Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekly Wishes

Today I found a link up titled, Weekly Wishes.  I really like the idea of this link up because it challenges you to think of the things you want to accomplish in the next week.  This is a hard concept for me because I rarely think ahead and frankly, sometimes my life is a mess because of it.  These weekly wishes can be anything with work, social, or even just general life goals.  You can check out Melyssa from The Nectar Collective to hear the description of the linkup. 

Although I will still be in Orlando until Wednesday, I hopefully will be able to complete my weekly wishes when I return home.

1.) Take the pups to the dog park.  This is a big one for me.  It's hard to find enough time in the day for me let alone for Yogi, but we get exhausted when he wakes us up at night because he's not tired because he spent his whole day in his crate.  Danny and I have taken him to the dog park only once yet (partly due to Danny's nervousness of our dog around other dogs), but I want to start taking him even if its just for him to run laps around the park (our dog park is HUGE).  Plus if he is going to be a full German Shepard dog, he needs his exercise.

2.) Cook a Fall inspired meal.  After all of the meal planning we've been doing, I want to change some things up.  Fall is here and I want to bring back some of our staples from last year like Butternut Squash Ravioli or some sort of Chicken Pot Pie (hold the Chicken for me). 

3.) Try a new restaurant for dinner.  Since Danny and I have date nights every week, we decided that October would be the month that every week we try someplace new for dinner together.  Even though its almost been six months since we moved into our new house (can't believe its already been that long!), we want to explore the local restaurants that our suburb has to offer instead of constantly going to our favorite chain restaurants.

Grandma and Me

Today marks the last day of Blogtember.  Even though I only participated in a few of the prompts, I figured why not bring it home on this last day.  Jenni had some really wonderful prompts this month which have helped me to develop more thoughtful posts and convey more intimate details about my life.  Today's prompt was no different.

Monday, September 30: Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it's special.

A few months ago when Danny and I moved into our house, my parents were quick to drive up here to drop off all of my childhood memories.  As interesting as a lot of them were, I loved looking at pictures from when I was really little, like moments that I was too little to remember.  In a stack of photos that were hung on a cork board in my room at my parents house, I found a photo of me and my grandma.  It was just not any photo of us, but a candid shot in the middle of one of life's wonderful moments.

I always like to think that me and my grandmother would have become the best of friends, that is if I was lucky enough to get to know her into adulthood.  She passed away when I was just four years old.  Weirdly enough, she was the last grandparent of mine to pass away.  The other three, I barely knew and didn't even remembered.  It's not that I remember my grandma, but I feel the closest with her from the stories that live on through my family.  My mom throughout my life reminded me that I was a lot like her.  My grandma always loved painting her nails, getting her makeup done, and buying jewelry to match every outfit.  For Christmas a few years ago, my mom gave me the precious gift of my grandma's jewelry chest with all of her original pieces still in it.  I still cherish it today and it makes me feel connected to her.

My grandma was also sort of a rebel.  She liked to smoke and drink which were some of the reasons why she did not live very long, but being raised in a household where alcohol was never around, I always thought we would get along especially the days I spent in college.

My grandma also attended the same university that I graduated from, but she only went for a quarter, which was rare enough back in the 1960s for a woman.  My parents were nervous for me to venture out at a big university especially that was known for its partying, but I think my grandma would have been proud of the choices I made and the woman I had become.

This picture represents a lot for me.  It reminds me that I always had a good time with her when she was alive. It makes me realize that I wish I would have known what it would have been like to have a grandma that was just like me.  I think a lot of people take advantage of the things that they don't realize others go their whole life without having and I would give anything to sit down with my grandma for just one day to learn about her life.  I miss her so much even though I never got to know her or got to talk to her, but one thing that I know is that she lives with me and that her memory will live on in my life, because she is a part of me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Autumn Date

The hubs and I are always trying to plan date nights for each other.  I was the lucky one last week and Danny planned a date night around me.  It makes me feel special when my husband picks out special things that I like to do, but I also love planning date nights too.  I stumbled across Elizabeth at Army Ever After and Stephanie from Real Army Wife.  They have a link up called Autumn on my Mind and today's prompt is about the perfect Fall date.  I thought I would borrow their link up to plan my next date night with my husband!

One of our engagement photos taken during the Fall last year.
Fall is my favorite time of the year and Danny and I have not taken full advantage of it yet!  I love the changing leaves, cool weather, and sports that are associated with Fall.  Danny loves all that and the Fall beers that stock the shelves in our local supermarket come August.  I wanted to plan a date night around all of things we like about fall and this time of year. 
That's a lot of fall beer
I received a picnic basket from my Aunt and Uncle for the wedding and I have since then wanted to go on a picnic in the park near our house.  What better way to enjoy the nice weather and the beautiful scenery than a picnic before it starts to snow?  I can pack sandwiches and treats for us to eat and I can bring a football or baseball and we can play catch in the park.  I grew up throwing a ball with my dad in our front yard and enjoy playing catch when the weather's nice.

Afterwards, we can end the date with a beer (or two) at Willoughby Brewery Company.  It is one of our favorite restaurants and a hometown brewery that brews some delicious tasting beers.  We have been waiting for their fall beer to come out which we have never tried.  We've heard it's so good, they sell out within weeks due to the popularity.  It's supposed to be available early October, so hopefully we can try it.

That's all I have for my autumn date day/night.  Hopefully I can convince Danny to go on our autumn date day in the next few weeks! We need to get it in before it starts to snow here in Cleveland.  I seriously wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't the first time it's snowed in early October.

Happy Fall, Friends! Enjoy the season!

Linking up for Autumn on my Mind.

Working for the MAN

Oddly enough, this week's Sunday Social is all about the job and I am traveling to Orlando, Florida to go to a conference for work this week.  Very Ironic.

1. What is your dream job?

My dream job is to manage my own team within a big business.  I work in IT currently as an Operations Analyst and I would like to explore the management options available and find something that would fit my strengths, but would also challenge me and allow me to grow as an individual. 

2. If you had just won the lottery and didn’t need to work for money, what would you do with your time? 

I would want to volunteer and work for a charity.  My childhood friend's mom was able to volunteer for the Wildlife Foundation and she was always helping animals in need.  If I had the heart to do it, I would want to volunteer for an animal rescue organization.

3. What piece of career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
Take initiative as much as you can.  Be ambitious and try to look for ways to improve the effciency of the work you're doing.  If you are always looking for improvements, people will notice you.  On the other hand, if you always just do the bare minimum, you won't get promoted as fast as you want to.

4. What would be your ideal “just for fun” job?
I would love to do something creative as a just for fun job.  I'm not very creative in general, instead I'm more logical which is why my job doesn't have too much to do with creativity.  I love being creative which is why I enjoy crafting and blogging on the side. 

5. What was your first “real” job?

When I was fourteen, I worked for my mom's friends at their local Cross-stitched shop.  It was a great experience and I am still really close with all of the women that work in the shop.  After that, I worked for a month on fall break at New York & Company which was my first job as an adult.  I've realized through that job that I never wanted to work retail again.  I did, however, get a lot of cute professional clothes out of it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Last Two Weeks

So things have been pretty crazy in my life in the last couple of weeks.  I feel the necessary need to update you on my life and what has been going on.  Here are the top 8 things I've been doing with my life since we last spoke.

 1.  I have spent some time hanging out with my fur babies.  If I'm home, I'll have both cats and a puppy following me around.  It's cute when I snap pictures of them like this, somewhat close to each other.  They are becoming friends (or at least they don't seem to try and kill each other anymore).  Things are getting a little calmer in our house.
2.  Remember when I was thinking about going back to grad school for my MBA?  Well, I still am thinking about it and it constantly occupies my thoughts.  I had a freak out this week when I realized the deadline for applications is November 1st and I still haven't taken the GMAT, nor have I been studying for it.  Because of that, I will not be entering the MBA program until the summer time.  I'm hoping I can apply for grad school and be able to start a class in the summer of 2014.  I'm sad that I wasn't able to get everything ready to start in January 2014, but with everything else going on with my job, I'm okay with it.  I went to a panel discussion for work this week with successful people that have made a name for themselves in the company.  It was mind blowing that every single person had their Masters degree, not just to advance their career, but because they wanted the knowledge of what grad school can give a person.  I found that very insightful and it gives me even more affirmation that grad school is the right next step for me.

3.  Danny and I have been keeping up with our weekly grocery shopping and cooking dinner every night of the week except for date nights once a week.  I have found a lot of different things and one of those are fake meatballs! We stayed in and watched the football games last week and I made real meatballs for Danny and fake meatballs for me.  They were surprisingly good and they made me excited to actually be able to enjoy a traditional football food for the game.
4.  I've been dreaming of owning a nice camera for awhile and I always joked with Danny that we couldn't start having kids until he bought me a camera since I want to capture every moment of our children's lives.  Although we are definitely not pregnant, he took the hint and told me he is getting me a camera for Christmas this year (he is not very good with surprises and he wanted me to help pick it out).  I am so very excited and I can't wait to update my blog with the pictures I take!

5.  Danny and I have been hanging out with friends during this two week period.  We've had game nights and get-togethers with every weekend.  Even though we all have different schedules, we are good about constantly hanging out with each other.  We even attend the same church together which guarantees that we get to see our close friends at least every week.  We are so blessed to have such amazing friends in our life.
6.  I dusted off the kindle and downloaded one of my favorite books that I haven't read in awhile.  I have been spending a few hours each night, diving into this book.  It helps me relax after a long day of work and I enjoy letting my imagination wander into a good book.

7.  Danny and I have had our weekly date nights.  Last night we went to dinner and a movie.  We saw Don Jon and it was interesting.  This movie definitely made me think about a lot of things dealing with relationships and how men and women interact with each other. 

8.  Lastly, I have been very busy with my job.  My role has changed at work and what seems like the flip of a switch, I have completely changed my day to day duties.  I was previously a technician, and now I am a team lead due to the recent promotions that took all of our previous leads.  I recently found out that I am representing my company at AFCOM which is a Data Center Conference in Orlando, Florida.  I am very excited for this opportunity, it just seems like everything is happening so fast.  I leave on a plane tomorrow and will be there for the next four days.  It's all very exciting and I wouldn't have it any other way, but I can't wait for my work life to slow down, so I can have a little more work/life balance.

I hope you have had a great last few weeks and I can't wait to update you on my trip in Florida!  Now, I'm spending the day shopping for some new business professional clothes that actually fit! All of my old business professional clothes were pre-wedding weight loss.

Friday, September 20, 2013

High Five for Friday

So this week has been super busy.  I've realized working five days instead of four really does take a toll on me and unfortunately the blog has suffered because of it, and the exciting things that usually happen during my week.  This week I had to use items from the weekend before because my week was pretty uneventful.  But either way TGIF.

1.  We went over to our friend's apartment on Sunday evening to watch the Sunday paper view of WWE Wrestling.  Kara and I were curious if those lock holds were really effective as they were shown on TV, so Danny and Chad showed us how painful these lock holds were.  I tapped out immediately.  Kara was braver than I was as shown in this picture I captured.
2.  Over the weekend, my parents came up from Columbus to visit us and we had such a great time playing Euchre and Trivial Pursuit.  I usually am not very good at Trivial Pursuit because my mom, dad, and Danny are all trivia maniacs, but I was surprised with how many questions I did get right.  It was a lot of fun and we shared a lot of laughs.  I can't wait for the holidays with everyone.
3.  Danny and Chad went to Monday Night RAW in Cleveland.  They are huge wrestling fans and they were excited that they were in town this week.  I did not capture this picture, so I have to give photo cred to Danny.
4.  While Danny was occupied with wrestling on Monday night, Yogi and I had a Puppy/Mommy bonding night where we watched our typical teen pregnancy shows like every Monday night and then went to bed, exciting I know.
5.  My in-laws came down from Pennsylvania to have dinner with us and my parents this weekend.  They always bring Yogi a new toy (he is spoiled, I know) and they always bring a toy for the cats too so they don't feel left out!  They brought this electronic toy that plays with the kitties and they loved it!

Hope everyone is had a good week.  As always, I'm linking up with Lauren.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Boys Behind the Blog: September Addition

Today is another addition of The Boys Behind the Blog.  My husband, Danny has answered the questions for this month and his answers are below.  Enjoy!

Danny, the Boy Behind the Happy Wife
1. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
A Lion because they're king of the jungle.
2. What is your favorite meal?
Chicken nuggets and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, it's been my favorite since I was little.
3. Do you use any forms of Social Media? What is your favorite? 
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.  My favorite is Twitter because I like the realtime updates of sports and news.
4. Beer, wine, liquor, other, or none of the above?
Beer.  Sam Adams brews tend to be my favorite.

5. Complete the sentence: "Never have I ever..."
...been on a cruise.  We are planning a cruise in the near future so I can go on my first one.

Friday, September 13, 2013

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday friends! So today marks my first official real Friday (I usually work Sundays through Wednesdays).  This week was my first week working Monday through Friday permanently.  It's hard to believe I finally have a normal schedule and I could not be happier.  Danny and I will have the same schedule for the first time, so it will be nice to be able to spend time with each other all weekend as opposed to part of it.  This weekend we have my parents coming to stay with us and I could not be more excited!  I miss my parents a ridiculous amount and I am so happy to have them here with us this weekend.  Now on to High Five for Friday!

1. Danny and I went to our local bar to watch our favorite teams that aren't so local.  Our teams are far away, so we have to go to a bar to watch them, but we made a day of it and dragged our friends along too.
2.  I went to Target to go grocery shopping this week.  It's the second week of our meal planning and it's going great.  I even made a spreadsheet with the various grocery stores around us and the prices of each item we buy. So far, Target is by far the cheapest and I have really enjoyed shopping there.  They also have a Gardein section which is a form of fake meat which I discovered on our trip to Denver.  I was unable to eat it in Denver, but if I prepare it myself, I might trust it more.  I will have to try it out soon.
3.  This post needed two pictures of some very adorable kitties.  I am cat sitting these adorable babies, Lily and Daisy.  We like to joke that they are Rosie's long lost sisters because they all three look the same and they are all named after flowers.  I have so much fun with these babies and they remind me of how amazing it is to have a kitten.
4.  This week I gave blood for the first time in a few years.  It was also special to me because the blood drive was on 9/11.  With all of the thoughts and memories of that horrid days, it felt great to make a difference, hence the sticker I received.
5.  I don't talk about work a lot on my blog, but I work for a company that loves insurance and has a crazy spokesperson named Flo.  Like I mentioned before, I started my Monday through Friday shift for the first time in three years and was officially named Lead of my team this week.  I am so excited to have this opportunity to expand my skills and pursue an important step for my career.

Hope everyone had a great week!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

#WeddingWednesday: Reception Decor

Today's #WeddingWednesday is dedicated to the reception decor.  It feels like every wedding that was planned post Pinterest has a handful of diy projects that are lumped into the reception decor, or at least I know my wedding did.  Last week's #WeddingWednesday's post was all about my guestbook that I found on Pinterest and the reception decor was the exact same way.  I started pinning decor that I fell in love with and after all was done, I was so happy with how everything looked.  Thanks to so many people that came together to make our reception simply beautiful and so much better than anything I could have imagined for my big day.

Table Numbers

My idea for the table numbers came from Pinterest.  I had saw an idea and thought it was so adorable I had to do it.  We created table numbers from ages and included a picture of the both of us at that age.  After all the work me and my mom put into the table numbers, I'm so glad we did it because they turned out great and now I have a collection of adorable pictures of my husband from every year of his life!  I literally was making these up until the night of the wedding.  In fact, I didn't want to leave and go home from the after party of the rehearsal dinner because I knew I had five of these left to do.  Like I mentioned before though, my mom helped me out a lot with these table numbers and she was there working on them with me the day before and even hours before the ceremony!

Seating cards

The seating cards were something I was debating with for some time.  I wanted them to be unique and I wanted them to go along with the theme of the wedding.  This was difficult because we really didn't have a theme to begin with.  I found a great pin (again) and my mom (again) did an amazing job putting them together.  She did ALL of the seating cards and they turned out wonderfully!  We decided to go with the plant theme since the wedding was in March and symbolized our new life growing just like a new plant at the beginning of spring.  We also had to have some way to let the servers know who had what plate for dinner.  This is where the ribbon came into play.  There were champagne, pink, and green ribbons signifying either beef, chicken, or vegetarian for dinner.

Party Favors

We decided to make coozies for party favors because we wanted something our guests would take home and use.  I saw the saying, "To Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After" and decided to incorporate it with our names and our wedding date.  We ordered so many coozies that we had a ton left over and we still use them all the time to this day.  They were an easy favor to order and something that will remind us of our big day for years to come.

My mom monogrammed this bin to put at the bar filled with the coozies.
Our coozies in use at the wedding.


Lastly, the centerpieces looked amazing and were by far my favorite part of the decor.  Our florist, 5th Avenue Floral did an amazing job transcribing my vision of the centerpieces into a reality.  Not only was I in shock of how amazing my bouquet and the bridesmaids flowers turned out, the centerpieces that they put together were breathtakingly beautiful.  My mom also put together tall glass containers with faux flowers in water with a floating candle on top.  They gave a very romatic feeling to the atmosphere and served as the smaller centerpieces.  The tables were so well put together and I was so thrilled with how everything turned out.

The Photos above were taken by Little Tree Studios.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Turning Point in my Life

Today I am linking up with Jenni from Story of my Life.  If you have not been over to read her blog and see her amazing pictures, I encourage you to do so.  Jenni has a great eye for fashion and I love reading her blogposts.  Don't forget to read her love story, simply AMAZING and beautifully written!  Now that I'm done doting on Jenni, on to today's topic for Blogtember.  I have already missed a few blog posts, but I thought better late than never!

Today's topic is Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

This was an easy topic for me because it happened quite recently (well, in the grand scheme of things).

My life took a turn on January 14th, 2012 when I met my future husband.  I know a lot of you are probably thinking, life does usually take a turn when you meet your future spouse, but for me it was a drastic moment that changed all aspects of my life (for the better).

Before meeting Danny, I had been in a rut.  Never having a long term relationship and finding myself frustrated with my current love life, I was always the single friend that my girlfriends knew they could hang out with if they wanted a girls night out.  I didn't date in high school and college was where I focused on my degree and on my friends.  I did date a guy here and there, but no one that I could see myself with long term.  While I felt like my friends were meeting their future husbands, I was adopting my two kitties. I just accepted the fact that I could be one of those crazy cat ladies that would live with their cats and never have that special someone in their life.

I'll stop with my depressing, sad life story and get to the good part.  Like I said, things all changed when I met the love of my life.  And things changed quickly.  After Danny and I met, we fell for each other almost instantly.  We went on our first date and then planned to see each other the next night by chance (or fate depending on how you look at it).  It was a Sunday night and I was watching football with my best guy friend at a bar downtown.  Danny happened to be working a few blocks away and after he finished with work he came to meet up with me.  We spent the whole night talking like we did the night before.  This time it was much more relaxed since there was alcohol involved and the conversation flowed flawlessly. It always works that way with alcohol, doesn't it?

We were so smitten with each other that we made plans the next day too.  Danny took me out to dinner and again we had an amazing conversation and I was head over heels, completely over the top for this man.  The next few weeks, we continued to see each other on a regular basis.  The only time we didn't see each other were when I pretended to do laundry because I was afraid he was going to get bored of me since we were seeing so much of each other (we still like to laugh about that one to this day).

Because we spent every free moment we could together, we got engaged after four months of dating and then married 10 months after that.  I knew he was the one for me and I went from crazy cat lady to some one's everything in a quick four months.  A lot of things changed with the new found relationship too.  Unfortunately, those friends that wanted to have girls nights regularly with me, weren't so thrilled that I was now happy in my relationship with my new fiance.  I ended up finding the love of my life and losing some of my closest friends all at the same time.  Looking back on it, I know it all happened for a reason. I am happier now with the friends that I have today because I know they would be there for me no matter what.

So, in a quick four months, I met the love of my life, got engaged, lost some friends along the way, but found happiness in my "new" life I was building with my soon-to-be husband.  I truly believe everything happens for a reason and there is always a plan for your life.  It took me a little longer to find my life and start living it, but now it is worth every single happy moment and I cherish it so much more.

Above: some of our engagement photos taken by Little Tree Studios.

Photo Challenge: Favorite Color

This week's photo challenge is my favorite color.  I chose this hydrangea photo from my garden.  I love this shade of light pink because it is subtle and beautiful.  I chose a similar shade for my wedding color along with champagne.  I have always loved the color pink and this soft shade of pink is beautiful in my garden!

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

Monday, September 9, 2013

September Wedding Bliss

This weekend was a great one.  We had our friends and neighbors wedding, Melissa and Doug.  I met Melissa my freshman year in college and we have been friends ever since.  Now that we live so close to her and her now husband, we see them often and it was so nice to share in their special day with them.  I went to Melissa's shower and bachelorette party and I could not wait for her big day.  Our mutual friend from college, Emily and her husband, Rob came up from Columbus to go to the wedding.  It was a beautiful day for Melissa and Doug and it was so great to catch up with old friends.

Below are some photos from the big day! I'm so upset my camera was taking really bad pictures or else I would have had so many more nice ones to share.  I need a nice camera (hint, hint Hubby)!

Saying "I Do!"
The Bride and Groom's first dance.
Candy bar at the reception
The cake and the reception decor.
Emily and me at the reception.
Me and Danny at the reception.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall Fun

Happy (football) Sunday! Danny and I had a fun day so far.  We met friends at our local bar to watch our out of town football games.  The games aren't on TV in Cleveland because we all root for teams other than the Browns, so we have to go somewhere that has NFL Sunday Ticket to watch the game.  This Sunday Social is all about Fall, my favorite season!
1. What is your favorite fall activity? 
Honestly, I love staying home and watching football while smelling my amazing pumpkin candles.  I love to decorate for fall, so I can enjoy the fall colors and smells from inside the house.  I also love to carve pumpkins and other fall activities during the season.

2. Do you follow a football team? If so, which one and why? 
I am a HUGE football fan.  I am a Green Bay Packers fan.  I was born and raised in Ohio, but in Columbus where there isn't a professional football team.  When I was younger, I idolized Brett Favre, so that's when I became a Packers fan.  I've been to a number of Packers games, but by far my favorite time was going to Lambeau last year when my husband surprised me with tickets for my birthday! It was amazing and so great to see the legendary Lambeau Field! 
My husband and me at Lambeau Field last year.
3. What is something fun about fall in your area? 
Since moving to Cleveland a few years ago, there's nothing that comes to mind that is specific to the area (that I know about).  I am really excited to hand out candy this year since we actually have a house to participate!
4. What are your favorite fall staple outfits? 
I am a big scarf person, so I usually like to wear sweaters with a scarf and boots, much like I did in our fall engagement photo shoot last year.
Sweater (Target), scarf (Target), and boots (Steve Madden)
5. What things are you looking forward to most about this coming fall season? 
I am looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with our family.  Since we have a house, I wanted to host both families at our place this year.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I love spending it with family, eating food, and watching football.
6. What is your favorite fall holiday? Tradition? 
As said in the last question, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  My favorite tradition is eating butterscotch buns Thanksgiving morning while watching the Macy's parade.  My mom has a tradition of making her famous butterscotch buns for breakfast only on Thanksgiving and Christmas ever since I was little.  Since I spent Thanksgiving morning at my in-laws last year, I tried to make the buns and failed miserably.  This year, I am hoping I can do it right this time!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fall and Football

This Friday I am home getting the house ready for some guests that we will be hosting since our dear friends, Melissa and Doug are getting married on Saturday!! I can't wait to see Melissa come down that aisle because she is going to be a gorgeous bride!  Linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday.

One.  Yogi graduated from Intermediate dog training class on Tuesday.  This set of classes was definitely harder than the beginner class and it really tested his patience (and ours!).  He made it through and we are so proud of the new things he has learned!  Hopefully we will sign him up for the next set of advanced classes in the next few months.  He is a smart pups and we want him to become a well-trained puppy dog.

two.  This week starts the first week of our plan to eat at home every night.  We had developed bad habits like eating out way too much and not grocery shopping everything at once, so we devised a plan to eat all of our meals at home starting this week.  Of course, we are giving each other the occasional break like date night twice a month on Fridays, but for the most part we hope this will teach us how to shop correctly from the beginning of the week so we can plan our meals out instead of resorting to eating out.  Check back to hear our progress!

three.  Last night was the official kickoff of FOOTBALL SEASON!!!  Can you tell I'm excited? Danny and I watched the home opener game last night and I am looking forward to my Packers playing on Sunday!  I bought this flag a few weeks ago and had to warn the neighbors where my loyalties lie.  Too bad Danny wants to take it down week three when the Bengals play the Packers (we will see about that).

four.  I caught Rosie snoozing away.  Every night this week she has cuddled with me at night which she rarely does anymore since the German Shepard puppy sleeps in our bed.  This was her way of saying she missed us while we were in Denver this past weekend.  I miss kitty cuddles from our pre-puppy days.

five.  Since Summer is sort of over, I have already decorated for fall!  Fall is my favorite season to decorate for because it includes things like my favorite color palette (reds, browns, oranges, and yellows), the best smelling candles (like I mention in my last High Five for Friday post), and adorable little pumpkins that I love to put everywhere.  When I moved up to Cleveland, my mom gave me a lot of her fall decorations since she knows how much I loved the season.  I got this adorable PartyLite candle holder from her.  Thanks, Mom!

I hope everyone had a good week!  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Labor Day in Denver

I'm finally getting around to writing about our fun weekend in Denver this past weekend over Labor Day.  Since Danny doesn't have a lot of vacation time left because of the wedding this year, we wanted to take a mini weekend trip without having to take a lot of time off work.  It turned out that we only needed to take off one day each. I broke down our activities by each day since we packed so many activities in each day.

On Friday, we woke up super early (3 am to be exact) to get to the airport in time for our early flight.  Luckily, we didn't have any issues like our honeymoon traveling nightmare just 5 months before.  After we landed in Denver, we traveled to our hotel to check in before our first activity of the weekend, a brewery tour.  I didn't know before going to Denver that they are the king of Breweries.  On our brewery tour, we visited Breckenridge Brewery, Falling Rock Brewery, Rock Bottom Brewery, and Wynkoop Brewery.  The tour was great and we got to try two or three samples from each place.  Since Danny loves interesting and unique tasting beer, I could tell he was in heaven the whole weekend.  The brewery tour was the perfect introduction to Denver and gave us wonderful places to visit the rest of the weekend.  Not only was the brewery tour good for trying new beer, it was good for getting to know people too.  We ended up meeting so many nice people including two guys from Cleveland.  After talking with them, we found out they live within 20 minutes of us and knew a lot of people we knew including one of our good friends.  After this weekend, we realized it is such a small world!

Our Brewery tour card to keep track of our samples.
At Falling Rock Brewery.
Our nice friends we met from Cleveland!
After the tour we headed to the Yard house restaurant for dinner.  I discovered they had an amazing menu including a section called, "Gardein".  This product tastes and looks like chicken, but is made out of some type of soy product.  I choose the Gardein Mac and Cheese and I will say by the end of it, I felt like I was eating real chicken.  It was so real to me, that it freaked me out and I couldn't eat any more of the chicken.  It was an interesting experience.

Yard House.
The next day we got up and went to a breakfast restuarant.  After breakfast, Danny decided it would be neat to check out Molly Brown's house.  Margaret Brown was more famously known for traveling on the Titanic and surviving giving her the nickname, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown".  She lived in Denver and after some time (1970 to be exact) the city of Denver bought her house and restored it to the original condition from when Margaret Brown and her family lived there.  Danny and I are both history buffs and we found the house and the tour very interesting.  What was also interesting was the amazing tour guide.  We found out at the end of the tour that after 11 years, this was her very last tour.  She was great and knew so much about Margaret Brown's life and the house.

Waiting for the Molly Brown tour to begin.
Molly Brown's house.
After the tour, we headed back to the hotel to change into our Cincinnati Reds gear.  It was the first official Saturday of college football so we headed to one of our favorite places we found on the Brewery tour, Wyncoop brewery to watch some football.  They have a Chile beer that is made from jalapenos and it was amazing!  After some time, we headed to the Reds/Rockies game.  The game was great especially since the Reds won!  We spent most of the time hanging out at the Blue Moon bar, where Blue Moon was actually invented.  Our seats were nice, but the people around our seats were not so much.

At the game on Saturday.
Coors Field.
After the game, we heard about an improv comedy club called, Impulse Theatre.  They just happened to have a deal that night for a FREE ticket with an out of state license.  It was such an amazing show and was so funny! The actors are so talented and came up with some really great things!

The next and last full day in Denver we started the day off with breakfast again at a downtown Denver cafe called Paramount Cafe.  It was an inside joke that every breakfast meal, Danny got a breakfast Burrito and the one at Paramount was HUGE (picture below).

Breakfast Burrito.

After breakfast we decided to walk around downtown for a bit and decided to wander off to see the Broncos stadium and Pepsi Center where the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche hockey team play.  By the time we got done seeing the sights, it was time to head back to see the last game of the series between the Rockies and the Reds.  Unfortunately, the Reds did not pull off a win, but we did get to see Todd Helton hit his 2,500 career hit.  The rest of the night was spent checking out more places around town and then heading back to the hotel for an early flight home the next day.

At Pepsi Center.
At the Red/Rockies game.
Coors Field.

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