Film on the Rocks

Film on the rocks is an event that happens several times throughout the summer up at Red Rocks Amphitheater. They always have a fun selection of movies playing through out the summer. Monday we saw Anchorman.

If you live in Colorado this is a must do. Red Rocks is #2 on the list of the top 10 things to do in Colorado. (Even if it wasn’t you should still see it because it really is that awesome.) This event is a great way to get there without paying for a $75+ ticket to a concert. Sure, it’s no concert but believe me the views and the funny movie lines make up for the cost you would pay to listen to Tenacious D in a horrible cloud of, well, marijuana. That’s obviously not my cup of tea, if it’s yours, more power to you. I’ll go this route. It’s such a spectacular place — it really is amazing how such a natural formation can produce some of the most amazing acoustics. Movies always take place on Monday evenings. You can go, bring movie snacks, hang out with friends and then settle back to watch the show. Tickets will run you about $14 per person. The place gets packed! Arrive earlier for better seats! They usually have a decent band playing until dusk when the movie starts.

You know how there are some things that just really scream summer? This is starting to become one of those things. Last year we went and saw the Goonies. This year, Anchorman. Although it was raining for the beginning half of our movie, it just made it feel that much more like a Colorado summer. If you go make sure you plan for weather, if you live here, you know how the weather can be ;).

I’m starting to think any summer is not going to feel complete without a trip to Film on the Rocks.

Keepin’ it Classy – even in the rain!

It’s been awhile…

But I have a good reason… I promise! I’ve been distant on my blog for the past couple months, I know. I’m sorry. If you’ve un-followed me because of it, well I don’t blame you. But if you’re here with me through thick and thin, through highs and lows, well my goodness you may as well be a bestie because I sure do appreciate it!

Can you believe it’s already July?! What happened to this wonderful summer that I wanted to take full advantage of? I know what happened…

This guy happened.

This is Fezzik. We adopted Fezzik from the Boulder Humane Society in April and have been busy busy little bees trying to make him feel right at home as well as teach him to be a respectful, loyal puppy dog. Except who knew how much work puppies are?! I certainly don’t remember that part from when we had a puppy during my childhood.

Fez (that’s what he goes by for short) is a “Mastador” a Labrador Retriever/Bull Mastiff mix. He was named after the Giant in the princess bride because we thought being a mastiff he might be huge. So far he’s been a bit smaller then we were expecting. He’s incredibly smart and has settled into his forever home very well.

We’ve been able to teach him a load of tricks already. The highlight of this dogs day is probably when he gets to practice all his tricks. His impressive list includes: sit, stay, come, laydown, rollover, bang! (playing dead), peek-a-boo, wait, crate and bed. I would say that’s pretty dang good for a 6 month old puppy. He’s also about 98% house trained. We thought we had made it to the 100% level a couple weeks ago but then he had an accident. He hasn’t had another one in over a week so maybe we’re almost there again.

He’s been such a joy to have around and such a fun addition to our little family. Remember when I picked out the perfect pup? Well, I’m pretty darn happy with our decision to get Fez instead of a Soft-Coated Wheaton. Although, He’s a lot of work…but really what puppy isn’t!? If you didn’t know, puppies get into everything, they eat everything, they mess with everything and they are never tired!! It has been a major adjustment period for us as we were quite used to sleeping in until 9 (sometimes later… don’t judge) on the weekends. Now, with Fezzik, we’ve not slept a wink past 7 AM on a Saturday or a Sunday. It’s okay though, we needed to learn to act like adults and wake up with the rest of the world.

P.S. I promise to start blogging more regularly again.

Home Makeover: Bathroom

I’m happy to report I’m here today with another home makeover post! We’ve been steadily working on different areas of the house. Parts are looking really awesome, parts still have a long way to go. We’ve recently finished (for now) updating the guest bathroom. Our house is not terribly out of date, but it’s dated enough to make me go ewww 90’s, blech!

Our house was constructed with all the lovely builder grade materials that were popular in the 90’s. The bulb light fixtures like this…

… the chrome hardware for all the towel bars, etc. The plainness of it all really bugs me — it’s all just so ugly and very unoriginal. On top of that, when we moved into the house they left everything in the bathroom as is. There was a fishy wallpaper border around the whole bathroom, fishy towel hooks glued to the doors, and the worst part… bubble and fish stickers glued to the walls, the shower tile and the front of the cabinet doors! UGH! How awful! The whole thing was way to fishy for us!

Fishy wallpaper, fishy door knobs, fishy decals GLUED to the cabinet

We started by giving the whole thing a good cleaning! The bathroom was pretty gross. I think unless you live in the house you automatically think all bathrooms are gross. That’s how I felt, it could have been spotless and I still would have felt like it was dirty.

We also spent a Saturday tearing down the wallpaper, cleaning off all the decals from the tile and cabinet doors and removing the uber sticky stuff from the doors where they had the wall hooks hanging. It was quite the chore. It made a huge difference simply doing that.

Next up we painted. Fortunately my wonderful sister was spending some time with us, and we put her to work. She and I painted the entire bathroom and the home office. She rocked! (Good tip: Always put house guests to work when they stay — it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have a couple extra sets of hands!! ;) )

We chose to paint the bathroom “Restful” by Behr. It turned out to be a beautiful relaxing green. It’s very spa like, perfect for a bathroom. I recommend not painting a small bathroom this color as it could easily be too much color if it was a tight space.

Restful by Behr

After painting, we decided the chrome fixtures needed to go. We replaced the towel bar and hand towel bar. We also decided to replace the mirror and the light fixture for something more updated.

knobs for the vanity

I already had the shower curtain I wanted to use. I did, however, need to find wall art. I found a towel hook at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $3! What a deal! I also found the metal wall art next to the towel hook at Michael’s on sale. It fit perfectly and I’m so happy with it. I’m still on the hunt for a nice shelf or cabinet for above the toilet. We’ve got a bare spot there and I think a shelf would be nice.

For now we are really pleased with the improvements that we’ve made to the bathroom. It looks much more welcoming and a lot less fishy than before. I’m also happy to report that this project came in well under $200! What a small investment for such a noticeable return!

  • Light fixture – Home Depot – $25 (we asked if we could buy the floor model for a discount – they said yes! Score!)
  • Mirror – Home Depot – $30
  • Paint + supplies – $40
  • Towel Bar – Home Goods – $18
  • Hand Towel Bar – Home Goods – $10
  • Wall Hanging – Michaels – $24
  • Shower curtain rod+rings – Target – $20
Total = $167
We still have hopes of replacing the flooring, the toilet and the countertop/faucet in the future. We already have the flooring picked out, we just need to get it and install it. The countertop, faucet and toilet is somewhat of a pricey project. Those will have to be on hold until we can save a little cashola. It’s going to be very trying on me to put this on hold because the chrome faucet is driving me nuts!  It certainly doesn’t go with all the bronze in the bathroom. Oh well. Good things come to those who wait. Right?
What do you think of the new look? Any other changes or additions you would recommend? 

Chicken Apple & Asparagus Pasta

Most days I’m not the adventurous type when it comes to making dinner. I prefer tried and true recipes that  I know I can’t mess up yet still taste good. However, after hosting Easter dinner this past weekend, I was left with a lot of leftover items in my refrigerator. David and I have been trying to get much better about about our grocery budget, spending less on food in general but also being more careful to use what we have and not waste a bunch of perfectly good food.

Tonight I decided I was going to be creative. Take what was in my refrigerator and make it work. I forewarned David that he would be a guinea pig when he got home. I told him if it was awful we would head to Chipotle. It was a deal. I was going to make a pasta and it was going to have chicken apple sausage, asparagus, and white wine in it. The rest was to be determined.

The result?

Chicken Apple & Asparagus Pasta

I’m pleased to share this wonderful healthy recipe. It turned out so well it’s most certainly blog worthy!! Unfortunately I didn’t know it was going to be as good as it was so I don’t have step by step pictures.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg Chicken Apple Sausage, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1  bunch asparagus, ends discarded, then cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 box whole wheat penne pasta, cooked
  • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Grated Romano for topping

First, slice all sausage links into slices (side note — I recommend using Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage, it is a savory sausage, many of the chicken apple sausages on the market currently are meant to be used as a breakfast food, they have brown sugar in them, you don’t want a chicken apple sausage that has brown sugar in it or this dish will not turn out the same). On another cutting board, finely dice 2-3 cloves of garlic and cut asparagus into two inch slices. Next, brown both sides of the sausage in a skillet. Start boiling water for the noodles. Once the sausages are browned remove from skillet. Set aside. Add noodles to boiling water (wheat noodles will take longer so plan accordingly). In skillet, add 3 tbsp butter, melt, once melted add 1 tbsp flour. Create a roux by whisking butter and flour mixture together and cooking until lightly brown. Next, add half and half, white wine, garlic, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning and sun dried tomatoes. Let reduce. After reduced add milk until desired consistency and amount of sauce is correct. My sauce was thin, I didn’t want it thick, just enough to give everything a nice coat. Let sauce simmer and flavors blend for 5-10 mins. During last two minutes of pasta cooking time, toss asparagus in with pasta. At this point add sausage back to the sauce so it can heat through. Drain pasta and asparagus return to pot. Pour sauce over noodles. Mix well. Serve in pasta bowls and top with Romano cheese (this cheese makes the whole thing delicious!)

Eat and enjoy!

This together so easily and was so light yet incredibly flavorful! The white wine added a great depth of flavor. This is a perfect dish for a beautiful spring night.

To prove that this was a success I thought I would share a picture of David chowing down. He loved it, he had seconds and look forward to the leftovers for lunch!

Bossypants

I read Bossypants. Let’s get one thing straight, I am no reader. I have just started reading for reals this year. This will mark a milestone in my life as the year where I successfully read two books for pleasure. I had been wanting to read this book because it seemed like everywhere I turned there was somebody reading it! Sitting in the airport for our trip to Mexico I counted at least 5 people reading this book. Tina, you did yourself good by putting your thoughts in the form of a book.

Seriously, this book made me laugh so hard I cried. I didn’t even know reading a book had that ability. Hands down, I highly recommend this book. I actually kind of want to read it again. Mostly because I love laughing and this book really made me laugh.

So do yourself a favor, if you haven’t laughed in awhile get this book.

Ah, Mexico (Part Dos)

Welp, I didn’t get around to posting part dos of our Mexico trip when I said I would. I’m terrible. Let’s not dwell on the fact that I can’t keep a deadline and instead jump right in to it!

Day 2:

  • Xel-Ha Water Resort

We were up bright and early on our second day for our adventure to Xel-Ha. Xel-Ha (shell-ha) is an all natural water park. They call it an aquarium park. The place is massive!! They have lots of attractions, swimming with dolphins, swimming with manatees, snuba-ing (that thing where you can almost scuba dive except it’s just the big helmet you wear underwater), lazy river, lagoon for swimming and snorkeling, and much more.

Xel-Ha

Our morning started off with our swim with dolphins. Unfortunately, I broke out in severe hives that morning and felt it might not be best to be around the dolphins. I didn’t want the dolphins to sense that I was nervous and I certainly didn’t want them to make my hives worse. So I had to sit that activity out :(. David on the other hand got to swim with the dolphins and he thoroughly enjoyed it.

Afterwards we enjoyed some breakfast. The great thing about this water park is not only is it absolutely beautiful and all natural, it’s also all inclusive! How awesome is that!? We could eat, drink and swim our way through the day without having to drain our wallets. It was pure bliss. On top of that the food was even pretty decent! The drinks were fabulous and the bartenders would gladly strengthen your drink upon request ;). I have a new found love for mango margaritas because of our day at Xel-Ha.

Once stuffed to the brim we spent our afternoon on the all natural lazy river, floating in a tube and stopping on occasion so the brave ones in our group could do some cliff jumping, obstacle courses or zip-lines into the water. I had had my thrill of zip-lines and all things adventurous the day prior so I was just fine hanging out in my tube :).

On the Lazy river!

Rope walking!

Towards the end of the river we ditched our tubes and opted to swim the remainder of the river then through the lagoon back to shore. This sounded simple and fun. It would also allow us to snorkel and see all the fish and cool stuff underwater. It didn’t occur to me however that I was the only one in the group that didn’t rent flippers, therefore I would have to use all my might to actually swim against the waves on top of the water and the current underneath the water. It was rough. Not nearly the relaxing enjoyable snorkeling experience I was hoping for. I did make it back to shore safe and sound. My arms were sore for the next 4 days from swimming so hard.

After our afternoon on the river and in the lagoon, we spent the last remaining time hanging out in the most relaxing hammocks ever! I love a good hammock and these were no exception. I could have easily fallen asleep while holding my mango margarita.

Xel-Ha was an amazing experience and I would love to visit again if I ever make it back to that area. For anyone looking for a fun activity and something everyone can enjoy, I highly recommend it!

Xel-Ha

Day 3

  • Beach day

Not much to relay here. We spent the entire day laying on the beach under a cabana. We drank more drinks in the entire day than I have probably ever consumed. I didn’t even feel it because I was so relaxed all day. The only thing that could have made that day any better would have been less wind. Less wind = less sand plastered to our entire body. But I really shouldn’t complain. I was in relaxed paradise with a book in one hand and a drink in another. Life was goooood.

We ended that day with a party on the beach put on by LivingSocial. It was a farewell party. We got to hang out with all the people we enjoyed so much during our trip and it was a great way to wrap up the trip! I miss those people already and secretely hope that one day we’ll all wind up together on a LivingSocial adventure again.

Ah, Mexico! (Part Uno)

A few weeks ago we went to Mexico. Yes, I did say a few weeks ago. Yes, I am a total slacker in taking so long to tell you about our trip. Better late than never?? We went to Playa del Carmen to be exact. It was our first time to Mexico. There were some great things and there were some not-so-great things about our trip.

We purchased a LivingSocial Adventure. What’s that you say? Well I’m sure many of you receive the daily email from Groupon and LivingSocial with their deal of the day. The LivingSocial Adventure is a vacation version of a deal of the day. Except it’s not just a vacation it’s a whole trip planned out for you by LivingSocial guides. We didn’t really know all of this when we bought the deal. We thought we were buying a good deal and we would be on our own once we got to Mexico. Not correct. From check in to check out we spent the entire time with the entire group of people that had signed up for the trip, as well as our guides that planned all the events. Some may say “well that sounds terrible.” For us, this was the highlight of the trip. Well maybe not the highlight, but it was one of them. We loved being able to make friends on a vacation. We loved having a group of people to do things with. It was really great. I highly recommend it!

Our stay was a small hotel a couple blocks from the beach. It was a decent hotel. Upon check-in they didn’t have a room for us, so we had to be put up in a hotel down the street. Let me just say this other hotel was not even close in comparison with the hotel we were supposed to be at. It was much worse. I was very upset and worried. It is Mexico, you can’t just trust what people tell you, and you can’t just trust any old place without researching it prior. Both of these things we had to trust was going to be ok. The hotel was old, run down and felt more like a hostel than a hotel. It was only for one night and we managed to make it through unharmed, but it was certainly one of the low points of the trip.

The next two days were spent doing adventures which were included in our LivingSocial deal. I am typically not an adventurous person, therefore I was quite nervous for these excursions. I put on my brave face and went for it!!

Day 1:

  • Ziplining
  • Snorkeling
  • Cave Spelunking
  • Mayan Ruins at Tulum

We spent the entire morning at a Mayan ranch where in order to start your day you had to rappel down into a cenote (Sa-Note-uh). A cenote is a underground cave. Some are dry and some are wet. The one we spelunked into was wet. We rappelled down and landed in the water. It was SO fun!!

On our way into the cave!

Once in the cave (which is huge and very dark) we swam and toured the cave. Very neat! After drying off we headed into a dry cenote that the Mayans still use to this day for a purification ceremony. We were all purified by the Mayans. Hopefully it did some good :-P

Mayan Purification Ceremony

After being purified it was time to do the zip-lining course. I was most terrified of this adventure. I’m fearful of heights and don’t like not being in control. Zip-lining completely faces both of those fears. As I said earlier, though, I was determined. When I saw the tower for the first line I thought “ok, if it was just David and I, I might be able to wuss out, but since we’re around all these other people I can’t look like a fool!” So I went for it. I was scared to death and I looked like a fool but I did it!!!

Going backwards on the zip-line!

After our zip-lining adventure we wandered over to another wet cenote and did some snorkeling. I had never snorkeled before but was excited to try it. It was so amazing!!! I would definitely do it again. It was a challenge to teach your brain that it’s okay to take a breath while you head is still underwater. We snorkeled in the caves and fortunately we were there on a day when scuba divers where there as well. They were there doing archeological research. It was a great that they were there because they had giant lights down with them and it lit up the entire floor of the cave, which was tremendously deep. You could see all the spikes and divets coming out of the ground. Really fascinating!!

Snorkeling!

After finishing our snorkel session we headed to a hut and were served a traditional Mayan lunch. Chicken, soup, homemade rice, beans, corn tortillas and lots of amazing salsas. It was delicious and very enjoyable.

Finally, after finishing our morning at the Mayan ranch, we headed to Tulum to see the Mayan Ruins located there. They were beautiful! They really knew how to pick the most amazing location. The main temple was literally steps away from a giant cliff that dropped off into the ocean. It was a gorgeous day and the water in Tulum was scenic and peaceful. I wish we could have spent more time there.

Main temple

Ruins in Tulum

After returning to our hotel (the correct one this time) we napped, spruced up and then went to dinner at a local off-the-beaten-path restaurant that the LivingSocial guides had arranged for those that wanted to attend. My food was wonderful, the hubby’s food, not so much.

Check back tomorrow for the highlights of the remainder of our trip!!

This weekend I…

Was thrown a surprise birthday party by my hubby and all my bestest friends!!

Relaxed and enjoyed my saturday

Went to the Denver Zoo with my nieces

Had said neices stay with us for 2 days… we enjoyed being outside… a lot!

Received lots of wonderful birthday cards :)

Filled the easter bowl

had a picnic at the park and played on the playground

It was a great weekend full of fun times!!

 

What did you do this weekend? 

Home Makeover: Office

When we moved into our new home back in September we were feeling incredibly blessed and thankful that we were able to land such an awesome house. Sure there were things we didn’t like. Sure there were things we absolutely couldn’t wait to fix. But, overall we were just really excited to be in a place that we wouldn’t have to worry about re-signing a lease in 12 months or be fearful that we would have to move… again. Moving sucks.

Now that we’ve settled into the house and we’ve  I’ve had time to find every imperfect flaw in the place, it was time to get to work. (I shouldn’t say that — we’ve been making changes since day one.) Anyhow, one of the projects we recently finished was giving the “home office” a nice hefty makeover.

The previous owners used this room for their spiderman obsessed son’s bedroom. And the lady of the home was totally into spongy paint. Gross!

This is not my bag for two reasons: I do not have spiderman obsessed little boys, and spongy paint was so 90’s! Ick ick ick!

Since I work from home, I need a defined space to work from. We turned the smallest bedroom into a wonderful home office. With a limited budget I was able to makeover this room for $300, all things considered.

First on the agenda, paint!

I started off by painting the office Brown Teepee by Behr. It’s a mocha brown that’s warm and rich. Paint ($35) Supplies ($30).

Brown Teepee by Behr

I saved money by using all the furniture I currently own instead of buying new. This worked because all our current furniture is black. Black was going to be one of my accent colors so this worked perfectly.

Before I even knew what color I wanted to paint the room I found the art work for the walls. Sometimes I think this is better this way because it gives you a drawing board to work with. If I just went with any ol’ paint color it could possibly be harder to find artwork and accessories to go with it. Lately I’ve been really into typography, I love any artwork that has beautiful typography in it. Along with that I’ve taken a huge fondness to Fab.com which is where my artwork for my office came from.

Top Hat Owl - $6.00

Giraffe - $6.00

Birds - $6.00

These prints came as you see them so I still had to find frames for them once they arrived. Since they are black and white they are pretty dull on their own. I figured since I spent so little on the actual print itself I would be able to afford to have them custom framed. I took my prints to Michaels picked my frame and matte and had her work up a quote. Boy was I wrong! I couldn’t afford to have these framed in a million years. They were offering a 40% off custom framing sale and it was still going to be $154 per picture to have them framed. What was a girl to do?!

I thought a little bit and went back to the framing counter. I asked them to quote me for just the mats. Three 11×14 mattes with an 8×11 opening = $35 ahhh, much more reasonable. I was sold. I waited a week for perfect sweet potato mattes to arrive. I opted to not look for frames until the mattes came in as it was putting the cart before the horse, if you know what I mean. I picked up my mattes and went looking for frames. Now let me just preface this with the fact that I will buck up and spend the cashola on something that’s really worth it. I was willing to spend a dime or two on three decent frames. But for the life of me I couldn’t find any I liked. Finally as I was just about to leave the store in a huff I found some black frames with a brushed orange edge… on clearance… really!? How lucky could I be! I waffled for awhile on if they were “the one” and finally decided that at $16 a frame I couldn’t beat it and went for it. The result I couldn’t be happier with…

Sorry about the flash on each one. Don’t they look great, though!?

Next up was some window treatments. I didn’t really want to go boring and blah and hang some mini blinds or something similar. I really wanted that WOW affect. I wanted to make the room pop! Since I’m in there all day long I want the space to feel like me and to make me happy when I sit there. I searched and searched for trendy modern fabric that wasn’t too modern but also wasn’t too dated in style or pattern. Since I can’t sew a straight line I didn’t have faith that I could create something myself. After a long search I found what I was looking for, on Etsy. They were a little pricier than I would have liked, but do you recall before when I said I was gladly willing to pay the price for something if it was exactly what I was looking for? Well I went for it, $115 for curtains, that’s the most I’ve ever spent on curtains (I’m also pretty sure my sister-in-law would tell me I was an idiot for paying that because they are probably uber simple to make). It was worth it.

Now that I’ve given you the pieces and parts to this room are you ready for the big reveal?! Ok here goes…

The curtains!

I apologize for the cat being in all of the pictures. Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s not HGTV but it’s as close as I can get on a realistic budget. I would still like to add a few more things to the walls and a bit of home decor here and there but otherwise it’s done! Be on the lookout for future Home Makeover posts as we continue to work on the rest of the house!