June-stagram

Hi there, blog friends. Long time no chat, huh?

Sorry for the absence; June was straight cray. (Yes, I’m in my thirties and use words like totes and cray. Sorry. It drives my spouse … um, totes cray.)

Anyway, JUNE. Never in my life have I been busy like I was in June. This isn’t one of those I-am-so-busy-but-I-secretly-like-it bragging moments. This is pure shock that I actually survived. Here’s a few of the things that happened:

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I tell you what, it was the kind of busy I’d rather not be again. I’m happy I was lucky enough to do so many things (like attend my sister’s nuptials, travel a lot, see Hillary Clinton speak, support my spouse in BBQ, be there for my family during a tough time, and launch a new product at work). But, next time, I hope all of the life events we experienced are spread out over a few months instead of jammed into one.

Anyway, some of the biggest news of the month is … we moved! We sold our house and bought more spacious, updated diggs. I feel so fortunate and am so very happy the moving process is over! We’re still getting things put in their place, but it already feels like home. The only downside is my complete inability to decorate is more obvious than ever before. I’m going to need a team of crafty, stylish gals to get this place into shape. (Volunteers?)

Hopefully, having a moment to write this post signals the return of the blog (how many times I have promised that this year … I’m becoming extremely unreliable). And, hopefully the rest of summer consists of pool-time, play-dates, spritzers, and popsicles (and running … but more on that later).

Have a great day, folks. Missed you tons and look forward to reconnecting here.

To A Couple’s Retreat

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Back in February, the spouse and I were lucky enough to take a trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. It was awesome; gorgeous weather, lots of cerveza, and too much sun (I got fried the first day).

We left our little guy home with the grandparents and enjoyed a few days to ourselves. It was everything we needed after our first year of parenthood.

While there, we took a ferry over to Cozumel and spent a day sipping cocktails in beach bars. We napped, read, and relaxed by the pool. We shopped and appetizer-hopped down the main street, 5th Avenue. I spoke the same five Spanish words I know about 500 times. And we laughed and talked a lot.

We left exhausted, but rested … if that makes any sense. It was a perfect getaway – more than I could have hoped for. I’m so thankful to the spouse for making it happen.

If you’re thinking of taking a vacation, consider Playa Del Carmen. It’s one of my favorite travel places and there’s endless fun to be had.

Happy weekend, everyone. I’ll be spending it dreaming about these beaches ….

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Images: My own.

I Want to Go to There

There is just something about this time of year (perhaps it’s the cold air, the gusty wind, or the chance of snow every other day) that just makes me want to go on vacation. Lately, among the hustle and bustle of preparing for a baby, tying up loose ends at work, and getting my never-ending To DO list under control, I find myself daydreaming about islands with sunny beaches or escaping to Italy or Greece to drink wine and eat a lot. 

My guess is that having an infant will likely put a damper on going on any major excursions for awhile. Sigh. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be so wrapped up in my new little bundle that it’ll be springtime and sunny before I know it and the longing for travel to faraway destinations will be replaced by day trips to the mountains, sun-filled Saturday afternoons, and BBQ’s. But, while I wait for the little man and summer to arrive, I’m gonna keep on dreaming of tropical islands, European adventures, having a bikini body, sailing, and sipping fruity cocktails under a palm tree.

Do you have any spring vacations or tropical retreats coming up? Tell me about them so I can live vicariously through you!

via The Cool Hunter
via The Cool Hunter
via They Draw & Travel
via A Well Traveled Woman
via Oh, Joy!
via Unstitched
via Oh Happy Day

Holiday Whirlwind

Hello lovely readers!

I’m back from my trip to the east coast and can’t wait to show you pictures of all the fun! The baby shower my family threw me was gorgeous and truly one of the most special days. Our trip into NYC was exciting and full holiday cheer. And spending time with my hilarious and rowdy cousins was such a treat.

I’m still getting catching my breath from such a busy mini-vacation (this big ol’ bump tires me out!). Once I get settled, I’ll be sure to share all of the details and fun photos!

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Cartier in NYC

Here’s to Fun!

via Flickr

This weekend I’m heading off to the east coast to celebrate our little bundle of joy with close family! My mom and sister are throwing me a baby shower and I absolutely cannot wait to see what they have in store!

My close friend and my other sister are coming with me and we plan to head into New York City for some holiday shopping and a little sight-seeing. I can’t wait!

I hope you all have a very fun weekend planned!

“When the working day is done / Oh girls just wanna have fu-un! / Oh girls just wanna have fun!” ~ Cindy Lauper

Cheers!

Fort Fun

Happy Wednesday!

I’m so excited today because my cousin and his girlfriend are here visiting all the way from New Jersey! We’re going to spend the next few days exploring Fort Collins….which is one of my favorite things to do! There’s nothing quite like getting to act like a tourist in your own town; going to our favorite restaurants, an excuse to shop in our quaint downtown, and visiting our plethora of breweries. It’s gonna be AWESOME!

We’re looking forward to a fun couple of days of tourist-time. I thought I’d let all of you in on a few of our local faves so next time you’re in Fort Fun, you know the best places to check out:

Dining

Hotels:

Shopping:

Night Life:

Brewery Tours:

Outdoor Fun:

Not to mention there are a zillion ski resorts within two hours of Fort Collins, Estes Park is only an hour away, and the bright lights of Denver are a quick 60 minutes south. Man, I love this town.

Have a great Wednesday!

Here’s to the Farm!

This morning I woke up to the cock-a-doodle-doo of rooster. No joke.

via Pinterest.

It wasn’t some silly app I downloaded on my phone, but an actual live rooster. Sitting outside with a bunch of chickens. Awakening the world. Or at least awakening me and some chickens.

For the next five days, I’m house sitting for my mother-in-law who just happens to live on what might as well be a farm. Okay, it’s not a real farm…the only animals are chickens, a rooster, three dogs, and a kitty (oh hey-ey, Claritin). But, let me tell ya, it’s out in the middle of nowhere, on a bunch of acres, with a barn-ish looking building on the property, and a giant vegetable garden. In my mind: Farm.

Last night was my first night on the farm….all alone. I thought I was going to be scared to be out there on the dark and quiet prairie. With all these creepy Halloween movie commercials and the fact that it gets dark at, like, 7pm now, I was sure I’d be calling my spouse every five minutes because of a spooky sound or shadow. But, pregnancy makes me so exhausted that by the time I fed the dogs, cut up the cat’s shrimp dinner (weird), tossed corn at the chickens, and caught up on the last two episodes of The League, I was too tired to be scared. So, first night successful.

I suppose, thanks to the rooster, I had a successful first morning as well. Up early, dressed and out the door for work with a happy household of animals behind me.

The spouse is coming up tonight for the rest of the weekend so I don’t have to stay out there all alone the whole time. Thank goodness.  I’m actually looking forward to our weekend out in the country. It’ll be relaxing and peaceful (she doesn’t have internet access so we’ll really be cut off from the world) and with plenty of space to roam around, who knows what our country adventure will bring.

To mix it up, since her farm isn’t too far from Denver, we’re gonna take the ol’ front-wheel drive wagon into the big city for the afternoon on Saturday and hopefully will get to meet up with a few Denverite buddies of ours. It’ll be a good weekend of country livin’ and city visitin’.

Hope you have an exciting, fun-filled weekend planned! Happy Friday!

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places” — Roald Dahl

Cheers!

Fall Colors in Las Vegas

Last week, I was in Las Vegas once again for work. I’ve told you all about all my favorite things to do in Vegas before – there’s just too much fun to be had. While nice restaurants and themed clubs are fun, my truly favorite thing to do is to put down my cocktail, take off the party shoes and take a simple {totally free} walk in a garden.

When in Vegas, I always visit the Conservatory at the Bellagio (I’ve never actually stayed at the Bellagio but day dream about how fancy and wonderful it must be). The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous display of flowers and plants plus lighting and props dedicated to the current season or holiday. Gorgeous flowers from all over the world create an unbelievable, storybook-like scene that patrons can wander through leisurely to snap photos, take in the details and enjoy a little peace among the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas.

When I was there last week, the display was the 2011 Harvest Season – it was stunning! Here a few photos from the garden (my favorite is the tree!).

And here’s one I snapped outside looking out from the Bellagio on the walk back to my hotel – wouldn’t it be awesome if this was your view? I just love it!

Tasty Tuesday: NYC Edition

For today’s Tasty Tuesday, I’d like to tell you about a few of the places we ate while we were in New York City a few weeks ago. Even though we were only there for one day, we made quite a few stops for grub.

Our first stop of the day was for an early lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen. I’ve wanted to nosh at the famous eatery for years. And after watching several Food Network and Travel Channel shows featuring the legendary deli, I couldn’t wait to try their fare.

Upon arrival, we were ushered into a cafeteria-style line with a dozen cooks and countless patrons shouting orders at them (regular sit-down service with a waiter is available but we thought the counter offered a more exciting experience).

The spouse had to try to their famous Pastrami Sandwich and I opted for a Half-Sandwich & Soup Combo (Tuna & Chicken Noodle). We watched as the cook prepared our delectable lunch then slipped down the rest of the line picking up a microbrew for the spouse and a ginger ale for me. We grabbed a table easily despite the large crowds and took in the hundreds of photos signed by celebrities that decorated the walls.

Then we took a bite….DELICIOUS!! The spouse said, and I quote, “This is the best pastrami I have ever had!” He’s not an easy customer to please so that statement means a lot. I loved my meal and adored the atmosphere of the busy deli. I definitely recommend Katz’s for a bite to eat in NYC (but be ready for a hefty price tag for lunch).

After lunch, we headed down to Russ & Daughters to pick up an afternoon snack (which we saved for later…I was stuffed post-Katz’s!). Russ & Daughters is an appetizing shop that features smoked fish, caviar, and other high-quality foods. We went solely for the lox (how can you not get lox when in New York!?).

We sampled a few varieties and settled on a delicious serving of the best lox I’ve ever tasted (I can’t remember what it was called). When snack time rolled around, we sat in a park in the SoHo area and enjoyed our lox with a cold iced tea. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a more memorable snack – it was amazing! Good news…you can order your very own cured or smoked fish online from Russ & Daughters and pretend your livin’ it up in NYC at home. I recommend that you do!

Our last meal of the day was probably our most-anticipated…we had a reservation at Marc Forgione’s and I am a huge fan (thanks to The Next Iron Chef).

Here’s the truth: the atmosphere, appetizers, desserts, wine, and service were all INCREDIBLE but the entrees were not spectacular. Otherwise, it was everything I’d hoped it be; the rustic, dimly list room was a perfect setting, our server was attentive and energetic, our appetizers were mouth-watering, and the dessert was shockingly creative and served by their pastry chef. To top it all off, Marc Forgione himself was there! He walked through the restaurant several times and even waved to us at one point.

My fish was cooked perfectly but, to be honest, the flavor it wasn’t mind-blowing. The spouse unfortunately felt the same (actually he was even less-impressed) about his steak. It was a bit surprising that we weren’t head over heals in love with the entrees but everything else that night was perfect, so I’d still recommend them.

If you’re ever in the Tribeca area of New York, give Forgione’s a try and tell me if you loved it! I’m thinking I’ll have to go back to give them a second chance soon!

This photo was actually taken at a bar down the street from Forgione’s. I was so star-crazy from seeing Marc Forgione himself, I forgot to take pics!

Last Days of Summer

Well, the official end of summer is coming up this Friday. Are you ready for fall? I admit, scarves, boots, sweaters, and football parties do sound appealing, but I’d be lying if I said I was completely ready.

This past summer, just like every one before it, seemed to fly by too fast. While we enjoyed many fun times, I feel like we did miss out on a few favorite summer past times (mostly ’cause I’m knocked up). That being said, one thing we did manage to squeeze in right before the season ended was a trip to the beach. Living in Colorado, you can imagine this is a difficult thing to accomplish ;) so we made time for an afternoon of sun when we were visiting the ol’ fam in the dirty Jerz.

We snagged a spot in Seaside Heights for a few hours of jumping in the water, lying on a beach towel and enjoying the warmth of sun and sand. Once we got our fill of UV rays, we headed up to the boardwalk and enjoyed pizza from the Sawmill (best ‘zza ever), oysters and clams on the half-shell, and refreshing drinks. For those of you appalled at the preggo eating raw shellfish, don’t worry. I didn’t indulge but I did get a giant order of Kohr’s Orange & Vanilla custard to enjoy while I watched the spouse and my little bro suck down a dozen or so of said raw mollusks. I was deeply envious but the custard soothed my jealousy and cooled me down.

We bounced around the boardwalk to some of our favorite spots, relaxed in the ocean breeze and snapped a few photos of the Atlantic. It was a perfect afternoon and I’m grateful we were able to enjoy it.

In these last couple of days of my favorite season, do you need to squeeze in any summer activities you missed out on? Tell me all about them or tell me your favorite summer memory. Happy Monday!