Monday, November 14, 2011


Obviously many things have happened since I've been absent from my blogging...

Pippa has been growing like a weed. I attempted to introduce her to Justin's dog Buck....

Notttt too successful. She is quite the maniac lately until night time when she likes to lay across my neck like a scarf and suffocate me. Both mine and Shawn's hands are covered in scratches from her attacks. To the point where I've had multiple random people ask me if I have a cat. Luckily I can say yes, but I keep thinking about what an awkward question that would be if I didn't...

Thinking back over October and what we've been up to, I can pretty much only think of one thing: Halloween. I don't believe I've ever done so many Halloween-related activities in my life. To start, Shawn worked in a haunted house for the month of October, which involved a daily dousing of fake blood and wearing of white-out eye contacts which all began to not even strike me as unusual around Day 10. 

Then came Zombie Crawl. Thousands of people dressed as zombies rambling around the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. There were definitely some sights to see. And some sticky blood to be had, considering the fake stuff we made was mainly corn syrup. Oh yeah, that felt good :(

Sometime in the Halloween blur of October, we managed to carve what seemed like a thousand pumpkins:

Can you guess who is who?

Shawn did this one for work.

All that pumpkin meant that of course we had 2 rounds of toasted pumpkin seeds, a loaf of pumpkin bread, and are now in the process of making pumpkin soup to freeze for Thanksgiving :)

Speaking of Fall recipes.. I finally managed to make a tart with my tart pan I bought months ago... a scrumptious caramelized apple and onion tart with homemade rosemary crust. Deeelicious. I must apologize to my dear mother for hating her rosemary potatoes so much growing up because I now think it's one of my favorite flavors. Who knew?

You'd think with all this Halloween-ing we would've planned our costumes ahead of time.. but no. So basically at the last minute before we headed out to our apartment community get-together, I had the grand idea to be Goldilocks and Shawn would be a bear. Pretty much based solely on the fact that he was wearing big bear feet slippers and I have a blonde wig that I need to lower my PPW on (Price Per Wear, that is). So I whipped up this little ensemble and then got to work making Shawn into a bear.

This may have involved a brown pillowcase over his head with a cutout for his face. The two corners tied at the top to make ears. Let's just say he did not love, and thus, no pictures :( But he was a good sport and I was freezing. Very jealous of his brown snow pants and brown hoodie. The party was actually thrown by our apartment management company who owns a ton of properties around Denver. Two of our neighbor friends won $250 off rent and $500 off rent. We walked away with a $100 gift certificate. Not too shabby! For the record, it was a random drawing, not a costume contest :)

Aside from all that nonsense, I've been staying quite busy at the j-o-b's. Things are going very well at the Holiday Inn. There's been talk of putting me strictly in charge of the wedding business. Which sounds like a fantastic idea to me! I've also been working with Pink Posey here and there, which got me a little gig making a sign for a bride's ring bearer to carry down the aisle:

Still waiting to see the professional photos from that one, but I can't imagine how it was not the cutest thing ever. It also allowed me to decorate my first ice cake. Shawn actually helped with this one. The bough of flowers across the bottom was his lovely idea :)

Unfortunately, with all this working there haven't been many estate sale visits. Or perhaps it's the fact that our tiny apartment has reached capacity. This hasn't stopped Shawn from Craigslisting, however, and I am "proud" to say that we are now the "happy" owners of:

60 bottles of hot sauce from around the globe...

A cat condo larger than my own body...

A PS3 that is the reason I am undistracted enough to be writing this at the moment...

More fish and aquatic beings than I can even count...

And an iguana who basically came and went (i.e. got the boot) in one weekend. Luckily while he was here, it was necessary for us to acquire another ginormous tank so we have a home for the next "surprise" !!!

Needless to say, things are never dull. But it finally feels like we're getting into the groove of normal life for the most part, which is a nice change from the semi-chaos of the past few months. And to top it all off, there's a Jacksonville trip on the horizon! December 1-6 we'll be home to visit for the holidays. Can't wait!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

ultimate cuteness

I have about 5 million projects to update about and tons of estate sale/thrift store finds (finally got a paper cutter, yesssss!) But! there's a more important addition to our tiny apartment... a tiny kitten!

Meet Pippa!

She's basically the tiniest and cutest little kitten ever.. probably due to her previous Craigslist owners taking her away from her mother too soon... but she's now loving life and Shawn is probably the happiest ever in his whole life being a foster mom :)

After these pics I'm sure you will agree with me. And yes, that last one is her in a baby sling that I made out of a pashmina so I could actually get stuff done with her little mew-ing self. Love her!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

busy busy busy

Who knew that working like a normal person would make me feel like a haggard middle aged woman... So to counteract that, I've been trying to make sure I actually still do things during the week (whether going out or staying in and crafting). Doesn't exactly help that I'm still working some with the catering place and these two months are Buffy's busiest with weddings. So when I am at home, I basically want to be a lump. Shawn will not have this.

Last weekend we were both off on Sunday so we decided to see what all the fuss was about and go tubing in Boulder Creek. We borrowed Robyn and Justin's tubes to minimize expenditures and headed north. Luckily, we had been warned that this was not the type of tubing we were used to in Florida.. You know, the Lazy River kind of floating in freezing water where you have a tube designated to hold the cooler. Yeah, the only thing similar was the freezing water. And I don't know why I would expect anything different from extreme-sports-central-Colorado. So after a quick stop at Wal-Mart for some $7 Aqua Socks..don't worry, I got the gray and purple Mary Jane style so mine are totally cool... we parked somewhere along the creek and started walking upstream. Along the way I was beginning to see what types of rocks and rapids we would soon be dealing with. Yikes.

I'm not gonna lie, there were some serious wipeouts. And the fact that there are people sitting along the banks all the way down just waiting for you to dump out of your tube is a bit intimidating. I definitely got stuck in an eddy at one point and was continuously going in a circle until I could finally pull myself out into the main flow. Luckily towards the beginning of our journey down, we encountered some tubes that had been abandoned by their previous owners. Shawn risked life and limb rescuing one from the base of a small waterfall and then swam across the raging rapids for the other one. My hero <3 These tubes were larger and thus much better at keeping your rump from bashing against the numerous rocks poised treacherously just below the surface. This may all sound rather dramatic, but I'm telling you, when we got out at the end, we were both just like "Whoa." It was quite fun but also pretty exhausting getting bumped and thrown around. We were tubed out.

So the next spot we hit, it being another glorious Colorado day and all, was the Boulder Reservoir. Apparently, no one in Colorado has ever been to the beach, because if they had, they would never accept this bo-bo imitation as a sufficient substitute. Very weird. A man made lake that seems to be somewhat in a desert-like area of the mountains with roped off swimming areas and floating plastic docks. Very commercialized. $6.25 a person to get in? Wack. Of course we had to do it, just because we drove all the way there and we'd never gone before. But never again. I did get sufficiently burnt and we did meet some weird people which is always entertaining, but for the most part, I feel we were jipped.

On another note, with not a whole lot of spare time, I have for some reason decided to take on one of the biggest projects ever. Pattern-painted curtains. I've been dreaming of the perfect curtains, yet knowing full well I will never want to spend the money I'll need to spend for the fabric or even find them at a reasonable price in the store. So after a bit of Googling and a trip to the thrift store, I ended up with two panels of sheer ivory curtains for $6 and a pattern of "Imperial Trellis" the size of three sheets of paper.

Needless to say, it is an extremely tedious process of tracing. Completed only due to the fact that Shawn was working all night so I had no distractions and mayyybe a bottle of wine. And I only managed to completely trace one panel.

But out of curiosity, I tested a small bit of paint on one of the bottom corners. I've decided on a slightly metallic gold, which was of course purchased with my Joann 50% off coupon. Unfortunately I am encountering some bleeding over my beautiful crisply traced lines that does not please me...

I'm off to do a bit of experimenting to hopefully get these things done before our next out-of-town visitor arrives. Sign up below if you'd like that lucky person to be you!

Monday, July 25, 2011

oh happy day!

The most amazing and best news as of late is that I FINALLY got a job! And a real full-time, punch in, punch out, request sick days, and direct all calls to my extension job at that! To be honest, that whole last sentence kinda freaks me out, having been out of the normal working person loop for quite some time. But I am very excited to finally have a steady source of income and get back on my feet after all these moving shenanigans.

I'm the new Catering Coordinator at the Holiday Inn Select at Cherry Creek. Basically, the sales team sells events and meetings and then turns them over to me. Then I fill in every last detail from menus to room setup and timelines. So it's right up my alley. I was explaining the process to Shawn today and he said "Oh geez, you're gonna be crazy," after I told him all about the lists and calendars and agendas. Just the thing for my little OCD self :)

p.s. After I got home today, we went to Washington Park to enjoy the lovely weather and I was actually chilly on this July evening! I miss my Florida folks, but humidity, I am delighted to be so far far away from you..

Monday, July 18, 2011

a new chair

Way back when we first got to Denver, we picked up our table and two miscellaneous chairs from the Craigslist free section. One of those chairs was this one:

Since that day long ago, I have been slowly plotting and pulling together the necessary items to give it a new life. I didn't mind the color the wood was painted, but it was pretty beat up and really needed a fresh coat. And the fabric, well, that's just hideous.

Step 1 was to remove all the fabric and layers of crazy batting and cushion. My original plan was to re-use the cushion but upon seeing it, I decided some less-than-20-year-old foam might be a better choice. Also, the seat part of the chair didn't have a hard base, but instead was supported by these crazy springs that stretched from the front to the back. Shawn helped me get those off (miraculously without losing an eye) and I started brainstorming on what to use to restructure it.

Step 2 was sanding. Sanding sanding sanding. Until it looked like this:

Sometime between steps 1 and 2, we ended up at an estate sale where the man had been a furniture upholsterer. What luck! And it was half-off day so I ended up getting some fabric for $2.50. Not my absolute favorite #1 choice ever for fabric, but considering this is my first attempt, I figured it would do.

Eventually, I ended up buying some high density foam from the craft store along with some extra stuffing to fill in any gaps. Probably the most expensive part of this whole project. I decided to just do a piece of plywood across the seat to serve as the base and kept my eyes peeled in the alleys and dumpsters for a while. After weeks of no luck, I thought perhaps I should just see how much a piece might cost from Lowe's. Even their smallest piece was more than I wanted to spend, but luckily I spotted the scraps next to the giant lumber cutting machine. I pulled out a piece of thick MDF that was close enough to the size I needed and asked a friendly Lowe's guy how much they would sell it for. "You can just have it," he replied. Music to my thrifty ears :)

So the only missing piece to the chair puzzle was the paint. I was wanting a glossy mahogany but didn't have any luck finding it in a quart size or even in spray paint. On a trip to Lowe's, Shawn found a quart of "oops" paint that, priced at $2.50, was surely close enough.

Then the long, often procrastinated, process of putting all the pieces together ensued. I had kept the old pieces of fabric to use as a pattern and discovered that the bolt I had bought had literally just enough cloth to replicate the pieces. Phew! The seat was cut to size thanks to the borrowed saw from the resident construction workers (turns out they are good for something...) And a couple of coats on the wood frame  had the chair looking fresher already. The paint color did turn out a bit more orange-y than I had originally wanted, but I'm considering adding a tinted glaze on top to give it a bit more gloss. One day. I also painted the blue table legs in the same color to pull them together somewhat. An estate sale staple gun came in handy for the actual upholstering, and I'm happy to say I think it came out rather well!

I must admit that the back is not fully finished, as I'm debating if I want to do visible nailheads or use the tiny ones that disappear for the last panel. Perhaps something will pop up and inspire me!

Here's one more before and after:



I wish I could blame my absence on our first out-of-town guests, but the fact that they left over two weeks ago makes me think I've just been lazy... so now I have a ton of backlogged news and stories to share.

First I must share some rather devastating news: the mighty Lord Tennyson is no longer with us. And of course it had to happen while Jess and Jesse were here. Their lovely guest suite had been set up in the living room and Jess was not too keen on sleeping in such close proximity to a frog. We assured her that he had never escaped in the two months that we had him. One morning while Shawn was making breakfast for everyone, I casually wandered over to the tank to watch the fish. That's when I realized LT was no longer there. {Enter the FREAKOUT} I started frantically looking everywhere; behind the tank, under the couch, in every nook and cranny, wanting to find him but at the same time knowing that I didn't really want to find him. He's fully aquatic so he can't live outside of water. I knew the clock was ticking especially since we didn't know if he had escaped during the night or some time the evening before while we were out. Jesse was helping with the search, Shawn was chained to the stove lest he burn the eggs, and Jess was basically just freaking out that the frog may have hopped across her in her sleep on his way out.

I continued my search in the bedroom, looking under the bed, under the dressers, finally moving to the closet where I slightly moved the laundry bag and there he was just inside the closet door! Unmoving :( I screamed (obvs) and went running out of the room doing the scream/cry much like my sister upon seeing a spider. Shawn finally decides to step in since I have basically become useless at this point. He gets some paper towels and scoops up LT from the floor, heading towards the trash can. (Ew.) "He's alive!!" Shawn yells all of a sudden and makes a beeline for the tank. Jess and Jesse are in the path and both run straight out the front door. LT plunks down into the water and definitely appears to be shaken up but still alive.

Unfortunately it didn't last very long. He had been out of the water for too long and just couldn't recover. A couple days later I noticed some conspiring among Jesse, Jess, and Shawn and soon discovered that LT had met his end.

Monday, June 27, 2011

blue skies

I must say, the weather here is practically perfect. (Remind me of that when January comes..) Gorgeous blue skies as far as you can see. Which means we've been taking advantage of the roof deck and the many parks Denver has to offer. After a stunning rooftop victory by Shawn in Gin Rummy, we whipped up some mango jicama salsa and fajitas. So delish. And the salsa got even better the next day. Yum.

Unfortunately we didn't get this little guy until an estate sale a couple days later, but next time we're chopping up some salsa, things should move a bit more quickly.

The other day we paid a visit to the Skate Park and spectated for a couple hours. It's actually a pretty huge place. And there were definitely people of all ages. One dad was there skating with his two little boys on their razor scooters. Couple of daredevils, those two. 

After that, we met up with one of Shawn's friends and went with him to a potluck on the roof of his mom's building. It's one of those 55 and up places so we sort of stuck out like sore thumbs but it was a fun change of pace and I always love a good potluck. So many different things to sample :) Plus I got to beat Shawn again in cornhole. Heh heh.

Yesterday morning I went for a run and had to stop to take a picture of this lady's front yard. Well, to be honest, I had already stopped anyway to catch my breath for the millionth time...

The pictures don't capture it so well, but her front yard is entirely covered in rose bushes. In fact, there are tons of roses in bloom all over the city. I think it's so fun to see so many different types of plants growing than the ones I'm used to in Florida.

To top off the weekend, Shawn and I went to Jazz in the Park, which is a weekly event at City Park. Having worked a wedding the night before, I managed to score two boxed lunches that were unused vendor meals, and we had a bottle of champagne in the fridge that Shawn was given one day at Bistro. So we brought our free little picnic and stretched out under a huge shade tree in the park. Doesn't get much better than that :)