Summertime Fun

Summer is made for so many awesome activities. Swimming, bbq’ing staying up late and enjoying the extra sunshine and the crisp cool air, hiking, farmers markets, traveling and so much more. 

This summer we had one big trip planned but then there were tons of other things we want to  squeeze in before the leaves start changing. I decided to make a summer bucket list and join in on the fun with The Happy Family Movement. What a fun way to be able to document what we’ve done and to be able to look at our list and figure out what we want to do. It’s not too late to join in the fun, you can start your bucket list now! 

We’ve been busy busy this summer but have been checking items off our list left and right. The big one that I will blog about in more detail soon was taking a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. My mom graciously took my sister, myself and the boy, ahem the husband on this awesomely exciting adventure. Prior to the big leg of our trip we spent a few days in Chicago and managed to check some other items off our list. I’m going to blog more specifically about some of our bucket list items but one that we did manage to check off in Chicago was catching fireflies! I was so excited that we were going to have the chance to do so since we don’t have them in Denver. Luckily some of my favorite little ladies had no problem helping me get this taken care of! Not the best picture but they were captured and we held them in the mason jar for a little bit before letting them go again! 

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The main reason for going to Russia was to see my grandmother since she was turning 90. It was a lot of fun to see her and my cousin and his family. Especially since it meant that we got to introduce the boy, ahem the husband to her since she wasn’t able to travel to Colorado for our wedding last summer. Two quick pictures below before a full rundown of our trip! Happy Sunday, enjoy your week! 

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Above: the boy, ahem the husband and I in front of the Church of Spilled Blood. Such a gorgeous church outside! 

Below: my family 🙂 Image

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San Francisco {Part 2}

I am a total food junkie. While I love to cook I also love to find those amazing restaurants and give them all my money so I can eat everything there. I can say that SF had more than their fair share of these places! I knew that I needed to go to Tartine for a chocolate croissant. I knew that I had to have brunch because SF does brunch. The boy, ahem the husband, had to have Chinese food.

I still can’t stop dreaming about the croissant from Tartine. There was a long line to wait in but I knew that it was going to be worth it. We weren’t hungry since we’d just come from brunch. We finally get to the counter and I was overwhelmed by the aromas of everything there. We picked up a chocolate croissant (huge mistake. should have gotten 2!!) and a ham and cheese croissant along with a few drinks to enjoy a bit later. We walked. and walked. and walked until we finally made it to the park across the street from the painted ladies. Full House anyone? We had our Tartine picnic right across the street with the view of the beautiful victorian houses. Seriously. I can still taste the amazing croissants  Now if only I could have some here…

On our walk back from the park we went through Hayes Valley. I loved it there!  The shops, some restaurants and a macaron store, plus the tree lined streets…it was great. {This trip I fell in love with macarons. I couldn’t get enough. I tried one everywhere I could.} We walked into Chantal Guillon and I instantly knew I had to have some treats. I wound up ordering six but had I known just how incredible they were I would have ordered 2 dozen. No seriously.

Imagefrom left to right: espresso coffee {yummy. good coffee flavor} raspberry lychee {delicious. so light and refreshing} salted caramel {outstanding. the middle was caramel.} coconut lime {yummy. I’m not usually a coconut person but this was good.} passion fruit {delicious! I love the flavor of passion fruit.} dark chocolate yuzu {so yummy. what a great flavor pairing}

When we were in the Ferry Building exploring all the delicious food options we came across the donuts at the end of the building. I ordered one and didn’t even realize they were vegan until I had paid and read the sign. They were outstanding! Seriously the best donuts ever. Pepples Donuts are delicious! I had a salted caramel one and it rocked. I couldn’t stop thinking about these donuts and on Sunday when we were walking from brunch to Tartine we happened to walk past a bake sale and they had the donuts! I was one happy girl. I had lemon poppyseed the second time around. Equally as delicious, really yummy lemon flavor.  Apparently they are open 7 days a week at the Ferry Building. Had I known this I would have been there daily for a donut. Probably better that I didn’t 🙂

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Writing this I think that perhaps most of our trip was centered around food! Good thing we both like to eat. And walk…

Our first day we wanted to grab lunch but nothing heavy or crazy. We found ourselves at Wayfare Tavern {Tyler Florence’s restaurant} and we snagged some seats at the bar. We had a light lunch complete with his melt in your mouth popovers. Oh my god. They were so good! We ordered the tartare and the brussle sprouts and the poutine. I had the iced tea which came with a scoop of lemon sorbet in it and a pomegranate simple syrup {best iced tea I have EVER had.} the boy, ahem, the husband, had a local beer. Everything here was wonderful. We could see into the kitchen. Our server was awesome. It was the perfect light(ish) lunch before we went exploring. I wanted to go back for a full meal but there were so many places to see and eat that we never went back. I would certainly go when we fly back to SF!

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Have I made your stomach growl? Have you drooled yet? If so then I’ve done my job! More food reviews to come….

enjoy the rest of your weekend….Go ILLINI!

San Francisco {Part 1}

Oh San Francisco. You stole my heart. Like the Mowgli’s said…“I lost my head in San Francisco” {side note. I’m obsessed with this song. It’s my happy dance song. That is all}

The boy, ahem the husband, and I went on a short getaway last month. We needed to go somewhere and his birthday was coming up a few weeks later so we decided to make it a M&M trip. We travel a good deal but typically wind up going to visit someone, friends, family, you name it. A new rule was born this year; we have to take 2 trips a year that don’t involve visiting people. They don’t have to involve an airplane but there must be 2 getaways where it’s just us. We’ll see if 2 a year happen but it’s a nice goal. We laid Seattle, San Francisco and Austin on the table. Austin was way expensive at the time so we knocked that idea off for now. Debating between the two cities we went with SF because it was going to be the Chinese New Year when we were there. It was the BEST decision ever. I fell in love with the food, the city and the people. Minor set back when we got there and realized that the Chinese New Year celebration wasn’t until two weeks after our trip, whoops. I still have no idea how that happened but we managed to have a blast regardless.

I posted on Facebook and asked everyone where to go, what to see and what to eat. I got some awesome suggestions, too many for one trip, and we happily explored the city for 4 days. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in the Financial District. The hotel was good, nothing fancy but the service was awesome and our bed was comfortable. Extra points for location! Being right across the street from the Ferry Building was great. We arrived at 12:30 Friday afternoon and were able to check in early which was great. We also were lucky enough to score late check-out and then they stored our bags so we could explore a bit more before leaving. I’d definitely stay here again when we come back!

We walked and walked and walked ALL over the city. The one thing I’d struggled with was if we should buy some sort of transportation pass. I’d heard mixed ideas from people but I’m so glad we didn’t! We walked so much that I didn’t feel guilty about the insane amount of amazing food that we ate. We wound up with perfect weather, especially when we were in the sun. We took advantage of public transportation here and again but mostly we wound up walking. The LONGEST walk of the trip was definitely when we started at the Ferry Building and then walked up to Pier 39, explored for 2.5 seconds before I couldn’t handle the tourists anymore and then continued to explore, walked up Lombard St. and then all the way back to our hotel. Holy Walk.

We ate our way through the city! Some of my favs; Wayfare Tavern, Tartine, Pepples Donuts, MY Chine and Chantal Guillon Macarons. I have so much more to say but I’ll keep this post (semi) short and leave it at that. More in depth reviews to come!

Below you’ll find just a few photos that captured our trip….

SF1                hanging out at pier one *gorgeous pottery at the Ferry Building*I am obsessed with macroons*it’s our street!

SF2                                                 love him* delicious coffee* pretty carousel *full house painted ladies

 

 

Happy Friday {ahem, Thursday…}

It’s my Friday today! Although I’ve been sick all week so technically I’ve had a week full of Fridays. Luckily I’m on the mend today because we are jetting off to San Francisco tomorrow for a 4 day getaway. I am so excited to explore a new city, especially this city since it is full of amazing food. Yep that’s right I’m excited about all the food. I have a list as long as my arm, no actually longer, of places that I want to eat. That would mean eating every hour during our 4 day getaway so I know we won’t hit everywhere but that also means we will have to go back. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram expect a bazillion pictures because I’ve taken none this week and it’s making me nutty.

Have an fabulous places that we must eat at/drink at/see? Leave me a note! We only have set in stone plans for one night. Oh and plans to go to Tartine at least twice. Yep twice.

On another note…

I am intrigued by the blogging world. I am not an expert blogger, I post infrequently and it’s beyond random. I do however spend the first 20-30 minutes of my morning catching up on my reading via Google Reader. I enjoy reading a number of blogs and am fascinated by the projects other people complete, the photos that they take and the food that is made. I love it. I love how friendly everyone is and it’s fun to “catch up” with “my people” every morning. I’ve come to look forward to reading about everyones adventures. I recently emailed Jackie over at Marin Mama Cooks because she lives outside of San Francisco and I thought maybe she’d have some recommendations about where to visit while we were there. She sent me back the sweetest email and this further fueled my desire to continue to build my blog and maybe find some direction. Seriously, the people out there who are blogging are inspiring! If you haven’t met Jackie I recommend going to visit her blog and making some of her recipes…they are delicious! I love that she posts a weekly menu, since I do the same thing at our house.

Want some more awesome blogs to check out? Below you’ll find a few of the ones that I visit every morning. {they have no idea who I am but I enjoy reading their blogs and finding new and delicious recipes to try out or learning new things.} Go give them some love!
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—> Tracy over at Shutterbean takes gorgeous photos and her food looks delicious. I’m a new reader over there but I haven’t found something I don’t like yet. I can’t wait to break out our pannini press and try out some of her sandwiches. Have I mentioned how beautiful her photos are? The light is stunning. Go take a look yourself!

—> Taza over at Love Taza has the cutest family I have ever seen. I love looking at their beautiful pictures and making an ever growing list of places I need to eat at when I get back to New York City! Go take a peek, it’s a fun blog to look at!

—> April over at Life and Style of April Kennedy blows me away. She is inspiring and I love reading her posts. She is fostering two of the cutest babies ever not to mention she already has two beautiful children. She is definitely a blogger I would love to meet in real life! I love reading about her experience with fostering babies, it is probably one of the hardest things someone could ever do!

—> Kristin over at Iowa Girl Eats is awesome! I love her recipes and that she’s also a midwestern girl. Her most recent post about Brownie Mix Truffles looks amazing and I need to find a reason to make them. She’s got a great recipe index with everything from sweets to healthy salads and in between. Go find something delicious to put on your dinner table.

 

My list of blogs is waaaaaaaaaaay longer than these 4 lovely ladies but I’ll share more in another post. perhaps it will be a weekly edition (or monthly knowing myself.)

Happy {almost} Friday! Enjoy your weekend

Hello 2013

Happy New Year! I feel so excited about a new start and have a million things I want to do this year. I don’t make resolutions but like to make a list of things I want to do for the year. Same thing I suppose but I like lists and being able to cross things off of them. I’ve also seen a lot of talk floating around about choosing a word for the year. I haven’t invested the time to figure out where this started or what it entails but I like the idea of choosing a word to embrace in 2013 so I’ve chosen one. Create is my word of the year. I’m thinking that I can createmore opportunities to help my photography grow, I can createa healthier me {cutting things out of my diet isn’t me at ALL. things in moderation are good. I love fruits and veggies to begin with so I know this can’t be difficult. The one thing I am cutting out? Soda. It’s terrible. I can drink it by the gallon and it needs to stop. Water? yes. Iced Tea? yes.} I’m also excited to createa Project Life album. I know that this will be a big project to undertake but I already know it’s going to be awesome. I’m going to take more pictures. I’m going to be in more pictures. And things will get printed which will make the boy (ahem, I mean husband) so happy. I’m also looking forward to createa new space in our room. One that shows off all the awesome pictures that we take, the places we go, etc. Not sure how that’s going to happen but it will.

My 2013 List

  • Take at least 2 trips this year with the boy (ahem, I mean husband) that don’t involve going to visit anyone. We love our friends and family and I know there will be plenty of visits but this is something we need to do for us! I’m excited to note that we’ve already planned our first adventure–San Francisco! I’ve never been and am giddy at the thought of traveling.
  • make. the. bed. every single day. I hope that this will create a more organized feeling in our bedroom.
  • I’m writing one line (ok maybe more like 5) in a gratitude journal. Nothing fancy, just a little notebook that I’ve decorated but I’m going to take note of my days and the things I’m grateful for. Each and every one.
  • Get back to running. I like working out. I love how I feel. I am just the least motivated person on the planet. And I plan on staying that way for the next six weeks while everyone hits the gym to keep their resolutions. Then I’ll get moving again and feel good. be happy. and look good. YAY. {and MAYBE run a half marathon in May. That is a big fat MAYBE}
  • Pick up my camera more often. Not just my iPhone because it’s convenient but also my big beautiful camera. Take pictures and document our life. Attempt to complete a Project 365 which will be helpful in also completing Project Life. And yes that does include food pictures. Probably a lot of them. I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to feed people. There will be lots of food 🙂
  • Be IN the picture. Not every single one but lots of them. Take self portraits, whatever it is I need to do. I want to be documented!

I’m sure I’ll add to my list throughout the year but these five things are the basis for my year which is going to be awesome.

The boy (ahem, the husband) and I at the Cherry Cricket.

The boy (ahem, the husband) and I at the Cherry Cricket.

 

Happy 2013!

Simple Things Sunday

Yesterday made me fall in love with Colorado all over again. The colors are changing here and we made our annual trek up to the mountains to see the Aspens. I wanted to switch things around and decided that we should not go to Breckenridge (even though I love it there!) We’ve gone to see the leaves there every year and I thought that it was time for something different. I posted on Facebook asking where we should go and Independence Pass was highly suggested. We packed up some snacks, stopped at Whole Foods to pick up our annual picnic makings and off we went!
This drive was amazing. I did all the driving this time which was a big deal, usually it’s the hubby who does it all but I made it up, down, up some more and back down all of the mountain, finishing off the drive in the dark. We drove through Twin Lakes (holy cow it’s beautiful!), Aspen, Glenwood Springs and back down by Vail, Edwards and Idaho Springs. I couldn’t believe how much color we saw! Driving up 285 we hit Kenosha Pass but most of the leaves had already dropped so we were a bit worried but as you can see from the photos below there was no cause for concern! I am now trying to work in a trip back to Aspen and or Glenwood Springs since we did a quick drive through at the end of our day. 9+ hours in the car is a LONG day but it was great!!!
Linking up with Simple Things because I think this picture speaks to the simple things–beautiful light, nature and gorgeous colors. Happy Sunday everyone! Have a great week.

 

Independence Pass Beauty!

Hubby snapped this of me!

Beautiful Barn!

I am in love with this barn…

 

seriously….magical!