, increase our city's revenue (aka, help us all out by doing what you should) and decide on your own whether or not you've learned something from that incident. And if you're used to getting off on tickets, maybe actually having to pay one or two would be a good thing for you and your (most likely) over-sized ego. Because guess what? you're still a civilian member of society and regardless of what you think your entitlement level is, you are not above the law.

Kudoes to the cop who not-so-subtley reminded my co-worker of this!

Monday, July 26, 2010

This is my Colorado

I had a very quiet, low-key, slightly hermit-like weekend, but I did get out for a gorgeous hike with my good friend Chelsae on Saturday morning. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do, and while I am more than happy to set out on a solo hike, it's nice to have a friend to enjoy the scenery with.

Devil's Backbone Open Space is one of my favorite places around here for a nice, quick hike. It's less than 30 minutes away from my apartment, far enough removed from the city of Loveland to feel like you're truly out in nature and it's free! Plus, it's truly gorgeous and you can make it as difficult or easy of an adventure as you want.

I picked Chels up early and off we went! It was grey and overcast when we started out, which was actually nice because it kept the temperature down, but as we hiked the sun started to peak its way out from behind the clouds and by the time we reached our turn-around point we were both hot and sweaty (signs of a good hike if you ask me). The sky was the bluest of blues, the rock formations jutting out from the ground were a lovely reddish-organge and a faint breeze kept the grasses rustling throughout the morning. We didn't have any encounters with snakes or creepy crawlers, which rates as fabulous in my book, and Chelsae indulged me by not mocking my constant picture-taking. It was pretty quiet when we started our hike, but by the time we were heading back to the car, the place was lively with hiking families and mountain bikers.

We completed the morning by treating ourselves to a latte and then headed home to freshen up for the day. It was perfect!

(The Keyhole formation is my favorite!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lucile's Creole Cafe

Going out to breakfast is one of my favorite indulges. I've always loved going out for brekky, although I'm not quite sure why. It probably has something to do with excessive amounts of coffee and gorging myself on heavenly food to the point where I don't need to eat again until dessert that night...yea, I wasn't kidding when I called it an indulgence.

My favorite place in my town is called Lucile's Creole Cafe. It's housed in a small, old yellow home in Old Town and is always packed. If you have personal space issues, Lucile's might not be the palce for you; but, personally, I love the tight squeeze between tables, the mismatched linens, the noise of fellow eaters and the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen. It's fun to be around so much life, especially when you're a morning person like me. Plus, it certainly doesn't hurt that the food is incredible! Everything has a cajun flare and I've yet to have a bad dish: eggs with potatoes and avocado; cheesy grits; the most to.die.for biscuits ever; caramel french toast; lightly fried eggplant with poached eggs and hollandaise; rainbow trout, anyone? And the list goes on and! Mmmm, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! And, did I mention the tasty, strong coffee and the spicy homemade tea? Oh yea!

The patio is packed in the summer, but nothing beats getting up early on a snowy morning, bundling up to meet friends at Lucile's and chatting over hot chai and plates piled with food while snowflakes gather on the trees surrounding the restaurant. It's obviously love.

Awesome poster for fellow grammar nazis!

As many of you know, I'm a bit of a grammar nazi. For the most part, I realize that grammar and spelling are tough subjects, and elementary schools do not always put a lot of emphasis on them. So, once we all get to High School where writing is extremely important, and therefore, grammar and spelling start to play a large role in everyday life, we're kind of past the point of no return in terms of truly learning all of the rules. Blame the schools, whatever...that works for me. Haha.

Anyway, I just saw this poster over at and about died! I kinda, sorta want one for my office...where I'm already known as the semi-colon queen.

My favorite (because I loathe the constant misspelling of this word):

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Like a punch to the gut

My student hourly has his Pandora playing and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" just came on, and my stomach and throat instantly clenched. I had to remind myself to breathe. To take a few deep breaths. To not let those tears that quickly welled up spill over...because I'm at work and there are lots of prying eyes.

In 2 days it will be 2 years since Rebecca died. This song was played at the tail end of her funeral and it makes me think of sobbing in my parents' arms, completely overwhelmed by the grief of her loss, my inability to understand why she was gone and my awe at the outpouring of love from friends and strangers who came to pay their respects.

I wasn't prepared for that song to hit me like a punch to the gut today, but it did.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

She's my friend soulmate

(Vail, CO -- October 2009)

I'm craving time with my best friend in a way that I almost cannot describe. It's officially been 6 months since she left Colorado for Australia and it'll be another 6 months before she's back again. We've survived 6 months before, but not longer and I'm kind of worried that I'm going to turn into a cranky bitch towards the end of this next 6 month period. Jamie and I skype nearly every day, we email and facebook and we're lucky enough to be able to fit in (truly) long distance phone calls on a semi-regular basis. Our friendship is stronger than ever, and it's so nice to know that no matter where each of us are in our lives, we can persevere. We can still talk about anything and everything, more often than not we're on the same, sometimes completely random, page (the EJ wavelength) and she still knows me, and I know her, better than anyone else. She and I have found our friend soulmate in each other, and I love matter how cheesy it may sound.

I miss you, Miss Jamie Lynn...get ready for one hell of an airport reunion in December!

(that's my Jamie!)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Today's Top 10

1. Perfectly fried catfish
2. Shoe sales
3. Fresh hydrangea blooms in a Fat Tire bottle
4. Giant bowls of ice cream
5. Periwinkle blue skies
6. Evening walks
7. Sarah Bareilles' King of Anything
8. Flashy necklaces
9. Checking off places I've visited from 1,000 Places To See Before You Die
10. Yellow sandals

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fill in the blank Friday

1. A very nostalgic place that reminds me of being a kid is either the family condo down in Stuart, FL on Hutchinson Island, or Greenfield Village in Michigan. Both places make me think of my happy childhood with lots of family around. And, I still adore both places.

2. If someone really wants to show me how much they love me they just need to spend some quality time with me. I have my hardcore hermit ways, but I'm big on being with the people that I love. I also need them to listen to me, and I need to listen to them...even if it's excessive venting. haha.

3. Lately I've been wondering a lot about what friendship truly means to people in my life and how they show it and expect it to be shown to them. I can honestly say that I'm not 100% thrilled with some of my findings.

4. When it comes to saving money I am pretty good at it. I put money into savings (almost) every month and I hate touching my savings unless it's absolutely necessary. I can be quite frugal, but am certainly not above indulging from time to time.

5. I'd prefer a calorie-packed microbrew over a weak-tasting, run-of-the-mill light beer any day! (Corona Light is my exception, though)

6. I wish I knew how to make really anything crafty. I have great vision, but lack most talent and/or willpower to implement most of my crafty, DIY ideas.

7. I'm just waiting for the weekend to start. It's going to be HOT this weekend in Northern Colorado and I'm ready to soak up some sun and sleep-in! Also, hoping for a brunch date with a friend; I've been craving biscuits from my favorite brekky place here in town!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bridal Shower Snapshots

On Monday night, my mom and I went to my friend Heidi's Bridal Shower. Heidi and I have been friends since 2nd grade, and our Mothers are wonderful friends and work-out buddies. Heidi and her fiance, Jacob, will be getting married in a small ceremony in Washington state, so this shower was a nice way for us non-wedding-attending locals to get to celebrate with Heidi. We drank wine, ate fabulous homemade desserts (Heidi's mom is an incredible baker) and enjoyed ourselves. Rather than babble on and on about gifts and shower themes I thought I'd just throw out some photos.

Congrats to Heidi and Jacob!

(the lovely Bride-to-Be)

(amazing peach cobbler)

(T-shirt quilt made by Heidi's Mom from Heidi's favorite tees over the years)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A note to myself

I must remember not to snap when my plans don't go exactly how I thought they would.
I need to relinquish control a bit...sometimes my OCD control freak ways get a bit out of hand.
Breathe In.
Breathe Out.

I shouldn't snap at my mother when she's just trying to help.
I need to remember that she's just as in tune to my emotions as I am to hers.
Breathe In.
Breathe Out. of these days I will learn the art of relaxing a bit.
Maybe I should try yoga?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I feel the need to throw this out there

I'm going to apologize in advance for any randomly long intervals between posts, or any totally bipolar-seeming behavior from post to post. July is a rough month for me, and so far I haven't been handling this years' quite as well as I'd like to. I've lost a good friend, suddenly, in July for the past 2 years and this year my Uncle has had open heart surgery and been in the ICU. Thank goodness it looks like he is going to be fine, but it all just plays into my fear of the month of July. Things happen in 3's in my life, so needless to say I've been paranoid. I've had some run-ins with friends (probably partially related my mental state right now) and some definite attitude issues...and it's only July 11th. Anyway, thank you all for bearing with me and I'm trying hard to revamp my current outlook on this month and life.

I love you all!

Sunday Quotes #1

Why do so many...settle for so little?
I don't understand why they're not greedy for what's inside them.
-Jack Gilbert

Night hung over the city like a dark mantle, pierced with the light of flambeaux, and up above, there seemed to be a thousand stars. There was as much activity as there was in the daytime. Paris was a city which did not sleep.
-Amanda Grange, Mr. Darcy, Vampyre

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
-Cecil Beaton

Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of every day, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.
-Freya Stark

More than kisses, letters mingle souls; for thus, friends absent speak.
-John Donne

You will try to run and he will let you, but he will be standing exactly where you left him when you went ahead and lost your mind, not because he's a pushover but because he understands you are worth waiting for. And you are, not because he proved it to you, but because he gave you the time to realize it yourself.
-Anais Escobar

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday/Saturday

Apparently I'm starting a new tradition of not filling in Lauren's Friday blanks until Saturday. Normally I would say this is unacceptable, but this past week was a bit shit, so I'm not too concerned with being off a day here and there. Now if this continues into the next couple of weeks, I really will have to berate myself.

1. My favorite thing about this week has been seeing my cousin Jill and her husband Michael. Jill is 3 years older than me and I haven't seen her since before she graduated from high school, which also means that I'd never met husband. Jill and Michael were in town from Michigan, and were able to meet up with my parents and me for dinner on Wednesday. It was wonderful to catch up, meet Michael and have a nice evening. I also loved working from home yesterday and getting my hair cut and colored!

2. The weather this week has been typical Colorado: hot and then randomly cold and rainy for a couple of days. Honestly, I loved the cooler weather, but the sun today definitely feels good!

3. The last (interesting) item I received in the mail was 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. I've always loved flipping through this book, and finally gave in and bought a copy.

4. The last movie I saw was From Paris With Love (currently watching). I love me some Jonathan Rhys Meyers, especially when he wears glasses!

5. If I could be doing anything I felt like today I would magically find myself in Australia with Jamie, drinking a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, eating homemade lasagna and talking about boys. I miss my best friend right now more than words can describe.

6. As a teenager I was mostly well-behaved, stubborn, thought I was smarter than just about everyone else and, just like now, a total Mama's girl.

7. I wish I could trade lives for the day with Jamie. I'd like a taste of grad school, to feel what it's like living in a different country and knowing what it is to be a bit more easy-going than I naturally am.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Every year I look forward to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. It's always bloody hot, always crowded and always a good time. For those of you who don't know, Cherry Creek is an affluent neighborhood in Denver, and one of my favorite areas. The houses are older and gorgeous and I dream of getting to tour one or two of them someday in my lifetime. I always try to sweet talk my dad into driving up and down the streets so I can gaze at the houses, but he rarely gives into me...but, that's ok.

Anyway, going to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival has been a family tradition for years. We enjoy lunch together, stroll up and down each street checking out the vendors and we end the day by getting snappy with each other because the heat has finally to gotten to all three of us. It's grand!

This year was no different than any other. We got down to Cherry Creek early, did an initial stroll down a couple of streets and then ate before the crowds arrived at The Cherry Cricket. The Cherry Cricket is a bit of a dive bar and grill that serves up incredible hamburgers! My best friend Jamie and I love this place, Iowa Girl Eats and her husband have raved about it and it was recently featured in Denver's 5280 magazine. I highly recommend chowing down here if you're ever in Denver.

(horrible, horrible picture of me)

So, we wandered up and down each street, checking out the vendors that caught our eye. Mom and I are always drawn to the jewelry, and both of my parents love fused and blown glass. We saw gorgeous oils on canvas, unique sculptural pieces and beautiful photographs. I bought one abstract of the Denver city skyline that has taken up residence at work and really brightens up my office, and I bought a hand painted photograph that I've been coveting for 2 years now. I love photography (probably because I really don't have much skill myself) and I have a thing for European city scenes. This photograph caught my eye at a previous years' Cherry Creek Arts Festival and I have literally been thinking about it ever since. It's of a man walking next to the grafiti strewn Berlin Wall in 1989. It's stark, war-torn, poor, realistic and extremely powerful. I just had to have it this year, and I cannot wait to get it framed and hung up!

After a few hours, all three of us had hit our limit of sweating and moving through the crowds, so we headed into the Cherry Creek Mall to cool down and do a little more shopping. I happily got lost in Anthropologie (and bought the cutest mug and ruffled top) for a bit and Mom and Dad browsed through kitchen accessories. We were all happy, no longer sweaty and ready to call it a day. Cherry Creek Arts Festival 2010 was a success!

And, on the way out of town, I snapped a quick pic of one of my favorite sculptures:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

Hooray! It's Friday!! I'm currently finishing up my final accrual and already making plans to head out early for some family and friends time...aka, I'm going to see Eclipse with my Mom and one of my dearest friends, Chelsae. :-)

In honor of the Holiday Weekend, Lauren at the little things we do... has chosen July 4th themed blanks; how very festive!

1. This weekend for The 4th of July I'll be going to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival to sweat my little heart out from booth to booth, eating at The Cherry Cricket (amazing, wishing Jamie was joining), sleeping-in, hopefully reading by the pool, maybe taking in some fireworks and BBQing with my parents and my favorite cousin who is in town for the week.

2. Fireworks are, like Lauren said, a bit overrated. They're fun, but my world doesn't feel incomplete if I go a year or two without seeing them.

3. Nothing says summer like freezer pops, laying out by the pool, BBQs, reading outside until the sun finally sets at 8:30 or 9:00, roadtrips, mojitos, driving with the music blasting the windows down, fun sunglasses, playing at the park with friends and heading to the mountains on the weekends.

4. My favorite summer memory is when my parents and I roadtripped back to Michigan when I was 11 or 12. We stopped at my Dad's childhood haunts, visited family, got along for the entire trip and spent an amazing day on Mackinac Island. Roadtrips with Jamie to and from Minnesota and Colorado also tops my favorite summer memories list.

5. My favorite thing about summer is being able to go for a walk after dinner and having the sun still shining.

6. Summer in a word is nostalgic.

7. If I could choose to have summer or winter year round I'd pick neither. I love the Summer sun, but I get waaay too hot; and as much as I truly do like Winter, I couldn't live in it year round. I'm a Fall kind of girl.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I need a break from accruals...

...and anything Jane Austen makes me smile.
Especially anything related to Persuasion.

Bonus: this is from my favorite Masterpiece Theater version!

And it's back to the accruals I go...