Friday, May 8, 2015

Rollin' with my homies // pt. 2

I was a little bummed to spend Easter alone this year as it has always been my most favorite holiday.  Hunter was on a 2 week work trip to Arizona and most of the people I know in Steamboat were out of town!  After morning mass, I putzed around the house and ultimately ended up organizing my craft supplies.  This might not sound especially fun to most but my craft supplies had been in dire need or organizing ever since I moved out of my Cap Hill apartment almost 3 years ago!  I'd been itchy to sort through it all and was pleasantly surprised at how many supplies I had that I'd completely forgotten about!  I also had so much fun putting together Easter baskets earlier in the week for our niece and nephew and included some homemade bunny puppets!  

We thoroughly enjoyed our day Grand Junction trip that I talked about a little here so I won't bore you with it again.

One Saturday morning a few weeks ago, my girlfriend Audrey and I went to Beer and Yoga at Storm Peak Brewery!  They have been hosting this event for several months now but I was always working on the weekends and could never make it.  They move around some tables and barstools inside the brewery to fit everyone + our yoga mats. A local instructor taught the class and it was so enjoyable not to mention a unique venue for a yoga class!  Afterwards, you get a beer to enjoy with your fellow yogis.  That evening, we celebrated our beautiful friend Krisin's birthday!  These two women are incredibly dear friends of mine here in the Boat.  When we get together, there is always a bottle of champagne popped, a crazy amount of laughs and a decent amount of emotional tears.  We can and have talked for hours on end about struggles, celebrations and fears.  These two are so valuable to me!  That evening, we went to Splatz, which is a local wine + painting class.  I have been to too many enjoyable { and drunk heehee! } classes at Canvas and Cocktails in Denver and my expectations were set quite high.  The company was perfection while the scene left a little to be desired.  Lets leave it at that. ; >

Our nephew Charlie turned 5 the end of April!  Hunter was out of town for work but I went up to Wyoming with Hunter's dad for the celebrations.  I remember when we were living in Washington and feeling so broken and sad that we were missing out of the kiddos birthdays, so it meant so much to me to get to do a day trip up to Wyoming and hang out with the family.  The kiddos kisses and hugs are more valuable than therapy for me!  It was a great weekend.  We quickly stopped off at a new { to me! } brewery, Coal Creek Tap, before the party { yes, before.  Did I mention there were 14 five year olds at the party?!  We needed to prepare. } and I was beyond impressed with the decor, selection of brews and the beer itself!  I am really paranoid about putting photos of other people's children on my blog and on the internet, but trust me when I say these two wiggle worms are as cute as they get!  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Rollin' with my homies.

I found myself scrolling through my phone photos recently and I realized how much I've been up to lately and how little of that has made it to my blog!  It's been over a month since I left my job at the newspaper.  For some hilarious reason I thought once I was done with my desk job that I would have sooo much time on my hands.  Ha!  Life hasn't slowed down one bit - in fact I feel like it's gotten a little more hectic.  We are still in our very slow season at the b&b, but I've been keeping myself busy with small improvements around the lodge and working with my very patient and knowledgeable boyfriend on some small advertising we can do together.  But!  Here are a few things that have been keeping me busy during the past month+.

My sweetest, most hilarious and insulting { in the best way! } friends Steven and Todd came up to Steamboat on the Friday that was my last day of the newspaper.  They were the ideal distraction that I needed that weekend.  Hunter was out of town for work and their nonsense kept my mind occupied from any OMGwhatdidIjustdo thoughts that could have snuck into my mind.  We spent some time dining out, some time dranking with my SBS friends, some hiking but most of our time was spent with some serious rest and relaxation at home.  We laughed that when their friends would ask what they did in Steamboat, they would respond "We watched Mean Girls, sat in the sun and took lots of naps."  The boys assured me that they wouldn't have had it any other way.  These two are such dear and unexpected friends of mine...just go ahead and ask Steven how we met, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm so grateful for their friendship and them taking the time to visit me in Steamboat!

Steven and Todd left on a Sunday, I hosted a little girls night on that Monday, then Tuesday morning { after locking myself out of our house }, I took off for a solo night in Winter Park.  The weeks leading up to my leaving the newspaper, I had worked 19 days in a row.  Nineteen.  Looking back on it now, I'm not too sure how I had kept my sanity.  Keep in mind that many of those days I was working 2 jobs per day.  Somewhere in the middle of those 19 days I had had a minor freakout moment and went online and Hotwired myself a hotel room in Winter Park.  Just the thought of that hotel bed, with nothing to do and nowhere to be kept my sanity and motivation for the following weeks.  I took off to WP mid afternoon on Tuesday with a brand new audio book and a smile on my face.  After checking in to my hotel, I hit up 2 breweries and got some take out food that I brought back to the hotel and ate in bed while watching crap tv.  Indulgence at it's finest!  The next morning, I woke up on the early side and skied for a few hours hours.  I had only skied Winter Park once about 6 years prior, so it was fun to get reacquainted with the mountain again.

After leaving Winter Park, I headed to Denver!  My mom was flying in that Friday but I planned to get to Denver on Wednesday to spend some time with my nearest and dearest.  Though this trip happened over a month ago, I still get emotional thinking of how great a time I had that Wed + Thursday with some of my very best friends.  Jaime and Ryan so graciously let me stay at their beautiful home and made me feel more than welcome.  We had early morning coffee dates and late night gossip hours.  While they were at work, Jaime let me dive in to her nail polish collection, tea supply and fresh box of Door to Door Organics.  Our sweetest friend Lindy lives just 6 doors away from Jaime and Ryan, so I walked over one afternoon for coffee to catch up with Lindy.  I also got to smooch on her delicious youngest son Wade!  Thursday afternoon I made time for a run through Wash Park.  I love so many things about Steamboat but man alive, do I miss the parks in Denver.  I have memory after memory at Wash Park, Cheeseman Park, City Park, Confluence Park etc.  I didn't even need music to keep me occupied during my run because for 30 minutes I did nothing but reminisce about my time spent at that park.  Picnics with friends, runs with friends, runs with exs,  long Wash Park runs to get over breakups with exs, tennis dates with Mary the first month we both lived in Denver, Hunter taking me to WP to get acquainted with a mountain bike for the very first time, attending a funeral at the park, breaking up with a boyfriend at the park, afternoons spent solo reading under my favorite tree at the park...the memories were flowing for sure.  It was an incredibly nourishing afternoon.  After my run I treated myself to lunch at Native Foods.  Yeah, you don't have to ask this part-time vegan twice what her new favorite vegan restaurant in Denver is!  Thursday evening, Jaime and Ryan were kind enough to host a dinner with Lindy and her husband and our sweet friend Ashley and her boyfriend.  We had such a great time!  We FaceTimed with Mary to make sure she knew how much she was missed across the miles.  I know it must be obnoxious to have me post again and again how much I love these women, but our friendship, our bond and our time spent together is utterly priceless to me.  I feel blessed beyond words to have their influences in my life.

Friday my mom flew into town!  We rented a hotel in Westmister and had a hefty list of chores to accomplish with her time spent in Denver.  Mom flew in early Friday morning and per tradition our first stop after picking her up from the airport was at Ink! for coffee and bagels.  We accomplished equal parts play and work throughout the weekend with enough downtime in between.  One of our favorite parts was stumbling into School House Kitchen and Libations in Arvada.  Mom and I both let our hunger { and thirst :}  get the best of us and once made our way to bar we took a moment to feast our eye on what we had stumbled upon.  From what I can gather, it is an old school turned bar/restaurant.  The bar portion is in the old gymnasium and they did such a great job with converting the space but keeping the integrity of what it once was.  After our time spent there, we had a few more errands to run before calling it a day and picking up wine + cheese + crackers + veggies and collapsing into bed with our favorite Friday night TLC shows.  Saturday we had errand upon errand upon errand to run but managed to sneak in some time with my aunt + uncle, my mom's sister + brother for lunch, a little afternoon shopping and an evening spent at Phil and Sara's house sharing some wine and getting to know their neck of the woods.  Phil and Sara were so sweet to have my mom and I over { we thanked them with a bottle of wine! } to pick their brains about a few different things.  It was either the exhaustion that had set in, or Phil and Sara are really that sweet and fun to hang out with, but I feel like mom and I could have spent all evening at their house chatting over wine.  Phil is originally from CA, so it was fun listening to him and my mom talk their CA slang.  Plus, I loved getting an insider peek at a few details for their upcoming wedding.  Eeekk!  Sunday, Mom and I went to morning mass, grabbed a bite to eat, ran more errands and ended the guessed it - in bed with cards + TLC + Food Network.  She { sadly!! } flew out on Monday morning but I felt too full of memories and love from the weekend to feel too bummed about her leaving.

I've had a few more adventures since leaving the newspaper - but I think I'll end this blog post with the stories above.  It's so exciting, a little nerve wracking but mostly exhilarating to think of what sort of things will fill my days and weeks now that I'm not tied to a Monday-Friday, 8a-5p desk job.   

Monday, May 4, 2015

April Book Report

I've been in another of my book worm phases for the past month or so.  Book worm phase = reading whatever I can get my hands on, whenever.  I have been spending a lot of my time painting which lends itself to audio books and the last week+ I've been in the car a lot which provided plenty of reading time.  The evenings I have been at home, I'm finding myself crawling into bed at 8pm { judge if you  must! } to dig into my books.  Here's what I read in March!

All the Light we Cannot See // This was a good book for me, but it wasn't great.  I posted a photo of this book on Instagram when I first started reading it and received a ton of positive feedback on how everyone absolutely loved it.  I think after hearing all of that, I set my expectations too high for the book.  It was a really well written book that really flowed.  A few sections were really long and drug out out for me, though.  I loved the final few chapters and just wished the author had gotten to that spot in the storyline quicker.  I started reading this book on my Kindle but eventually bought it off Audible and listened to the last half of the book.

Girl on the Train // Eh.  I wrote about this book a little in a previous post, but I was pretty disappointed.  The author did do something right, because I was hooked and could not put the book down until the mystery in the book was solved.  But once it was solved, I was disappointed and realized how dark of a book it was.  It made me want to read Chicken Soup for the Soul and get fill my reading moments with uplifting and positive stories rather those of murder and violence.

Me Before You // Man oh man, I loved this book.  I had seen a few bloggers post about it and when I asked my trusted book source Mary on if she's read it { of course she had } and what she thought of it { a simple: "Heartbreaking!  But so good!" } I was sold.  This was another one I listened to on Audible while painting and I was completely hooked.  I would also listen to it at the gym, while I was out for a run, or stick my phone in my bra and listen to it in the car while running errands around town.  She has a variety of other books she's written and I would love to read more of her books.

The Story Hour // This was Audible's Daily Deal one morning and I caved & bought it.  I had about 2 days of painting left on a particular room that I was working on and needed something more than a podcast { that would interrupt my painting to get up and change every 40 minutes }.  It wasn't the storyline I had anticipated, but I did really enjoy this read { or listen! }.  The storyline wasn't necessarily relatable but parts of the book that the women were going through really spoke to me.  I enjoyed this!

At the Bottom of Everything //  I share a Kindle account with Hunter's dad and it works out so well to get a variety of books into my life.  This was one that he had picked out and I started reading it at the beginning of a long weekend on the road.  It took me a few tries to get hooked on the storyline but once I did the book was captivating to me.  I think I highlighted sections in this book more than any I'd ever read.  It was an open, honest and raw story of tragedy, friendship, bonds of family and diversity.  Loved, loved this book.

Cover of Snow // This is another book that Hunter's dad had added to the Kindle account that I started reading without any idea of what the book was about.  It opened with a really dark explanation and visual of a woman waking up and finding her husband had committed suicide overnight { told'ya it was dark }.  The story is all about uncovering secrets of her husband's past she had never known and really finding answers to what caused him to take his own life.  Hunter and I were on a mini-vacation to Moab last week and I finished this book in appx 24 hours.  Yes, literally one day.  It was so good!

I've started Maze Runner, and I'm starting to listen to The Happiness Project on Audible and I'm struggling to finish Rushed on the Kindle.  I would love to hear if you've read anything good lately!  I'm riding out this Book Worm train as long as I possibly can.  Ha!