Dec 2013
13

Dr. Who Tardis Gingerbread House

Dex has becomes obsessed with pastry lately. Not really eating it, but decorating it. He loves Cake Boss, and a bunch of YouTube channels that frankly I can’t remember the name of because we are hitting that generation gap where he likes stuff that is cool and I have no idea what he is talking about.

Last night Bryan and Dex hijacked two standard gingerbread house kits to combine decoration fun with the other new obsession in our house: Dr. Who.

May I present the Tardis that will grace our dining room until Christmas or until the dog eats it, whichever comes first.

Dr Who Gingerbread House

Oct 2013
30

Win A Signed Pioneer Woman Holiday Cookbook!

The first time we met, she bolted. It was about five or six years ago, at SXSW I believe, and I got up the nerve to go over and say hi. She was incredibly nice and then just excused herself mid-sentence. I honestly didn’t think much of it; she was a busy lady even back then. She emailed me days later and said she had to go potty in that moment maybe more than she ever had in her life. I am almost positive she used the word potty.

The second time we met, I fell flat on my face. It wasn’t pretty and I still have a tiny scar over my eyebrow, but it was worth it.

The third time we met, we fell in lovvvvveeee. There was some quality time here in Denver during one of her book tours and I was thrilled to get to know the gal better as proof positive: She is just as wonderful as she seems.

I actually know we have met many more times than that, but it’s not as funny of a Harry Met Sally reference when you can’t remember hugging someplace random as people lined up to see the super star that Ree Drummond has become.

I am thrilled to call Ree a friend and beyond proud of all her success. I may not be a great cook, but she asked me to help beta-test Tasty Kitchen, and I gaze lovingly at the pages of her amazing cookbooks, even if I don’t make the recipes as often as I want to.

Her newest, “A Year of Holidays” is no exception. It is gorgeous and every recipe looks terrific. Plus I have three signed copies to give away. WOOT!

Use the handy Rafflecopter widget below to enter in multiple ways from now until Sunday, November 3rd at midnight mountain time. USA and 18+ only, please.

Many thanks to Ree for being such an inspiration for us all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 2013
03

Back To The Colorado Dude Ranch – Black Mountain

Note: Our stay was provided by Black Mountain Ranch but all words and photos are mine.

While I feel very lucky that work has been keeping me so busy, one drawback is this: the photos from fun things we do sit there and languish. They kind of taunt me, waiting to be loaded up and shared with the friends who were with us on our adventures.

A perfect example are these photos from last summer at Black Mountain Ranch, a Colorado dude ranch that we have visited before, and hope to visit again – many times.

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This time, we were able to bring a friend of Dex’s, which made it just perfect. The boys played together in the dirt with the bunnies and the goats and the chickens and the donkeys and the dirt and more dirt … and we were able to watch from a safe distance, far far away.

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We also came back for more horseback riding. If you remember, the last time I was on a horse (also my first time on a horse), I broke my finger in two places. This time, I managed to get up in the saddle without jamming multiple appendages in a desperate attempt to hang on for dear life. Progress! Because, basically you know, the folks at Black Mountain Ranch have taught me to be a rock star horse rider. Or at least one who doesn’t break fingers anymore.

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The boys of course, as with everything, had a much easier time. Which is why all the photos of me are waaaaay back and the photos of them are waaaaay ahead.

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One thing I love about Black Mountain Ranch is they have a “fancier” side too. The meals, especially dinner, are just as good as you would get at many fine dining restaurants in Denver, or maybe better. The night we arrived there was this salmon which I had trouble not requesting seconds for. Like, I want it right now even.

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In the evenings, we walked down and watched the horses be put out to pasture. During this trip, the donkeys took a liking to us, to Bryan in particular. It’s too bad Denver has restrictions against such critters as pets; I am pretty sure Bryan was going to try and sneak one home.

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In the later evening, the Saloon (yes, Saloon) is open for music, dancing, pool, cards, and um, things related to Saloons. Let’s just say that while the cell reception is light up at Black Mountain Ranch, your phone is quite nice to light the way back to your cabin after having some drinks.

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The last day at Black Mountain Ranch is usually reserved for something that any dude ranch should teach you. Cattle roping. And when I say “teach you,” I mean teach *YOU* while *I* take photographs.

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We also had plenty of relaxing times, just soaking in the scenery. I know I am biased, but Western Colorado is simply gorgeous.

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Thank you again for being such wonderful hosts, Black Mountain Ranch.

The boys continue to talk about this trip like it was yesterday, so I know we made a very special memory for them. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

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If you are interested in Black Mountain Ranch for your summer 2014 vacation, here is their contact page. Also, be sure to like them on Facebook, because they share wonderful photos from the ranch all year long!

May 2013
03

New: Chipotle Patron Margaritas + Cultivate Foundation

Note: Chipotle provided food and beverages but photos and words in this post are mine.

When Chipotle called to ask if I wanted to try their new Patron margaritas for Cinco De Mayo, I had one question:

“You guys serve margaritas?”

Apparently they always have, but just revamped the recipe to make it taste better, with simpler ingredients:

  • Patron Silver Tequila
  • Triple Sec
  • Lemon and Lime Juice Blend
  • Organic Agave Nectar

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Over dinner we sampled the premium Patron version and it was very nice.

Just like they said, simple.

If you have ever been out with me, I tend to order light beer just so I don’t drink too much, too fast. But when I order mixed drinks, margaritas are among my favorite. And I do love when “fast casual” restaurants allow me to have a nice drink with dinner.

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Seeing as Chipotle is a Colorado company, I have met the folks there several times. We chatted about many things over dinner – travel, music, and – of course – all the new things Chipotle has been up to.

I am not really sure how I missed the Cultivate Foundation, which was started by Chiptotle in 2011 to support sustainable agriculture. My favorite part is when the “Willie Nelson Back To The Start” video was mentioned… my son whipped out his phone, searched, and brought up the video in about 5 seconds flat.

Love the animation style, the message, and even though I am not a huge Coldplay fan, the song.

I look forward to The Cultivate Festival this summer, which will bring together some of my favorite things. Music and food.

San Francisco – June 8th
Denver – August 17th
Chicago – September 7th

See you there?

Chipotle provided food and beverages but photos and words in this post are mine.
Feb 2013
14

10 Great Ideas for Valentine’s Day

There has been a flurry of amazing pins for Valentine’s Day over the last week, so I thought I would share some of my holiday favorites. I know we all could have used these about a month ago, but I, for one, will be saving these for next year!

1. Secret Valentine’s Day Messages
2. Nerd Valentines
3. You Rule Non-Candy Valentines
4. Paper Flower Tutorial
5. Fruit Roll-up Fortune Cookies
6. Yoda Light Saber Valentines
7. Owl Bookmark Valentines
8. Heart Cut-Out Wrapping Paper
9. Sign Language I Love You Valentine Card
10. Valentine Heart Sandwich Cookies

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!