Fort Collins Love: Fall Gardens

On Saturday afternoon, I was bored.

No, not bored. I was restless. I had cleaned the house, I ran some errands, I had played with the little guy, and rumbled with the dogs. Besides ironing clothes (lame), I had little to do.

So, I went somewhere I’ve never been before – the Gardens On Spring Creek.

Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, let me tell you (in case you didn’t know) I LOVE Fort Collins. It’s truly my favorite place in the world and I count my blessings every day for getting to live here. Really, it’s my favorite place. During awkward ice breakers when people ask, “If you could live anywhere…?” My answer: I already live there. (Awwww shucks, Fort Collins.)

Now that we’re on the same page, I love this town and the Gardens On Spring Creek reaffirmed how much I enjoy this small city.

The Gardens on Spring Creek is our community botanic gardens. Their mission: To improve the lives of people and foster environmental stewardship through horticulture. 

Good stuff.

I went on Harvest Day; a little celebration and fundraiser they hosted on the first day of fall. JLFC volunteered to help with the festivities (I had forgotten to sign up because I’m extremely flaky) and, deciding it was better late than never, I went out to see if I could help.

Not surprisingly, they didn’t need me. I took this as good news because I was now free to wander the gardens (guilt-free) and take in a gorgeous fall afternoon.

Each garden had a little theme or purpose. I loved walking through the koi fish ponds in the Children’s Garden and I checked out the Rock Garden which I liked more than I expected.

My absolute favorite spot was the Garden of Eatin’. Yup – a vegetable garden! The best part: all of the produce is donated to the local food bank. Man, I love this town.

It was very relaxing to wander around the quiet gardens. Even my tiny dude enjoyed being pushed in his stroller through the plants and flowers….he was weirdly calm through it all. It definitely settled my restless mind and gave me a nice and fuzzy ‘one with nature’ feeling (or something). It was a good day.

If you find yourself with a free afternoon or morning in FC, I definitely recommend checking out the Gardens on Spring Creek. You’ll love it!

P.S. I hear they have an awesome Christmas display!

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:




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!

Tasty Tuesday: Equinox Brewing

“Thank you, microbreweries, for making my alcoholism seem like a neat hobby.” ~ Jimmy Falon.

Te he he. I joke.

I heard that quote recently and could not stop giggling. As you all know, I LOVE to visit microbreweries and, living in the Napa Valley of beer (look it up), I get to spend a lot of time visiting local breweries with a never-ending supply of hand-crafted, unique beers.

Earlier this summer, the spouse and I stopped by one of our favorite local breweries, Equinox Brewing, for an afternoon sampler. As always, their friendly atmosphere and intriguing brews provided us a relaxing and enjoyable treat.

Via Equinox Brewing

Equinox Brewing was started by the owners of Hops & Berries, a well-known (and frequently visited by my spouse) local home brew store. Experts in all things beer, the owners of Hops & Berries are quick to answer questions, provide tips and recipes, and guide home brewers from novice to expert level. It was only a matter of time until their success would lead them to opening their own brewery.

The brewery is located next door to Hops & Berries and, in addition to their welcoming interior, they offer a comfortable, shady patio which is perfect for summer afternoons and evenings. They frequently feature local bands and artists and provide activities for the under-21 customers as well.

Their beers are all unique; offering twists on classic brew styles with new techniques and ingredients from around the world. My absolute favorite beer of theirs is the Orbit ESB…I order it every time I go.  It’s a hoppy, citrusy beer that’s balanced with a light sweetness at the end. In a word: Delicious.

I love visiting Equinox Brewing and am always eager to take out-of-town visitors to this local favorite whenever I can. Next time you’re in Fort Collins (remember, we are the Napa Valley of beer, so you outta plan a trip), be sure to stop by Equinox and enjoy a sampler of Colorado microbrews!

Gettin’ Ink Done

I’m just throwing our daily themes out the window this week! Instead of recapping my workouts, I decided to share something a little more exciting with you….

A couple of weeks ago my mom, sister, and I went in and got tattoos!! I realized that I teased you all by saying we were thinking about it, but never shared the ‘after’ pics!

We went in to Covenant Tattoo here in Fort Collins and had an awesome afternoon getting inked! In honor of my mom’s favorite song, we all got the same Tiny Dancer! (I’m listening to it now and kind of tearing up as I type.)

My brave sister got the biggest one – on her ankle. Mom got medium sized – on her ankle. And I got a small one – on my NECK! Yeah, ’cause I’m a bad-ass like that…. I kid…it actually hurt less on the back of my neck then on their ankles (either that or my pain tolerance is extremely higher and I actually am, in fact, a bad ass).

Here’s some shots of the ink getting done and a pic of my final result! What do you think? 

Brave Mom! She’s a trooper!

My tough and lovely sista!! You can call her Swan.

This was literally a day or two after it was done so the edges still seem a bit blurry. All is crisp and clear as can be now! You like?

Do you have a tattoo or are you thinking of getting one?

Happy Ever After in the Marketplace…

‘Desmond lets the children lend a hand…
Molly stays at home and does her pretty face…
And in the evening she still sings it with the band…

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, Brah!…
La-la-la-la life goes on!’

So,  yeah, I’m a bit of Beatles fan…just a bit. And for some reason, I always think of ‘Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da’ whenever I head over to the Farmer’s Market. Yesterday (before celebrating with Dad), mom and I stopped by the nearest migrant co-op of local produce and, sure enough, that catchy tune from so many years ago started playing in my head and pretty much hasn’t stopped since.

‘In a couple of years they have built a home sweet home,
With a couple of kids running in the yard,
Of Desmond and Molly Jones…’ 

Well, now I’m sure it’s stuck in your head….you’re welcome. There are far worse songs to have playing on repeat up in your personal sound booth, so enjoy!

‘Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, Brah!…
La-la-la life goes on!’

It’s a little early in the year for our Farmer’s Markets so the selection is still a somewhat small. That being said, I wasn’t disappointed in yesterday’s Northern Colorado grub one bit!

I scored some Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto as well as a summer’s supply of local honey (for the allergies). We also sampled some AMAZING olive oils and a Truffle Mustard I’d probably kill for. I know I’ll be stopping by every Sunday from now until October and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer will bring!

‘And if you want some fun…..take Ob-la-di-bla-da! (Thank you)’

How about you…do you shop at your Farmer’s Market? 

Giving Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, naturally I’ve been reflecting on what I’m thankful for and how lucky of a girl I really I am. And since you all know how much I LOVE to make lists…I thought I’d make a list of the top 10 things I’m grateful for. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

1. Family – I hear so many people complain of “having” to spend the holidays with family. Driving or flying from this place to that and eating more than one Thanksgiving turkey (the outrage!) but I look forward to these busy (sometimes hectic) days. To see my siblings, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents is a special experience that I treasure deeply. I live pretty far away from my East Coast fam and don’t get to see my Wyoming kin too often either so whether I’m looking over the Rocky Mountains with my dad, sis and brother or toasting wine with my cousins in Jersey, every time I get to spend with my family is truly, truly special. Also, I couldn’t ask for a better person to share my life, adventures and future with than the spouse :)

2. My Friends – My friends are the most hilarious, entertaining, talented and caring people I’ve ever met! I am so very lucky to be surrounded by a group of people that I’ve known since high school, befriended in college and met in recent years.

3. Pugs – Specifically, Barley. Need I say more than show you this photo? How could you not be thankful for this sweet animal (er…plant)!??

4. Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers – I absolutely adore RCPM (especially Jim….guitar players…get me every time). Catching every concert possible on the Front Range, I attempt to meet the band every time and surprisingly they’ve started to remember me! (Uh, oh….here comes that crazy girl Steve Larson* warned us about). I LOVE them and if you don’t know them, GO HERE to give a listen. You’re Welcome.*stevelarson is their ex-guitarist

5. The FC – Rated as Money magazine’s 6th Best Town to Live in, helping earn the Front Range the “Napa Valley of Beers” status, a ten minute drive to the Rocky Mountains, and a plethora of local restaurants… just doesn’t get better than Fort Collins. I’m so grateful to live in this town. In what other town could you take your dog for a run….to a microbrewery!? (The FC is also rated in the Top 10 Active Towns to live in, has been high-ranked on the Most Pet-Friendly cities in recent years AND….AND we’re the home of Odell & New Belgium Breweries).

6. Christmas – From November 1 to December 25th, I’ll be the jolliest a**hole this side of the nuthouse :)

7. My Health – Recently, I’ve become much more appreciative of my health, something I’ve taken for granted in the past. As 30 quickly approaches and I start to snap, crackle and pop with every limb movement, I’m reminded to be thankful for a body that allows me to push myself to pretty extreme physical limits, learn to golf with my spouse and lets me dance, dance, dance to Ke$ha (alone, when no one is watching).

8. My Job – In these tough economic times, everyone should be thankful if they are employed! I can say I’m truly thankful for my job!! They send me awesome places like Vegas, Boston and other great locations and I get to meet and work with a lot of great people! Also, without my job I couldn’t have the home I live in, enjoy all the great food I am lucky enough to get to eat (and pad myself with) and all the other things I enjoy and am so very, very thankful for.

9. Food, Coffee & Red Wine – I LOVE to eat! Who doesn’t right? Between the Food Network, my spouse’s culinary wizardry, the Kilted Pig, my own kitchen adventures and all of the amazing restaurants I get to go to….my world is literally controlled by what, when and where I get to eat. Add a cup of joe in the morning and good glass of red wine in the evening and that pretty much sums up what I think about all day (good thing I’ve got #7 to work it all off).

10. YOU!!! Blog readers – I appreciate you visiting my page, reading my sometimes incoherent ramblings and supporting me with your comments and continued visits.

Thank you & Happy Thanksgiving!!!