I've been thinking about my friendships a lot lately. I have some girlfriends who I consider to be my close friends - even though we're all residing in different states and we are all at very different junctures in our lives. But the common denominator is that we KNOW each other. I mean - We really know each other. Since the 5th grade kind of know each other. We know why we are the way we are, we know what shaped us into the women we are today, we know who we are at our core. And while we were REALLYCLOSE in high school, our friendships have changed as we became adults, got married and started families. And yet, we can still call after 2 or 3 months and talk as if no time has passed at all. This works for me. Sometimes I wish we all still lived close and that we could talk more frequently, but I understand the demands that families place on a woman. And I would never want my friendship to demand the same level of attention.

But my friendships that I've developed since then with other women don't always feel that easy. It seems like I'm failing in friendships, partly because I'm not giving enough care and attention to those relationships as my friends apparently expect. I guess I'm so used to the easiness and undemanding friendship with my core girls that i fail to realize that these newer friendships need care and feeding.

On a side note - I'm reading The Girls From Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow. Good read so far.

So I took a silly friendship personality quiz and found out that:

My Friendship Style is Independent

You love your friends, but you don't always need them as much as they need you.
You like to do your own thing. Sometimes this means taking a break from your friends and carving your own path.

As long as your friends give you the space you need, you are happy to be there for them whenever you can.
Your friends lean on you for advice and problem solving. You tend to be "the rock."

So where is this post going? I'm not sure - maybe I just needed to find the space to say to myself "It's okay to be independent. You don't have to feel bad because other people put expectations on you that don't fit who you are. Be true to yourself, and be the best friend that you can be - but don't try to be something that you are not."

PS - Being a grown up sometimes isn't fun - but it's still better than being a pre-teen girl!


Craigslist Find

Looky what I found this weekend - on Craigslist! For $40!

And the best part was the lovely woman that I bought it from. She lived in this amaze-balls home on the side of the mountain in Morrison, Colorado. You know - where Red Rocks is? Yeah, awesome. Her house was gorgeous. And this little diddy was in her "guest house" which is the size of our "for reals" house! And this lovely woman was gorgeous and super friendly - very Paula Deen without the crazy southern accent and loud voice.

Now I have my work cut out for me - refinishing! To paint, or to stain? That is the question!


Goals: New Recipe

One of my goals for 2011 was to try some new recipes. And I've already tried two that I love!

Catalan Sauteed Polenta and Butter Beans (from Eating Well Oct/Nov 2006)
4 teaspoons EVOO, divided
1 16 ounce tube prepared plain polenta (I made mine) cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked, plus more for garnish
1 15 ounce can butter beans, rinsed
4 cups packed baby spinach
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup shredded Manchego or Monterey Jack cheese
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (i did without since we didn't have any)

1. heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add polenta and cook in a single layer, stirring occassionally, until beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate
2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garlic to the pan, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in beans, spinach and broth; cook, stirring, until the beans are heated through and the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese and vinegar. Serve vegetables over polenta. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each
Per serving: 207 calories, 8 G fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbs, 10 g protein, 5 g fiber




S's birthday is coming up soon - and it's a big one. He's finally turning 30! I rejoice in his old age because it means he can no longer rib me about being an "old lady", or how he's married to an "older woman" or how he's so young at still in his twenties. Dear lord - I'm so over that! Although I always laugh and it is kinda funny - especially when people are shocked (whether real or fake, I'll take it!) that I'm 30. Must be the SPF moisturizer and strict skin care regime that I follow. NOT.

Anyhoo- I was brainstorming some ideas for the birthday boy the other day, but sadly I can only come up with things that I would want to do. Like:
  • a sushi making class at our fav restaurant Sushi Den
  • a photography session - we never had engagement or wedding photos and we're lacking in the non-self-photo category
  • yay, and that's about as far as I got
Lame. I know.

Anyone got any great ideas for a 30th birthday for my man?


Oh, la la

I want this...>
found on Craigslist for $100.

But S says I have to finish our two other furniture refinishing projects first. Oh, if only I could be home sanding right now.....


Let's Get Hacking

Here's a short wish-list of things I want to hack.
Crate & Barrel's spotlight white desk ($499)

Crate & Barrel's Addison storage bench ($399)

Crate & Barrel's Paterson shelves ($299)



On Saturday I went thrifting. I keep seeing amazing furniture finds on other blogs and I've been frustrated by what we're finding - or not finding - at regular furniture stores, not to mention the outrageous prices. So I thought I would give thrifting a try.

First I made my list of what I was looking for:
  • mirror for the bathroom project
  • entry way table
  • end tables
  • tall dresser
Then I made my route of places to check out for Saturday. This included about 5 different places, located all around Denver. I checked out everything from an estate sale, goodwill, and some furniture consignment shops.

And here's what I found -

A mirror for $54 at a consignment shop

Tray top end tables in perfect condition for $60 each at consignment shop

Danish style dresser and mirror for $44 at thrift store - in really great condition

Chairs for $100 at consignment store (not that we need any more chairs...)

Small server with fold out top for $100 at consignment shop (S actually gets credit for this find)

Server for $92 at consignment shop (had a matching buffet and hutch, too)
Tall dresser for $125 at consignment shop (had 3 other matching pieces, too)

Long dresser at different consignment shop for $150

And guess what I came home with?

4 books from goodwill, and two gold artichoke candle holders that I will be painting white.

Lesson learned: Thrifting is hard work, and not good for the girl who is incredibly indecisive.


So sleepy

I don't know what my deal is lately, but I am TIRED. And I love to SLEEP. Especially in the mornings when I'm supposed to be at work. Oops!

It was 9 am before I made it to the office today, and I can honestly tell you, I haven't been very productive since getting here!

I think one of my new years goals should be to make it to work before 8:30 am consistently!


Bathroom Progress

You can read more about this endeavor here and here.

But Monday more progress was made! Can you tell from the picture what we did?

More beadboard. And it's complete now.

And base boards!

Yippee, yay! Now chair rail, painting, re-installing the sink and toilet, finding a mirror, installing the light, new fixtures (tp holder, towel rack, etc), and tiling the shower. Phew! Seems like a long list.

But the deadline has been finalized. We have to be done by February 9th for my SIL's visit!


Travel Goals for 2011

It's no secret that S and I are not much for traveling. Yes, we travel occasionally for work, and I travel for the non-profit I volunteer with, but rarely do we travel for fun. This year one of our goals is to "plan more" and "make an effort to go places."

So here's our short list of upcoming travels/adventures:
  • January - we plan to take a long weekend in the mountains for some skiing just the two of us, but of course bring along the furry girlies

  • February - my SIL and her 3 gorgeous kiddos are visiting and we want to take them to the Denver Mint and sledding in the mountains (maybe do a snowboard lesson if the kids get really brave)

  • March - happens to be Mr. S's big 30th birthday month, so we are playing with the idea of getting away to someplace warm, like Mexico (but cross your fingers, cuz we had the same idea for my 30th and we know how that turned out....)
  • April - hitting the slopes again with a few other couple friends and their furry kiddos for a spring snow vacation
  • May - FINALLY, a trip to South Carolina to see the 'rents! Do a little golfing, hiking, check out some water falls, eat some heal-the-soul kind of food from my momma's kitchen, and just relax.
Maybe it doesn't sound like much, but for us - this is amazing that we are tentatively planning all of this! Let's see how it all pans out....


Looking for...

We need a mirror for our bathroom remodel project. I know what I want in my mind, but I can't find it anywhere.

Have you seen this, lately? And if so, could you send me a message on where to get one?!
Preferably for less than $835.


I know we aren't the only ones with major infatuations with HomeGoods. It's a weekly tradition to visit at least two of the local TJ Maxx/HomeGoods stores. We have a steady rotation of at least 3 that we frequent regularly.

This past weekend was no different, and we started our new year off with a trip to Mecca - aka the giant HomeGoods. This store is just HomeGoods - no TJ Maxx. Just home stuff. And requires lots of patience when being visited with S. He LOVES to look through EVERYTHING. And I'm not sure if it was the "after holiday adrenaline let-down" or what, but he acted like he had money burning a hole in his little pocket. And I guess he did - his mom got him a TJ Maxx gift card. Perfect gift for my savvy, deal-loving man. (I know, most girls would love to have an S.O. that loves to shop. Problem is...I hate shopping - especially the way S does it!)

Items that made the short list of things he had to have:
  • butcher block and 18 piece knife set
  • 20 piece plastic food storage (aka tupperware-esque items) set
  • lamps
  • entry-way floor rugs (front door, back door and sliding glass door areas)
  • drapes for the living room
  • side tables (for living room)
  • entry-way table or buffet for dining room
He was obsessed with the knives - and this isn't the first time. Now for a little bit of history, we were gifted a beautiful knife set and cutting board when we got married, but he returned the knives. Why? I have no idea. When his parents came to visit about 6 months ago, he bought another knife set. But guess what? Returned them - because he didn't think they were sharp.

At this point, we should visit the notion that S doesn't cook. His idea of making a meal doesn't even include macaroni and cheese from a box, because boiling water is too work intensive. He puts Tyson chicken nuggets on a plate and pops them in the microwave. That's a meal.

So should he really be all panties-in-a-bunch about finding the perfect knife set?

The same could be said for the food storage set. I can't remember the last time we had many leftovers, let alone that S would actually eat them! It's me that brings little plastic containers to work with food in them to reheat.

Oh, boys - I still don't quite understand how they think.

So we ended up with:
  • a lovely Kitchen Aid 18 piece knife set that is awe-inspiring
  • 3 lovely new entry rugs for all the entry points to our home
  • some lovely new white undershirts made with premium cotton and the guaranteed lay flat collars


Costa Rica Recap

Aside from celebrating my brother and his beautiful bride's wedding, I got to see mi familia for the holidays! Yippee!
Mi Padre

Y Mi Madre

Mi bonito hermano y hermana

Are you amazed at my espanol? Si? Cuz you should be! I haven't taken Spanish since 1998!

We danced, we played, we got all cleaned up and
we partied like crazy Costa Ricans!

It was a blast!

And we're back

Two cups of black coffee today was probably not a good idea. I think I have the "Coffee sweats." Yuck!

Holy, what a fast holiday break, eh?! I feel like we were busy - but manageable. But yet still had time to get very accustomed to sleeping in everyday - ah, the joys of no kiddos yet!

Christmas was quiet - we both worked Christmas Eve day, had the evening off, made the usual tradition of bunches of appetizers and curled up in front of the tv and the fireplace (with my new fleece blanket). We watched a few movies, had a little wine and called it an early night. Christmas day instead of snowboarding we slept in (ahhh, how I love sleeping in!), were bad people and visited starbucks on Christmas (I know! But it was just SO GOOD!), and again made some yummy food and sat on the couch watching all of Season 5 of Dexter. Nothing says Christmas like a TV series dedicated to a serial killer! We didn't even shower all day - it was awesomely gross. Emphasis on the awesome.

Then it was back to work for a few days, then off to Vegas for a quick 36 hour visit with a bestie from high school to celebrate her 30th on the strip. We played with the kids, then headed to a fancy-schmancy dinner at the all new Cosmopolitan. Then we got real crazy and hit up the club for a few cocktails and some swaying back and forth - not really dancing, just sorta moving while standing still. But we did see some booty-shaking thanks to the "go-go" dancers. Is that even what they are called? Who knows! But it was fun - and made me want to take private lessons on how to shake my kudunk-a-dunk like that!

NYE - again, worked at my fabulous part time/seasonal job then had my bro and SIL over for appetizers, beer and poker to ring in the new year. I think we were in bed by 12:30. Yeah, such party animals!

And then today I had to face reality and return to my real job - the one that allows me to hate working with students and still get paid to support my lavish lifestyle - just kidding. I hope you can sense the sarcasm.

I have not run. I'm afraid to run. I don't really have the motivation yet to run. And yet, I need to run. Guess what my new year's goals include? (yes, goals, not resolutions. Resolutions just set me up for failure.) Yeah, so one of my goals (feel free to laugh) is to run 400 miles this year. I figured in 52 weeks that an average of 7.6 miles per week. I can do that, right? maybe. might be a stretch. but a stretch is good.

So kudos to you, my running friends, for running. Cuz I'm enjoying my laziness. But I suppose I need to kick myself into gear sooner rather than later!

How was your holiday?


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