Whirlwind of a Weekend

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{happy to be back in Austin, a mango habenero margarita at Spider House, & a beautiful aloe plant}

My trip to Austin this past weekend was quite the whirlwind.  It was filled to the brim with wedding planning, marg sipping, shopping, and catching up with three favorite ladies.  The entire weekend was very productive, but super relaxing.  It had been a while since I had been back to Austin, and this trip I felt inspired by so many facets of the city.  I enjoyed being surrounded by fantastic graphics, and art,  all worn and warmed by the incredible Texas heat.  When we go back this fall for the wedding I’d like to spend an entire day on bike, patio hopping and snapping pictures of all the wonderful walls and signs encountered along the way.  I just simply love Austin’s laid back, funky style, and find Hill Country’s hardy landscape and vegetation strikingly beautiful.

In between wedding planning duties we found time for the pool and a dip in Barton Springs, which was surprisingly, but delightfully, chilly.  We also found relief from the heat in the form of air-conditioning, while shopping for my sister’s wedding shoes, and my bridesmaid dress.  We were successful, and her shoes and my dress are the same amazing, vibrant color.   All in all it was one of the most gratifying, and enjoyable vacations I’ve ever had.  Partly made so sweet because of it’s compact schedule.  It was such a memorable treat to spend this time with my mom and my sister.  Saying good-bye Monday was difficult, but made easier knowing we will have more celebrated time together in October. I’m happy to be home, but I can’t wait to see them, and Texas, again soon. xo

{just 3 of the many wonderful signs admired}

{just 3 of the many wonderful signs admired}

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{& inspiring graffiti at dusk}

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{at The Burlap Bag Etsy Craft Party}

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{my sister’s ring & a peek at her sculpture garden venue}

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Austin Bound

AUSTINHEREICOMEI am currently waiting for a delayed flight out of Denver to Austin, Texas.  I am meeting my mom and my sister for the weekend to do some wedding planning!  My sister’s wedding isn’t until October, but since we live all over the place, we need a weekend in Austin to see the venue, meet with the caterer, plan a photo booth, finalize invites, and everything else we can manage to fit into the next four days.  I hope to do some of this poolside, or with a margarita and chips and salsa in the equation.  I grew up in Texas, and still have family in Austin, so returning to the Love Star State always feels a bit like a homecoming, though I don’t have many ties there, and rarely get back to visit.  Needless to say, I am very excited to have a girls weekend, packed to the brim with my kinda fun! The icing on the cake is I also get to see one of my very best friends who moved to Austin in August, and who now has a big baby belly.  I’m going to savor every minute of it, even if it’s off to a late start.

 

Spring Snow

spring.snow.stormLast Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday about two feet of snow accumulated on the Front Range, leaving us with much needed moister, and in a slight state of seasonal confusion.  It was by far the biggest storm of the year, not letting up much during the three days.  It was the storm we were waiting for all winter, it just graced us with it’s presents a little later than expected.   Though some springs at this same time year might be spent playing sand volleyball and wearing sandals,  we had to settle for tubing and snowball fights this past week.  But I’ll take it!  It really was beautiful, and with the days still being longer than during most winter storms, we got to enjoy the sled hills longer.  We took advantage of while it lasted, because in true Colorado fashion, most of the snow melted over the weekend, and Bill was golfing on Sunday afternoon…and of course today, as I type, it’s beginning to snow a bit again.  This year my flip flops and my boots find them selves sitting next to each other by the front door waiting to see what the next day might bring.  Crazy spring weather sure does keep you on your toes!spring.steeze

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{we brought tubes, but these guys used what the park had to offer}

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Walk to Breakfast

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I love being able to get around this town by foot, and living in an area that really allows us to do so.  Last Sunday we took advantage of the sunny, but brisk weather, and walked to the Mayor of Old Town with two good friends of ours, for a casual breakfast and cocktails.   This was my first time having breakfast at the Mayor, and after trying the Sweet and Savory breakfast sandwich, I must say I’m a huge fan.  It’s maybe one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve had.  It kinda reminded be of a more sophisticated Mcgriddle (those little suckers use to always get me on morning car trips on our way to the mountains for snowboarding) but this one had much better ingredients (of course) and didn’t leave me feeling greasy.   The guys had phenomenal B&G (biscuits and gravy) which I couldn’t help but steal bites from.  The delicious bloody marys, served with a shot of locally brewed porter, were just icing on the cake, or maybe I should say they just spiced up the morning.

The best mornings are those spent slowly, in good company, with good food.  I hope everyone is having a great weekend filled with both. (and getting your green ready!)

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Umami, a Local Eatery on Wheels

UmamiTruckI finally got to try one of our local food trucks! It was a delicious experience.  I had seen Umami parked in front of my favorite breweries many times before, I just never got an opportunity to give it a go until recently.  Even though I wasn’t very hungry I couldn’t resist trying the Thai Nachos with pork, and the Edamame tossed in soy ginger and sea salt.  This was kind of a food truck teaser, and reminder, that when the weather gets a bit warmer, to go hunt down a Fort Collin’s food truck.  I definitely will be back to Umami, wherever the Avion may be parked, to try their Bahn Mi Sandwich! Yum!

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Funkwerks

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During my cousin’s visit about a week ago, Colorado experienced some of the most beautiful January weather, with temperatures in the 60s and sunny.  We took full advantage of the warm, clear days, and what better way in Fort Collins, than with an afternoon brewery tour.  Especially with new guest in tow, visiting one, a few, or all the breweries is a local adventure that must be shared with beer lovers.  Our first brewery to visit was Funkwerks, one of my favorite. Even as one of our newer breweries in town, since opening in 2010 (though the Funkwerks history began before then) they have made quite the name for themselves, within the brew community and with their customers.  I personally love Saisons, their specialty, so grabbing a beer there is always a treat.  This past visit, we were also able check out their new custom Funkwerks art, by local artist Jason Kelsall. I’ve known him since our freshman year at CSU (we lived in the same dorm!), and I’m excited to see his work here in town still.  It looks awesome Jay!

We had a perfect afternoon enjoying great company, some of the best Colorado beer, and lawn games.  Colorado thank you for always treating us so well.

{ hoola hoopin}

{ hoola hoopin}

{this day I was DD, so I drank a cherry-lime italian soda...pretty color isn't it}

{this day I was DD, so I drank a cherry-lime italian soda…pretty color isn’t it}

{colorful patio chairs}

{colorful patio chairs}

[tasting & describing}

{tasting & describing}

Time Away

{rare January morning sunlight in Washington}

I feel like things are finally starting to get back into the routine here. We are starting to feel more whole.  There have been so many changes/challenges in our life this past month, it seem 2013 has different plans for us than we thought four weeks ago in 2012.  And of course not all change is bad, in fact I feel at this point we have no choice but to embrace it.  Sometimes growth is painful and awkward, only because it takes us from places of comfort and ease, demanding action and creating vulnerability during times an adjustment.    More than ever I feel the need to find new spaces of inspiration, and really, they seem to be popping up everywhere!  Bill and I took a much needed trip to Washington just to be with family, and  to get out of our apartment for a while to heal.  It is always amazing what quietness and loved ones can do for a tired heart. But….despite the less than easy start to the new year, we have also had reason to celebrate.  My little sister got engaged on new years! So while staying at my parents my mom and I talk, talk, talked each others ears off about wedding plans! I’m honored my sister asked me to design her Save the Dates and Invitations, and I’ve already begun pinning like crazy!  I have so many ways I want to help decorate her colorful, October wedding in Austin, TX.    Be prepared to see a lot of wedding themed posts coming this way soon!  Here’s to making more and more time for creativity, and change for the positive!

{le nest & le mini egg}

{loved knick knacks}

{loved knick knacks}

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{beauty between the cracks}

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{first ferry boat trip}

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{evening walks along the water}

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{first coffee in a year & seagull with a snack}

{my 28th birthday cake}

{my 28th birthday cake}

A New Tradition & Our Tree

DSC_0988We definitely started a new tradition this year by going out to the National Forest in Red Feather to cut down our own Christmas tree.  We listened to Christmas music during our drive, getting extra excited every time a car passed us, driving in the opposite direction with a tree strapped to the top.   Once there we found a spot along the dirt road that looked thick with potential, we parked the car, and with hot chocolate and saw in hand, headed out into the forest to find our perfect tree.  Even with the chilly wind, it was beautiful and refreshing being in the mountains.  There was no lack of trees to choose from, in fact I found the search for our tree a bit overwhelming at first.  Each tree had such unique qualities and shape, some tall and skinny, some crooked and full, some with pine cones, some without, little cute ones and big towering trees that made me wish we had more space.   We found two smaller trees, one for a friend and one for family, before finding the tree we decided to bring home for ourselves. We immediately saw it and fell in love with its enchanting asymmetry, and sweeping, full branches.  On our way home my heart felt full and I couldn’t help but think how special and fulfilling our experience had been.  With our tree up in our living room now, waiting to be decorated, that experience makes its presents there even more magical.

If you live in the Northern Colorado area I highly recommending taking advantage of this opportunity, and make special holiday memories with your family.  Permits are 10$ a tree and can be cut form Dec 1 -Dec. 9 each year.  Get more information here.

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{we didn’t cut this one, but it would make a cute tree don’t you think}

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{we packed this to help keep us warm}

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Our Visitor

Our recent visitor is fat, furry, and has a torn ear.  He also loves eating our pumpkins. And taunting the pets.  I know I should probably shoo him away, but I find him pretty cute.  Plus, he provides entertainment for the pets.  Poor Scout really wishes she could go outside and chase him, however, she is strictly an indoor kitty (unless she sneaks out).   This not so little guy has returned daily to greedily grab handfuls of pumpkin and seeds. I think I like knowing he’s being well fed before the true cold comes. I do not like the mess he has made on our porch.  And he hasn’t brought any friends, so it’s been a private feast, minus the watching eyes from behind the glass door.  Oh well, pumpkins season is almost over, it’s time for tinsel and a tree.  I’m happy my pumpkins haven’t gone to waste, and I hope Mr. Squirrel has fattened up plenty for the winter.

Something In the Morning Air

Crisp, chilly air brings me to life in the mornings, invigorating the senses and awakening the body.  We have been gifted with many of these type of mornings the past week.  The moon has even remained visible most mornings, as if it too wants to stick around to enjoy the magnificence of our day’s earlier hours.  So, again I’m expressing how much I love fall.  I cherish that here in Colorado you can watch, and feel, the earth change with the seasons.  I find myself more creatively and spiritually inspired during the fall than during other times of the year.  Maybe it can be attributed to  the sense of calm, peace, and stillness which settles over me after busy summer months.  Carrying this inner quiet, and motivated inspiration, into the holiday season is always the challenge.   As they (the holidays) quickly approach, I will use my early morning walks with Rock to jump-start each day, reminding myself to slow down, and not to cram my mind, or my schedule, with unnecessary stress.