Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cranberry Pear Mimosa

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I wanted to share this perfect holiday concoction I whipped up this morning:
 

Since we're all busy stuffing our faces today, I'll make this post short and sweet. I know that Mimosas are typically reserved for brunch and we've past that point in the day, but as far as I'm concerned, brunch should be enjoyed all hours of the day. So try one this afternoon, or wait til tomorrow morning for a nice post-turkey pick-me-up! Although you don't actually taste any of the rosemary, you get a fresh whiff of the garnish with every sip, which tricks you into thinking you're tasting it! Can I just say....so good.


Cranberry Pear Mimosa

Ingredients:
* 1 ripe pear, small to medium in size (will be enough for about 6 drinks)
* 4-6 dried cranberries, per drink
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* Champagne
* 1/2 Rosemary sprig, per drink

Instructions:

1) Place dried cranberries in a bowl of hot water. Allow to rehydrate for 15 minutes.

2) Core the pear and cut into inch-thick pieces.

3) Toss chopped pear and orange juice in the blender and puree until almost no lumps remain.

4) Fill your champagne flute 1/3 of the way with the pear/orange mixture.

5) Fill the rest of your flute with champagne.

6) Remove cranberries from water and pat dry. Stick 1-2 of the plump cranberries on the bottom of your rosemary sprig (this will make it float) and garnish.


7) Add the rest of the cranberries to the drink and enjoy!



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Homemade Ginger Beer




Last summer I discovered a drink that I'd never had or heard of before. This drink would subsequently change my life. Forever.

Okay, that's a little dramatic. But for real, once I had a Moscow Mule (vodka, ginger beer and lime) I found myself asking for it at every bar I visited. It is honestly my favorite drink....ever. Any drink that involves ginger beer: I'm all over that. If you've never had a ginger beer drink before, do yourself a favor and make that your next cocktail.

So you can imagine my elation when one of my super awesome birthday gifts from Tony (bar tools and cocktail books) included a recipe for homemade ginger beer. Needless to say, I tried making it right away and it was a huge success!

It's super easy and super cheap. And, it'll keep in the fridge for up to a month. But if you're like me, there's no way it's lasting that long!

So without further adieu...

Ginger Beer

Ingredients:
(Makes just over 4 cups)

5 cups of water
1 large ginger root, minced
2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
1 table spoon fresh squeezed lime juice

Instructions:

1) Bring the water to a boil. Turn off heat.

2) Add minced ginger and cover. Let infuse for 1 hour.

http://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=a3df541382&view=att&th=13b26217a82fd1d1&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P9AEL9yCW-8xPXiAT08Q6rm&sadet=1353556426121&sads=bmJiiU2o9KfgB8qu8eNS5uIEoXM&sadssc=1

Tip: if you have a food processor, mince the ginger in there. It'll be a lot faster. If you're like me and your food processor broke...cut up the ginger into inch-thick pieces and pulse chop in a blender. Remove and continue to mince by hand.

3) Strain the mixture through a fine strainer. Use the back of a large spoon to press on the ginger chunks and squeeze out all the yummy liquid.

http://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=a3df541382&view=att&th=13b26223d92d10ff&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P9AEL9yCW-8xPXiAT08Q6rm&sadet=1353556671371&sads=hNUfxfPYuSk2fcMHyWe8TXZW66U

4) Add lime and brown sugar, sir and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

YEAH. I KNOW. IT'S THAT EASY!

Now, the difference between this and ginger beer you buy at the store is that it's not carbonated. This makes for an awesomely smooth flavor. But, if you find you're missing the bubbles in your drink, just add a few splashes of club soda. Makes up for it without changing the flavor.

Now get concocting!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fall into Winter

We had our first snow here in Durango this weekend.



Unfortunately, it melted pretty quickly. But fortunately - after raking for three weekends straight - we got up all the leaves just in time!

Here was the before (this is only about a third of the backyard):

 http://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=a3df541382&view=att&th=13af5ad5777f63fb&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P9AEL9yCW-8xPXiAT08Q6rm&sadet=1352741842825&sads=p6qKvw_QNYddEtUPpTmB4lSxZMs

After the first weekend and only getting the front yard done, we decided to rent a leaf vacuum. We rented it for 4 hours, and only got about half of the backyard done.

Here is Tony's after:



Then finally, 50, 50-gallon bags later (we used every last one):

http://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=a3df541382&view=att&th=13af5beff40acce8&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P9AEL9yCW-8xPXiAT08Q6rm&sadet=1352742725235&sads=eqS9FIae3_Af2qr4O5ReY94hgXI

Just in time for the snow!

It had stayed in the upper 50s, lower 60s right up until the snow fall. Now, highs are in the 30s. And just like that, winter is here. And winter in this house means PROJECTS!! I'm really excited to get started. Here's what's on the list for this season:

1) New kitchen light fixtures
2) Turn a Craigslist tea cart into a fabulous bar cart
3) Paint the kitchen
4) Refurbish an old bench
5) ORGANIZE!

And I've already started the organizing part. We have a bad habit of forgetting what food we have, especially dry goods, which seem to get lost in the cabinets. So after a little Pinspiration, I decided to make good use of all those Mason jars we have acquired.



The next step is to buy (or make) some chalkboard paint to label each of the jars.

More to come! What are your winter projects in the pipeline??

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This and That: Bourbon for those who don't like Bourbon

Alright, so I was talking to my friend Heather the other day and the topic of our blogs came up. Unlike me, she's been posting away some seriously easy and delicious homemade recipes over on Nothin Fancy Eats. (I dare you to try one a prove me wrong. Can't be done.) While on the topic of blogs, she let me know that her favorite post of mine was the This and That post I did a few months ago. I had intended to make it a sort of weekly or bi-weekly series. However, let's be honest: I'm lazy. Taking pictures of the steps while you're cooking is so time consuming. It adds on at least three minutes to your cook time. Who has that kind of time to waste nowadays? Apparently you do, Heather. But I digress.

The "This and That" posts were originally intended to be a formula of drink+food+music that would compliment each other. I should have thought it out more though because then I would have realized that I don't cook very often. And when I do, I just want to eat, okay? So many times I would think "I should really take pictures of this" while I was making something. And then every time I would think "But I'm hungry," and go about my business.

SO I'VE CHANGED THE FORMULA!

I'm brilliant. No shame.

You might recall that I want to really beef up my drink-making skillz. And I still plan on doing that. Now that we're getting more settled, I am finally feeling more justified spending money on booze. So NOW, the new formula is just drink+music. So much less stressful!

So for my first installment, since it's been absolutely beautiful (both in color and weather) over here in Colorado, and because I bought about 5 fall-scented candles at Wal-Mart the other day, I find it fitting to start with a drink aptly named "The Fall Classic."

DRINK THIS: The Fall Classic 



(Please excuse the bad photos. Like I said earlier...I'm lazy.)

Let's begin by letting you know that I hate whiskey. Bourbon too. Just the smell makes me queasy (I think we can thank undergrad and Evan Williams for that). Tony, on the other hand, loves whiskeys, bourbons and scotches. His drink of choice is an Old Fashioned (which I will be posting soon). I've tried numerous times to ease myself back into this liquor category, but all to no avail.

But when I saw the recipe for a Bourbon drink that involved apple cider and thyme simple syrup? I mean come on. I had to at least try it! And guess what? IT'S AWESOME.

After I mixed the drink, the smell of bourbon was definitely pungent and I thought "Oh great..." But honestly, though it smells like bourbon, I can't taste it at all! All I taste is fall deliciousness. This is seriously the perfect fall drink because it's not too fruity and not too pungent - perfect for all tastes. (Plus I think putting it in a tumbler instead of a martini glass makes it much more appealing to the gentlemen. Tony loves it too).

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Ingredients
(Makes 2 drinks)

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of sugar
15 sprigs thyme (a sprig is just 1 stem)
4 tablespoons of apple brandy
4 tablespoons bourbon
4 tablespoons apple cider
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
1 apple slice or thyme sprig for garnish (optional)


Instructions

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, constantly stirring to dissolve sugar.


Remove from heat and add the thyme. Let completely cool. Leftover syrup can be kept for up to a month in the fridge.



Add 2 tablespoons of the syrup, ice and the rest of the ingredients (minus garnish) to a cocktail shaker and shake at least 20 times (1 shake=up and down - learned this tip recently). Pour into a tumbler, add garnish and turn up your speakers...





LISTEN TO THAT: Ghost Towns by Radical Face

While you're enjoying your cocktail - preferably cozied up in a blanket next to a crackling fire (or Wal-Mart scented candle) - listen to "Ghost Towns" by Radical Face. Most of you probably know Radical Face for the single "Welcome Home" from his album, "Ghost." While I do love that song, I still much prefer his debut album "The Family Tree: The Roots," which is what "Ghost Towns" if off. This song puts me in the mood for fall all year round. Enjoy!!



Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Music

I am ashamed to admit it, but I will: I haven't been into music for a long time.

Let me explain.

I grew up with music. I played classical piano for 11 years and percussion for 15. I was always in symphonies, bands and orchestras. I played music almost everyday. And in addition, I was extremely serious about listening to music - finding new bands, new styles, new composers.

And then real life happened.

I got so busy with school and the K-State newspaper that I stopped playing music. Then I got so busy with finding jobs, paying bills and working that I stopped searching for new music. And then I got so sick of the music I already had that I stopped listening to music. Now, I don't mean entirely. I still listened to the radio, went to a show here or there and played some tired tracks on my iTunes. I would try to listen to new albums by new artists or by old favorites, but I really never had the patience to get into anything. I haven't really felt passionate about music in a long time. I chalked it up to not finding anything truly new. If I think about the progression of my musical taste, it boils down to always finding a band, artist or combo that introduced a totally new sound to me. After a while, I felt like I'd heard it all.

Well, I've had enough time to get over that crap logic. It's time to start getting into it again. Plus, I think it also helps that I now have Spotify Premium.

What follows are a few artists that I've really loved lately that I want to share with you. No, they're not totally new sounds to me, but they're good. And that's all that matters anyway, right?

Frank Ocean - Thinking About You (Album: Channel Orange)
--I've been really listening to a lot of Frank Ocean lately. So much so, in fact, that you're going to get another taste of his music later! Pick up this album. I think it takes some getting used to, but after a few listens you won't be able to get some of these songs out of your head. (PS This music video is kinda weird...I suggest listening to the song without watching...)


Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough (Album: Is Your Love Big Enough)
--I'm actually not really a big fan of this album. I think most of the songs are too repetitive and they get annoying after a while - how many times do we have to hear the chorus/hook in one song?? But I do love this song...a lot.



Mumford and Sons - I Will Wait (Album: Babel)
--I just cannot get enough of this band's harmonies. That's it. 



Frank Ocean - Super Rich Kids (Album: Channel Orange)
--I love this song because 1) the beats are awesome and 2) the subject matter is one you don't hear about too often, and that makes it interesting for me.


Hope you found at least one new jam for the weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

DIY Tripod Floor Lamp

So, admittedly, I've been lacking on the posts lately. But some really great things have been occupying my time (like jumping head first into the banking world and actually having a life with my other half post Bar exam) so I've got some excuses, okay? Also, I've been working on a few of DIYs that I'm really excited to share with you, but most of them are still mid-project. HOWEVER!! I finally have one completed! So without further adeau, my DIY tripod floor lamp:


Awesome, right? (And that is a sheepskin rug under there, by the way...starting to collect for the room revamp.) Now, first I must tell you that the only overhead lights in our house are in the basement - a floor we never use - and that before moving to Colorado, we sold all of our lamps. Turns out...that was a bad idea. We were in desperate need of a floor lamp (or 3). But have you seen the price of those things?? Unless it's from Wal-Mart or Target (and we already discussed the Ikea issue), be prepared to shell out a hund-o, at the very least! So. I decided to make my own.

My inspiration came from a few places. First, I saw this lamp on Room and Board and instantly fell in love with the design. However, the $400 price tag? Not so much.

Then I saw this lamp from West Elm:


Still simple and beautiful...and $300.

And then I remembered reading about this DIY coat rack and seeing lamp kits at Home Depot while working on this DIY (almost finished - super excited to share!):


And I thought, why pay hundreds of dollars for a tripod lamp when it looks like it would be so easy to make your own? And guess what...IT WAS! My total cost for this project? Thirty-Five Big Ones. That's right. $35. And it was so simple! So simple, in fact, that I think you should make one too.

Here's what you'll need:

3-4 heavy duty tapered wood handles ($5 each at Home Depot)
1 lamp kit ($10 at the HD)
Zip tie
Wire
String or twine
Lamp shade
Staple gun

Step 1:
Stand up your handles in the desired formation (I wanted the tripod effect, but you can also use 4 or 5 handles if you want). Measure the distance between the handles to make sure they are equal for a stable base.


Step 2:
Tighten a zip-tie around the bundle so it stands on its own.



Step 3:
Take your wire and wrap it around the handles making sure to weave in and out of each handle. Twist the ends of the wire to secure. It will look pretty ugly, but don't worry, that's why you've got the string.


Step 4:
Assemble your lamp kit. (Note: If you find that the shade sits too high once you are finished, you can always use a shorter harp from an existing lamp, which is what I did, or find one at a thrift store.)

Step 5:
Place your assembled lamp fixture in the opening of your handles. It should fit snugly on its own. Make sure you arrange it so that the knob to turn the lamp on is easily accessible.

Step 6:
Weave your wire around the harp and each handle to secure it. Again, it will not look pretty, but the shade will cover it.


Step 7:
Wrap your string or twine around the bottom wire so it is completely covered.


Step 8:
Add the shade and set up the lamp in your space. Using a staple gun, staple the cord to the back of the post facing your wall. Have someone hold the post steady while you staple so you don't injure yourself or the lamp.


Step 8:
Sit back and enjoy your new creation knowing those less crafty than you have done the same for 10 times the price!


So...what do you think? Will you be adding this baby to your living room any time soon?



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This and That

So...idea time! I'm going to try and start a series on this blog called "This and That." The plan is to post a tasty drink, something to eat with that drink and then something to listen to while enjoying both. I don't know how frequent these posts will be, but hopefully it will give you something fun and new to try every once in a while.
So with that said, here is the first edition featuring.....BASIL!


Drink: 
Strawberry Basil Martini
Eat:
 Balsamic Margarita Pizza with Chicken
Listen:
The Star of a Story - Vijay Iyer Trio

Why? 
This super fruity drink and refreshing pizza are perfect for a hot summer night (though you might want to start with the pizza and save the drink for dessert). The Star of a Story is an equally refreshing jazz tune to bob your head to while enjoying your basil indulgence on the porch.

Side notes: Basil is definitely one of my favorite herbs and we get it fresh pretty frequently from family who grow it. We had just gotten a bunch and were planning on making a margarita pizza, but I also felt like diving into a cocktail. So what did I do? Google "basil vodka drink" of course. I was actually surprised with how many recipes were found. But since I had just picked some fresh strawberries from our garden, I knew this was the one I had to try.


DRINK THIS
Strawberry Basil Martini
(original recipe here)

Makes: 1 drink - multiply measurements for desired number of drinks


Ingredients:
2-3 fresh strawberries (choose quantity depending on how sweet you want the drink to be)
3 basil leaves
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup (click for recipe)
2 ounces vodka (or 1 ounce gin, 1 ounce vodka)
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (about half of 1 lime)
Ice

Instructions:
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries, simple syrup and basil. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake well - at least 40 shakes. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a strawberry.



EAT THAT
Balsamic Margarita Pizza with Chicken

Makes: 2 Personal Pizzas


Ingredients:
2 large flour tortillas
1 small chicken breast, seasoned to taste and cubed
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 small bunches of basil
fresh mozzarella, sliced to desired size
oilive oil
balsamic vinaigrette
optional: 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tortillas on a large baking sheet. Drizzle enough olive oil on each tortilla to lightly cover them. Sprinkle on the shredded cheese for a more gooey pizza. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and chicken. Drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil on top of the mixture. Place in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or until tortilla edges are crispy and cheese is melted. Drizzle balsamic over hot pizza. Slice and serve!


LISTEN TO THIS



Enjoy!

Simple Syrup

Since I'm about to begin my journey into cocktail wonderland, I thought we'd start with a very basic staple: simple syrup. It's incredibly quick and easy to make and can last you up to a month. Here's what you'll need:

Simple Syrup

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water


Instructions:
Place both ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.


Bring heat to low and let simmer until all the sugar has dissolved completely (about 3 minutes). Cool completely before using. (Simple syrup can be stored for up to 1 month in a glass jar.)


Walah!

Friday, July 13, 2012

News and Booze

So....okay. Most of you probably already know by now, but if you don't...

I got a new job!

There. Big news revealed. Disappointed?

Here's why it's such a big deal...to me at least:

A) I have been trying to get a job in Durango for literally more than a year now. It is so nice to now spend my mornings eating breakfast instead of scouring the classifieds.

B) There is a lot of room for growth in this company and I can see myself working here for, oh...forever.

Let's all have a glass of champagne to celebrate! Or a bottle. Or two. Hey, it's a pretty good excuse, okay?



My official start date is July 30, since Tony and I will be spending the week before in Denver while he takes the Bar exam. (Let's have another glass at that thought, shall we?) In the interest of not having my entire life available via Google, Facebook me or text me or call me (novel idea) and I'll be happy to tell you allllll about it!

I feel like this hiring marks the end of my first quarter century. It has definitely been a great one, but I am way more excited about the one that's about to start. Hopefully it will be full of travel, family, love, new experiences, new friends, old friends and the general living of life to the fullest.

And along those lines, I would like to share with you my newest life goal: to make the world's best cocktail.

Okay, not really, but I do want to be able to make some kick-ass drinks without a second thought. As soon as we're a little more settled, we're going to start building the bar and I'm going to begin reading up on mixology. I've already started researching a little. For example: DID YOU KNOW that you're not supposed to store vodka in the freezer??? According to Death and Company:

"That business about keeping vodka in the freezer is a mistake. When you are mixing something over ice, you need a certain amount of water dilution to mellow the booze. If the alcohol is already cold the ice doesn't dilute the drink enough, and you'll get a very high alcohol taste in the drink."


So the other day, Tony's aunt made me a dirty martini with Sam's Club vodka - Rue 33 - that had been stored in a cupboard. Sounds terrible, right? Well actually, it was one of the best dirtys I'd had in a long time, and the gigantic bottle of vodka only cost $25! I went home and made the exact same martini with some Skyy vodka (same price) and it was TERRIBLE. I could hardly finish it. So then I bought a bottle of Rue 33 from her, immediately stuck it in the freezer and made the exact same cocktail again 24 hours later. And guess what? It was....just okay. Definitely much better than the Skyy, but I could still really taste the alcohol.

SO THEN!!!!!

After reading that little statement on Death and Company's site, I immediate went home, took the bottle out of the freezer and made that same dirty about 48 hours later. And guess what? It. Was. AWESOME!

So there's your first little tip from your friendly, neighborhood bartender-in-training. Do yourself a favor: run to your nearest Sam's, grab a bottle of Rue 33, leave it at room temperature and toast to this tip...and my new job.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Photoshop Friday

Okay, so the big news isn't being revealed yet. I want to wait until it's officially official. But, after being made aware that the phrase "still feeling the effects of some really great news I received recently" from the last post sounded…misleading…I will tell you this:

No, I'm not pregnant.

Good. I'm glad we cleared that up.

In other news, I've had a lot of time on my hands due to the whole no Internet, no TV thing. So to occupy my time at home while Tony studies away, I've been dreaming up some room makeovers. The most thought out makeover has been in the master bedroom. Now, admittedly, I'm not the best with Photoshop. And because I've admitted that, you can't make fun of my editing skillz.

I've been trying to put together a design plan for the master for about two years now. This is the most comprehensive design plan I've come up with, yet I'm still not satisfied. So that's where you come in. If you have any suggestions, please! Suggest away!

(Again, please excuse the photo sizes. They look great on my phone, but I have no idea what they look like in a real browser.)

Here are the befores:





(We don't have flooring in yet, but don't worry. The hardwoods are being installed sometime this month,)

And here are two after options - same decor, just difference paint:

Navy:





Grey:





I'm pretty set that I want gold/mustard/yellow to be the accent color. I also really am liking the idea right now of a dark paint. So cozy and sleep inducing.

So here are the dilemmas:

1) Navy or Grey? Now, please keep in mind that when this picture was taken I only had one light bulb - there is no overhead lighting - and it was almost dusk, so the room is really, REALLY dark in the photo in the first place. The room won't be that dark in real life because there would be at least three lamps, so don't let the walls fool you into thinking a dark paint makes the room literally this dark. Remember. Photoshop skills grade: needs improvement.

2) What the heck do I put on that far, interior wall? It obviously needs something, but I don't want it to compete with the deer head (I've lightened it in the photo so you can see it better). I've been lusting over that cardboard wonder for years now and finally found it on super sale (you're the best, Fab!), so it is definitely staying put. So what goes there? A mirror? A piece of art? A photo? WHAT?

3) Does the bed need a throw pillow? I've struggled with this for a while. I like the minimalist, modern bed look, which is why we got a platform bed. But every platform bed I've seen styled just has the two pillows. It looks kind of weird with a third wheel, but it also defiantly looks like it's missing something. Any thoughts?

Here's a breakdown of the decor:

1) Kartell Louis Ghost Chair
--Definitely purchasing the real thing once I can justify spending $400 on a chair. Not sure when that will be…ps it's on sale right now over at AllModern...

2) Gold-tone chevron throw pillow
--Just found this image online, don't know the source but definitely want a chevron and/or ikat throw.

3) Ikea Sheepskin Rug
--Pretty sure this Ikea rug is faux. You can't beat the price, but I really would like the real deal. A lot of places sell them so I might initially go Ikea while bargain hunting for better quality (NuLoom is the dream).

4) Antique brass floor lamp
--Treasure hunting for something similar at local second-hand and vintage shops

5) West Elm Tree Stump Side Table
--Definitely want a stump side table, but why buy one online when your fiancé has plans to chop down relatives' trees for firewood this winter? I've already requested he bring home a stump.

6) West Elm Favorite Throw in Dandelion
--Now, let me just tell you how I've been looking for a soft throw, in this color, for a decent price, for….years. And finally I see it on West Elm for about $30 bucks. Yes! However, I can't really purchase much outside of gas and groceries right now, so I thought I'd wait. It's called the Favorite Throw, so it's got to be a staple, right? WRONG. They just had a pillow/throw sale - 20% off - and as soon as I realized it, Dandelion was already sold out. Perfect. So on the hunt again…

7) Cardboard Safari's Bucky Deer
--As much as I love this piece, I could not justify spending $55 on a sheet of cardboard. Beautiful, laser-cut cardboard, but still. Cardboard. But thanks to my favorite sale site and a few credits, I swiped it for just over $10.

8) Marconi Bulbs
--You can't tell in the picture, but this is what they actually look like. Right now, the base of the light is that dark iron-like material that every single piece of decor in Hobby Lobby is made out of - you know what I'm talking about. So I'm thinking of spraying them gold. I only had one set up at the time I took the photo, but there is one on the other side of the bed. Why wasn't I more prepared when taking this photo, you ask? Why do you ask so many questions?

9) Ladder
--So we have a ladder exactly like this in our backyard, only it's about two stories tall. So, if we get the okay from the landlord, I want to cut it down to size and stick it in our bedroom. In this photo towels are hung on it, but i have a few blankets I plan to hang instead.

Phew! Congratulations to you if you made it through that entire post! This is definitely going to be a work in progress, but I hope it turns out. Seriously. Suggestions welcome.

And lastly. The olympics begin three weeks from today. There are very few things in this world that I love more than the olympics, especially the summer olympics. There is no way on this Earth that I will be without TV in three weeks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Quiet 4th

Happy Fourth of July everyone! Hope yours was full of patriotic drinks and BBQ. We did our best by cooking some ribs, slathering them in sauce and finishing off with these babies:



Super easy, but super delicious recipe:
1 box berry Jello
Cool Whip
Fresh strawberries

You can figure out the rest.

It was definitely nice to have a day off today, but our America celebrations are at a minimum this year. My little lawyer-to-be has been using today to get ahead on his studying, and because of the burn ban, all the fireworks shows have been canceled. But no matter. A nice quite day at home with my three favorite boys suits me just fine. Plus, I'm still feeling the effects of some really great news I received recently. More to come on that later...(Those of you who know, don't spoil it for the rest!)

But in the meantime, let's relax and enjoy our freedom together. Where's my friend Jessica and her signature U.S.A. chant when you need her?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Durango...and stuff.

Alright. We've got a lot to catch up on, blogosphere. Since last we spoke (or I should say spammed your Facebook newsfeed with my blog posts), the fiancé and I were headed out of Tulsa to our new home in Durango. Well, we made it safely, thank goodness, and are loving the town, the views, the weather - no 100 degree heat or humidity here! - and our new home. However, the home is a catch22. I think. Actually. I'm not 100% sure what a catch22 is. Never read the book either. And I'm too lazy to look it up. Anywayz. We live up the mountain, so it's a beautiful drive into town everyday and it's cooler up here during the days. But. We don't. Get. Internet. Thus, why I've taken such a hiatus from blogging. Surfing the web is not easy on an iPhone. Neither is trying to copy and save links and photos for posts. But, blogosphere, I've missed you. And I'm constantly getting new ideas to blog about. So prior to this date, this blog has been mainly focused on fashion and design. Since perusing the Internet is pretty much impossible now, this blog is turning a new leaf. I think we're headed into lifestyle territory. I hope you enjoy!

Now, since we have so much to catch up on: a review of the past 2 months via Instagram.

 This post brought to you by my shattered iPhone. (See first picture.) Please excuse the photos spilling over the border. I can't control the size on my phone...


On one of my last days in Tulsa, I shattered phone in the most unlikely series of events. My phone was sitting on my lap in the car. I got out of the car, forgetting about my phone. It fell onto the curb as I stood up and at the exact same moment it hit the curb, I stepped on it. Crunch. Luckily I found some clear packaging tape to hold the screen together. Still works like a charm!

I know this is pretty much the worst picture ever, but I wanted to post it as evidence that Tony graduated law school. Hooray!


This is my GPS on our 15-hour drive to Durango. We rented a U-Haul Trailer, which Tony hitched to the back of his car. He was pulling so much weight that this is literally as fast as we could go (see speed). We didn't arrive at 8:01pm, by the way. We arrived at 11:50pm. False hope, GPS. False hope.


Oh, hello mountains. This is one view from our subdivision. Our street is there on the left.


Durango, taken from the top of the dog park, which has an awesome view of the town. And it's definitely not your typical dog park. Instead of an acre or two of fenced in dirt, this dog park is situated on the side of a mountain. It has several walking trails and is fenced in only by the mountainside and the Animas River. Pretty sweet.


So, while you don't get a house tour just yet, I will share with you a few photos of the best part of our home: the backyard. It's huge. Not only is it huge, it also has a rope swing, a garden growing strawberries and garlic, patio furniture, a fire pit, a chiminea, a gas grill, and a compost pit. All inclusive! We're renting the house from his Aunt and Uncle, who recently moved into town. So thanks to all their hard work, we get to enjoy this awesome space! This is the view off the porch right as you walk out of the house. A hammock is definitely going to be our next purchase.


Another view. We took these shortly after we moved in so the furniture isn't set up yet. But over there beyond the shrubs to the left is the garden.


The dogs love it.


 A few weekends ago, we road tripped it to Navajo Lake in New Mexico with Tony's Aunt, Uncle and cousins. That's their boat. It was beautiful, so much fun and only an hour away! However, the sunburn I developed - not so much fun.


Aaaaand finally.....Telluride.


This is seriously the most beautiful place I've ever been. And I've been all over southern New Zealand.
We went for the Bluegrass Festival. I'm not the biggest fan of Bluegrass, but I do love live music. And in this setting, it was too much fun. The best part is that Telluride is only two hours away from Durango. I see a lot of this in my future.


A lot of you have been asking about the fires here in Colorado and if we're okay. We've been lucky so far. Our home hasn't been threatened, b ut that threat is very real. Here is a photo taken at the festival a day after the Weber fire began to blaze. Those aren't clouds in the sky. That's smoke from a fire an hour and a half away.

Just sharing because I love this photo. This is Tony's Aunt and Uncle at the festival.
They love each other.

Us, on the other hand. Not so photogenically romantic. Here we are in our sweet sun hats. I'm happy to report, thanks to my ultra chic hat, I did not get a sunburn this weekend. Oh Telluride, I can't wait to see you again.

Good. So now we're up to date.