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}

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Zombie Cake

While browsing cute boutiques in Seattle with my mom I came across these zombie finger puppets, (which I also found online here) and bought them, not knowing exactly what I was going to do with them.  While thinking about what holiday treats I wanted to make this year, I realized how cute, and creepy, these guys would be as toppers for a zombie themed Halloween cake.  I invited my friend Rae over to help me assemble the cake, which came together quickly and easily.  I cut corners on this one by using boxed yellow cake mix and store bought chocolate icing.  Everything else I used to decorate the cake I had on hand at home.   I made a two layered round cake so I was able to added a little more pizzaz by spreading raspberry jam and Nutella between the layers…yum!   Coconut dyed with green food coloring was a simple solution for our grass.  I hadn’t thought about making mounds of “dirt” for the zombies to be emerging from, but when Rae mentioned it I loved the idea.  We had cut off the top of the the bottom layer in order to make a flat surface for joining the two layers.  From the extra, slightly rounded and thin top layer, we cut the raised grave mounds.  Our tombstones were made from black card stock and a white colored pencil, they took us less than 5 minutes to finish.  Each grave got a zombie, which I propped up by first inserting a toothpick into the the cake, then placing the zombie over the toothpick.  As a finishing touch we added finely crumbled oreos, minus cream, to give the graves a more textured earth feel.  Bill gets credit for this idea, I didn’t even know we had oreos on hand.  The final result was so much better than I had anticipated.  These will definitely make a return next year, maybe as cupcakes? I would just need more zombies! Happy Halloween Everyone! Hope you have a spooky and safe holiday.




Raspberry Mojitos

One last warm weather drink to enjoy while raspberries are still around and the mint on our patio is still available!

Ingredients:  mint, lime slices, raspberries, sugar/or simple syrup, rum (a citrus rum works great!), and club soda

In the bottom of a glass muddle the mint, raspberries, sugar, and lime.  The more you break up the ingredients the more flavorful your drink will be.  Also the amount of each ingredient is up to you depending on which flavors you prefer to be dominant.  I like to use a healthy amount of mint and lime.

Add Ice

Add Rum    (about an 1oz will do but again you can tweak to taste)

Add Club Soda

Mix/Shake

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Frozen Avocado Margaritas

It has been hot here the last few days and according to forecasts (which I honestly pay little attention to but often get updates from others while working behind the bar) it is going to stay that way for a while.  Our pets lounging habits prove to be the first indication of the arrival of the heat, sprawling themselves belly up on the floor in front our window fans, followed by my insane cravings for all things, fresh, fruity, and cold.   On one of our recent evenings off together I whipped up a quick batch of Avocado Margaritas to accompany the warm evening and the heat  of our jalapeño packed dinner.  One of my best friends had been raving about this margarita that she had while visiting Austin but for some reason we never replicated our own recipe (actually I think she did once or twice, but I sadly wasn’t there).  Now that I’ve had one I think I may me hooked. The avocado lends its creamy butteriness to the tart base of a margarita so perfectly, resulting in a flavor and sweetness that reminds me of key lime pie.  Enough talking about this delightful cocktail, because really once you’ve tried it, it’ll do all the self promotion needed to get you hooked too.

Ingredients (for 4 drinks) :

-4oz silver/blanco tequila

-2 oz triple sec

-fresh lime juice (I used the juice from 3 medium limes but you can add more of less depending on how tart you like your margs)

-2 oz cilantro-lime simple syrup (I make this at home and will do a tutorial soon, but you can use a basic simple syrup like this)

-1 avocado

-2cups of ice (I find ice ratios can be tricky so I always have extra on hand to add more if the consistency is to watery for me, I like thicker icy drinks)

-lime rounds/wedges for garnish

All the ingredients get added together in the blender and then blend away!

And because it was just the two of us, and these tasty guys can sneak up on ya, we saved the rest by freezing it in mini dixi cups to have as tiny late night treats or poolside.

Enjoy x

Paper Flowers

{materials}

Here are those cute easy tissue paper flowers I made for Alli’s birthday party.  I love this project for three main reasons. First, you can play with so many fun colors, which everyone knows I can never get enough color.   Second, you can find so many versatile ways to decorate with them. And the third reason…no glueing required! (I tend to make a mess with glue)  In the past I have always made larger bouquets of these delicate paper flowers but, I decided to play around with the size and found that the smaller ones were quite cute.  By wiring the smaller paper flowers to wooden skewers I was able to cluster the flowers and create an ideal way of displaying them. I would recommend practicing making larger flowers first, they are just easier to work with as you figure out the steps (the smaller the flower the tighter the folds are to work with) However, once you’ve got it, it’s a piece of cake.  I have explained the steps I took below but here is a video that might show the process more exact.

  • Tissue Paper, in various colors
  • Scissors
  • Wire (I used thin jewelry wire for my smaller flowers and gold pipe cleaners for the bigger ones)
  • Wooden Skewers

1.

Start by cutting the tissue paper in squares.  For each flower you will need 6 squares cut to the same size. I found quickly that it was much easier to cut the squares to size if I kept the paper stacked together from the packaging and did it all at once before any of the sheets got separated.  I cut squares in several different colors in the same sizes, but also played with the sizes of the squares, the bigger the square the bigger the flower.

2.

Fan fold the paper then cinch the paper at the center with the wire.  Twist the wire together on the bottom side and at the middle of you fanned paper.  This creates your flowers two halves and the “stem”.

3.

With the fan folded flat in on itself, cut off each end in a rounded manner, so that when splayed out (as above) the paper has a scalloped look.  If you forget this step, which I did once in my frenzy of folding, the flower will be very boxy.

4.

Starting at the inside (twisted wire “stem” on bottom) peel away the first layer of tissue paper, separating it from the other 5 pieces, and gently pull it towards the center.  Repeat this step with each individual sheet, bringing each one toward the center and around the “petals” in front of it.     I suggest doing this one side at a time, so after finishing on the first half, repeat the same steps on the second half.

5.

Violà!

6.

The last steps, attaching the flowers to the wooden skewers, doesn’t take much explanation. I simply tied the flowers on tightly to the end of each skewer, then taking the long ends of wire, wrapped them around the skewer multiple times above and below the knot.

7.

8.

I repeated this step 2x as I found 3 flowers (2 small, 1 mini) enough to conceal the end of the skewer and their wires, and  this achieved the aesthetic appeal I was going for.  But even one flower on a skewer looks cute too so play around.  Also, if you have trouble wrapping/tying the  wire around the skewer (it can easily slip) I see no reason why a hot glue gun wouldn’t do the trick just as well (but like I said above, I just like to avoid really sticky/burnt fingers).

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner I might be making some more of these soon, nothing says fiesta faster than bright, vibrant florals, tart margaritas, and dancing.

Have fun with this project and hope everyone is having a fantastic Spring filled Saturday!

Pizza Party

{getting set up}

One of my best friends, Alli, celebrated her 30th birthday this week, a year worth commemorating with close friends, amazing food, and a youthful attitude as you wave good bye to your 20’s and welcome (hopefully) your 30’s.   When we started talking plans a while back, the ideas we threw back and forth were quite extensive and elaborate, thus more $$$.  But as her birthday approached, and plans still had yet to be solidified, the feeling that perhaps we were making too much out of what should be a relaxed and easy evening, arose in both of us.  Uncle’s Pizzeria opened at it’s new location in Old Town Fort Collins a few month ago, but Alli has been raving about their food since before the move. However, the location change placed Uncle’s right behind Alli’s work making it even easier for her to become a huge fan and familiar face with the staff and owner, Garrett.  It was Alli’s idea to simplify most everything by having her birthday dinner here.   Immediately I volunteered to decorate and bring a little pizzaz to the pizza party, and that is exactly the inspiration I used, a pizza party from back in the day, a little through back to all of our youths with an elegant and charming spin, making it oh so appropriate for us adults and our inner child.    I let the color palate be broad, but bright and full a spring hues.   I wanted the decorations not to take themselves to seriously,  just allowing them to provide fun, amusing, and whimsical eye candy for the table and guests.  I have learned, as many bloggers before me have shared, that gold spray paint can make anything look more fabulous and chic.  Who knew that children’s toys and tacky mini vases could turn into little treasures when covered in a healthy dose of metallic gold. I originally got the idea from this Heart-of-Light post (I also was inspired by this nifty little DYI), but quickly realized, as I dug threw the toy bins at the thrift store, how many more things would look awesome gold, like treasure trolls! Never would I have thought that I would revisit these tacky naked dolls again…until they were gold.  Or the mini gum ball machine my friend Alexis helped turn into a terrarium for the table. Magic.

I’ve been obsessed with simple tissue paper flowers for years.  They are so easy to make and create a colorful, festive vibe wherever they are used.  I didn’t have any original plans for the flowers when I started making them, i just started snipping away, making all sizes and colors.    Eventually the smallest flowers got wired to wooden skewers and placed in each gold mini vase, while the larger flowers (decided upon arrival) served as chair decorations. The birthday girl’s chair was extra adorned making her a floral throne.    Guest loved them so much most got snatched up at the end of then evening, I love when paper becomes so precious and appreciated.  (Flower Tutorial Tomorrow)

Everything else was a cinch.  Uncle’s turned out to be the perfect location for our grown-up pizza party, with their clean, natural, and open ambiance, and pizza that is quite spectacular, my favorites of the night being the Margarita and the Braised Pork pizzas.  Yum.  We ended the night with Alli’s homemade Chocolate Butter Cream Frosted Cake and goodie-bags. I filled the bags with retro candy, cheesy trinkets, and I made these  + more gold!   It was also wonderful to have very little clean up (thank you to Kate who took wonderful care of us all night), because there really is nothing like a wrecked kitchen or home to take the fun out of a party.

Everyone had a great time and I’d like to check this party off as a success! Happy Birthday Alli and I hope this year brings you the most exciting adventures and  great happiness! xo

{I love using herbs as center pieces, at the end of the night the host, or guests can take them home. This cluster contained Lemon Balm, Mint, and Rosemerry}

{an easy way to add color + fresh cut Lilacs}

{mini terrarium}

{good company + good laughs}

{homemade birthday cake}

{goodie bags}

{after math}

{end of a wonderful evening}

The New Year’s Here!

It’s a new year which means new resolutions, a little list of ways we want to improve ourselves.  They are a tradition in welcoming new beginnings as we transition from one date to another.  New Year’s Eve also abruplty marks the official end of the holiday season which conveniently finalizes two months of indulging in large holiday meals, decadent desserts, costly spending sprees for gifts (and in my case holiday decorations), and parties.  During the holidays we give ourselves permission to enjoy all guilt laiden goodies that accoumpany seasonal traditions, so as we toast our friends or kiss our loves as the clock strikes 12, we accept that after this night, the last night of the year, we will no longer be greeted with daily sugar cookies or an over abundance of chocolate Santas.  While it only seems natural to direct resolutions towards slimmer diets, more frequent excersize, or saving dough, I feel these resolutions often are merely the result of a culture trying to recover from a holiday hangover.  And please don’t get me wrong, I love every minute of the holidays… I am very seasonally spirited.  And I think that a new year is a great time to put healthy and new habits into action, but so is every morning when you wake up to a new day.  Instead of using a new year to put the last few months farther the past, I would like to reflect on the year, and all the good and self-improvement that has taken place in the last 365 days.   For myself I feel that resolutions are much stronger and much more focused if they are extensions of good we are already doing for ourselves or for others.  Resolutions made with hollow intent often fall flat and are forgotten about before we turn our calendar pages to Febuary, so this year I resolve to start small and let the genuine intent of my personal resolutions grow each day, even if that means that they have to be altered to fit with my life and the surprises that get thrown our way daily.

That being said; in the blogging world things move quickly and the key is staying current, so to dedicate my post to the last two months seems behind the times.  However, I have been sans computer since my last post.  Now equipped with a new computer  (an amazing and surprising gift from Bill’s mom) I am dusting the cobwebs off my out-of-practice typing fingers, and jumping back on the horse.  And because I missed out in sharing so many wonderful things that I so baddly wanted to…I am going share a quick photo recap.  And despite the fact I may be a bit bummed about missing out on a few months of blogging, life has not slowed down so there will be many, many, many more things to share through this space.  Until then, here are some things I can’t help but finally share.

{mini apple-cranberry pies}

{mini apple-cranberry pies}

{ sparkles and fall leaves in Portland }

{sparkles and fall leaves in Portland}

{halloween}

{wonderful homemade bread on Thanksgiving}

{superman dreams}

 

{christmas mantel}

 

{a little added touch on the paintings in our livingroom for the holidays}

{many evenings were spent by the light of our tree}

{looking for what Santa brought}

{local christmas bubbly}

 

{vintage ornaments}

{easy & casual christmas dinner with wonderful friends}

{ringing in the new year with vintage noisemakers}

 

It is great to back and hope everyone has had a great start to their new year! Looking forward to much more!

xo

Kim

p.s. this post took me a little longer than planned…it’s gonna take me a while to make the transition from Mac to PC

 

 

 

 

 

A City Gone Wild, But We Keep It Classy

Last post I mentioned the “chaos” which returns to Fort Collins at the beginning of every fall semester.  Well, this past weekend Campus West experienced a student takeover which left part of our city resembling the streets of Cancun or Panama City Beach.  I am embarrassed and ashamed to report that less than half a mile from my house 2,000-3,000 students threw such an out of control pool party, that by 3:30 in the afternoon 10 ambulance rides were required, every available cop was called, and a triage tent was erected, closing streets down and landing on many evening news stations.  Hearing about this mess the next day, I was shocked I had been completely unaware of this happening at the time, it being so close to our house.  Where was I?  Busy planning of my own party, of a much smaller, and MUCH, MUCH more responsible and classy nature.  My boyfriend’s birthday was this Saturday so I threw him a small, intimate, backyard BBQ party.  I wanted to keep it easy ( I often over plan and over organize things I often can’t even control, and end up stressing all evening about perfecting each detail) so I got most cooking, preping, and decorating finished before party time.  For the table I used a mix of wild flowers, which brought a festive summer feel to the layout, and kept my decorating budget low.    As guests arrived I served Sweet Peach Tea Vodka and Lemonades in vintage glass wear, providing delicious and refreshing cocktails for the warm evening party.  My boyfriend set up several backyard games for adults and the kids were kept entertained by to crates filled with toys, including squirt guns and mini golf sets.  The menu I kept simple and classic so even the pickiest eaters would be satisfied.

The menu included:

Stove Popped Popcorn, served in brown paper bags with 5 Topping Options: Garlic & Herbs, Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Cajun, Fresh Parm, and Sugar & Cinnamon

green & purple grapes

Summer Pasta Salad

Carrot and Rasin Salad

BBQ Chicken

Mini Pulled Pork Sandwiches

After the sun went down, we gathered around the fire pit, and ended the evening with golf themed cupcakes and “Happy Birthday”.   All who attended left happy, and those who hosted were thrilled by the easy clean-up and the success of the night.  I also now feel relieved that my friends and family were able to stay far away, and unaffected by, the out-of-control party taking place down the street.

 

vintage polka-dot scarves, wildflowers, and a simple cotton table cloth decorate the table

mismatched glass wear ready for serving cocktails

an April Cornell tablecloth goes perfectly with crab apples displayed in my friend's grandmother's vintage baking soda jar

summer party dresses

strawberry cupcakes with sugar sand traps and tiny flags

 

mini cupcakes hold golfball candles I found (unopened) at a thrift store a year ago

 

happy birthday love