Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Updates

Happy Sunday!! I hope everyone had a great weekend. We are having the most beautiful weather here in Colorado...warm, sunny days and cool, dry nights. It doesn't get any better than this. Our beautiful maple tree in the front yard has turned a beautiful autumn red and is losing its leaves - winter is just around the corner. That's amazing, isn't it? I don't know where the summer went. I didn't do any of the things I wanted to do and here we are, getting ready for ski season.

My ankle is feeling much better but I haven't started running on it yet. Sally and I went for a 2 hour hike yesterday in felt great to be outside and moving. I've started going back to the gym...if I'm not going to run, I have to do something! I've also started taking a yoga class at lunchtime and all that stretching is making me feel great. I've exercised my whole adult life so to have now spent over a year basically doing nothing felt yucky, yucky, yucky. I don't think there are any more marathons in my future but I do hope to get up and running again.

I know time is flying because we're so busy but it doesn't make it any easier. Here's Dick and I at the Broncos game last week...we had a great time, making a day of it and we won!

Work has been busy too and the pups keep me busy at home. Here's some puppy love for you. Cody is 4 months old now and boy, is he a cutie and sweet!

The two of them are really getting along well and together, they make my heart melt.
They can be very attentive when Dick has treats!!

I've been spending alot of time in my craft room, working on Christmas cards and other things. It's been a long time since I felt any creative mojo, but spending the weekend with Suze in Chicago....chatting and visiting paper and stamp stores has gotten my creative juices going again. I don't think I've ever posted any of my cards but here's one that I made last weekend that I thought came out pretty well. It's a bad big but it looked really good in person and who knows, someone reading this blog may be the lucky recipients!!!

And last, but definitely not least, Dick has been travelling alot this year but is just short of making his normal United 1K status so to help him along, we're going here for 3 days in November - Munich, Germany. It will be a quick trip but we're always up for an adventure. We've been once before but it was at the tail end of a whirlwind 17 day trip and I didn't really enjoy the city. I'm looking forward to spending the weekend there and getting to know it a little better.
Have a great week!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Work Work Work

I've been swamped at work lately and with Dick out of town, my nights are filled with puppy duties. So here's a little fun info about me today. This is from the Very Good Taste blog and it's 100 things they thing every good omnivore should eat in their life. Here goes:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.

3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison

2. Nettle tea

3. Huevos Rancheros

4. Steak Tartare

5. Crocodile

6. Black pudding

7. Cheese fondue

8. Carp

9. Borscht

10. Baba Ghanoush


12. Pho

13. PB&J Sandwich

14. Aloo gobi

15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses

17. Black truffle

18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes

19. Steamed pork buns

20. Pistachio ice cream

21. Heirloom tomatoes

22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras

24. Rice & Beans

25. Brawn or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper

27. Dulce de leche

28. Oysters

29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda

31. Wasabi peas

32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi

34. Sauerkraut

35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar3

7. Clotted cream tea

38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O

39. Gumbo

40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat

42. Whole insects

43. Phaal

44. Goat’s milk

45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more

46. Fugu

47. Chicken Tikka masala

48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly Pear

52. Umboshi

53. Abalone

54. Paneer

55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal

56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini

58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine

60. Carob chips

61. S'mores

62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin

64. Currywurst

65. Durian

66. Frogs’ legs

67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

68. Haggis

69. Fried plaintain

70. Chitterlings, or andouillette

71. Gazpacho

72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe

74. Gjetost or brunost

75. Roadkill

76. Baijiu

77. Hostess Fruit Pie

78. Snail

79. Lapsang souchong

80. Bellini

81. Tom yum

82. Eggs Benedict

83. Pocky

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.

85. Kobe Beef

86. Hare

87. Goulash

88. Flowers

89. Horse

90. Criollo chocolate

91. Spam

92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose Harissa

94. Catfish

95. Mole poblano

96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor

98. Polenta

99. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

100. Snake

Wow, looking through my list, I'm a pretty good eater and there's really nothing on here that I wouldn't try...lots of things I don't want to eat but nothing I wouldn't play around with.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

IKEA & Puppy Update

I am so excited...on the front page of the Denver Post this morning: Ikea coming to Colorado!!! I am thrilled, even though it will be close to 2 years before it's finished. In our current house, Ikea furniture wouldn't really fit in with our decor but when we were Townhouse living in Virginia, it was perfect. But, they have the most awesome prices and selection of kitchenware, dishes, glass jars...I can't wait!!!

Puppy update. There's a reason puppies are so cute! This morning I went outside to find a large hole in the middle of my outdoor sofa cushion and a puppy pulling out stuffing. Since I did not see the original crime occur, I don't know who started it although I am pretty sure it was Kimi, the big sister who was the original perpetrator. Cody just got caught living off the spoils!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Puppy Fix!

This is Kimi & Cody's favorite spot to hang out...our new bathroom...I'm sure the tile is cool on their little Berner tummies. And aren't they just the sweetest looking things? And so innocent....
Oh wait...this is what happens in puppies favorite spot when he & Kimi get hold of Mommy's nice bathroom rugs that keep her toes nice and cozy warm in the winter!!! Good thing we got the radiant heat in the floor!!! Can you see the little pieces of blue yarn scattered throughout? They were also scattered throughout the bedroom so apparently a tug of war had occurred!!!

But look at this adorable thing and you know why I can hardly stay mad for a second....

and here he is tonight...a whopping 21 pounds of pure fluff and cuteness.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fun Fun Fun in the Big City - Warning Long Post

I'm back and get ready to read because it was a jam packed weekend of fun!!! Now I'm back but busy with puppies and work so it's taken me a couple of days to get to the blog.

Chicago was wonderful!!! Suze and I haven't spent any quality time together in years so it was so fun to just be us girls being silly in the big city. I arrived Friday morning, via an unusually on-time United flight and headed straight to our hotel. My DH had let us use his Marriott points to score two free nights at the Marriott Magnificent Mile. What a sweety! It's a nice hotel...nothing to complain about. In fact, there's a brand new Starbucks in the lobby so lots to be thrilled about. Suze and I spent alot of time at the Bucks around Chicago...enjoying our lattes. The hotel is in an awesome location...right on Michigan Ave...a stone's throw from Nordstrom's and all of the other magnficent shopping. Wanna hear something funny? We didn't even go into any of those shops....nope, not even Nordstrom.

Friday was a whirlwind of a day. I checked us into our hotel (thank you Marriott for having a room at 10:30 in the morning) and headed down the street to get Suze. Once we were all unpacked, we headed out the door. Suze was on a mission for a camera so we scounted out the nearest Wolf's and headed there. Ooops...well, we got sidetracked by Old Navy where we picked up some cute jammies on sale then we had lunch so THEN we found her camera. Once that mission was accomplished, we were free to hang out and just have fun which we did. More window shopping on Friday then we stopped in for a quick nibble and glass of wine at one of our fave Chicago spots - Quartino - on the corner of Ontario & State Street. Awesome inexpensive Italian wine and pizza (Italian style, not Chicago style). Well, one glass of wine turned into a bottle and nibbles turned into a yummy pizza topped with fresh arugula that turned into yummy, yummy grapefruit martinis and a fun bartender named Eric so needless to say....we never made it past Quartino.

We were in bed early on Friday...both of us had early mornings and those comfy, fluffy pillows at the Marriott were calling our name.

Saturday morning was exactly what I was hoping for...luxuriously sleeping pups whining for food or attention. Heaven in Chicago...LOL. When we finally drug ourselves out of our room, we opted for a walk along the lake. It was a gorgeous day and I couldn't believe how many people were out walking, running, biking, rollerblading, swimming. It made me think for a nano-second that Chicago is a city could live in (at least until winter arrived!). We made our way leisurely back to the hotel...stopping to have a yummy cinnamon dolce latte for me at Bucks and a nice, icy 7-Up for Suze. Along the way, we stumbled upon the Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago. The church is a landmark Gothic Revival church and a welcome relief from the middle of the day heat and crowds on Michigan Avenue. We stopped for a moment of silence inside the church then made our way to the lovely courtyard and fountain. It's so nice to come upon a peaceful place in the middle of a city.

Quick showers and we were off again. We were on another mission. Both of us had done some research and come up with ONE, yes ONE, stamp store in Chicago that we wanted to visit. So it was our mission on Saturday to find it. We decided it was such a great day that we'd venture a walk down Rush Street and work our way up to North Clark to visit Stamp On In. We ventured through Chicago's Gold Coast area. In the late 1980s, the Gold Coast comprised the second most-affluent neighborhood in the United States, behind Manhattan's Upper East Side so it's not surprising that we were shopping for this:
or maybe one of these that comes with a cool price tag of $438,000!!!!

Along the way, there were the obligatory Bucks stops...a long peek into Anthropologie...a too yummy for words lunch at another of our faves: Le Colonial. This was our first trip to the Chicago restaurant but we had a yummy dinner at their New York location several years ago. So yummy that we have been talking about going back there for 4 years!!! We had a cute little table outside and ordered up some fabulous appetizers.
goi Cuon
Soft salad rolls of shrimp, rice vermicelli, lettuce, bean sprouts, & aromatic herbs in rice paper, with peanut plum dipping sauce

hao tom
Grilled shrimp wrapped around sugar cane, with angel-hair noodles, mint, cilantro, & lettuce, with peanut plum dipping sauce

ca song
Tuna tartare with tomato, cilantro, & cucumber,tossed in ginger soy dressing, served with wonton crisps

More wandering...through Lincoln Park...up to North Clark and finally...Stamp On In!!! Well, we were delighted to be there...what a cute little cute that we didn't take any pics. Well, we took some pics of samples but other than than, we were way too busy filling up our baskets with fun craft goodies. If you are a crafter and are in Chicago, definitely stop in to see Terry and Rick...the stamping guys!!! Not only do they have a great shop but they were so much fun to chat with!! Sadly, they closed at 5 and we had only arrived at 3:30 so we were unable to do leisurely was definitely craft speed shopping. We did have the time for creative genius Rick to give us a tutorial on Copic markers. Fun fun fun and now we actually know how to use them!!!! Whew...we piled in a bunch of fun in that 90 minutes. Ooops, totally forgot our earlier excursion into Blick Art Supplies where we had the craziest (not in a good way) salesperson trying to sell us Copics. She even went so far to give us a demonstration. Suze was all set to buy...until the was so weird that we couldn't wait to get out of there, much less purchase anything from the clearly mentally unstable salesperson. Did I mention that there was a mishap on Saturday and I came away with a black eye? Hmmm....
After our wonderful adventure at Stamp On In, we wandered down Wells Street, ending up in Old Town. What a glorious part of the city! We wandered in and out of small boutiques, bakeries, spice fun fun. But all that fun left us weary on a Saturday night. And although we had the best intentions to go down to the Navy Pier and watch the 10:15 fireworks, it didn't happen. Instead, we put on our new Old Navy jammies....had fun looking through all of our fun craft purchases, rented Sex and the City, ordered room service and went to bed at a reasonable hour. A perfect night if I say so myself.

You would think that all that relaxing in our hotel room would have us up at the crack of dawn...nope, we had another luxurious morning of sleeping in...had our showers and Bucks lattes then headed to the Navy Pier. Sunday we were more on a mission than any other day...probably because up until then we had pretty much just been wandering around Chicago. We hopped on a 10:30 a.m. Architectural boat ride, sat back, enjoyed the lake breeze and watched the skyline go by...what a nice way to start the morning.

We had another crystal blue day but it was starting to warm up just a little so it wasn't as comfortable as it had been earlier in the trip. Like the funny girls we can be, we decided to ride the carnival swings on Navy fun fun...but thankfully I had not eaten anything before riding them...from the Navy Pier, we took the water taxi up the river to the Sears Tower. And this , my friends, is as high as we got in the Sears Tower, once the tallest building in the world. There were too many people and we just did not feel like standing in a sea of humanity so we took our pic here at the entrance to the SkyDeck and went on our merry way.

We ended up at Bin 36 for lunch...a cozy wine bar/restaurant that was perfect. We were hungry and nibbles of cheese & olives (along with a flight of Sauvignon Blanc) were just what we needed!!!

I loved the presentation of the cheese on the tile square. Hmmm...something I could do at home with my leftover tile from the bathroom makeover???

We continued to wander around Chicago and it seemed like we couldn't turn the corner without running into these two beauties....formally known as Marina City and quite famous in many movies but also affectionately known as the corn cob buildings which cracked me up everytime we saw them because yes, they do look like giant corn cobs!!!

We couldn't end the weekend without a little culture and some much needed A/C so we headed over to the Art Institute. If you go, the museum closes at 5:00 but at 4:00, they drop the prices to instead of $12.00 per person, we only paid $6.00!!! And what a deal...we saw:
American Gothic by Grant Wood

The Thorne Miniatures - actual rooms that were recreated in dollhouse size...amazing!!! Can you see the Eiffel Tower out the window? It's faint but the details in these miniature rooms are stunning!!!

The very large Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte by Georges-Pierre Seurat
and Suze's favorites, architectural elements from Chicago landmarks and buildings.

And last, but not least, ending our day at the Buckingham Fountain.
And our last evening, spent relaxing in our hotel room watching this:
Monday we both had early afternoon flights so we made a quick trip to The Paper Source for more stamping fun items and then to O'Hare to get home to our sweet hubbies.

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