365 Days In Colorado

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Obsession: United States of Plates

I stumbled across this Kickstarter for United States of Plates, and thought it was pretty much the greatest thing in the world. I sent it to Vikas, and told him I needed them to live. He thought so too, so he picked up the Michigan and Colorado plates for us. Secretly, I am hoping at some point we can get all 50 state plates, which all interlock!!! Here is what we could do with 50 state plates:

  • Hold an election party: Bake cakes in all of the state plates, and frost each state red or blue as the results come in. 
  • Hold a states potluck on July 4th and have everyone sign up to make a dish reflective of the plate. 
  • Celebrate each state on their day of statehood. 

The possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, all 50 states would be $5,000. This does not seem like a good use of money. Also, sadly Colorado (the greatest state) is the most boring shape ever. While the Kickstarter is over, you can purchase plates at Corbeco

Thanks babe! United States of Plates. One nation, united under clay. 

Spanish Style Kitchens and Why Picking Out Cabinets Isn’t Fun

I really thought picking out the fixtures for the kitchen would be fun. But truthfully, I find it overwhelming. I don’t really like picking out something so expensive that I’ll have to look at it everyday for at least 10 years. I know what I like, but I have no idea how to bring it together (on a budget). Caviar dreams and Home Depot choices. 

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I want a Spanish style kitchen. I love spanish-style tile. I like white shaker cabinets with a dark island. I like farm kitchen sinks. And these black rimmed windows??? Sigh. (picture from Remodelista

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I thought I would want stone but I think for a Spanish style kitchen, I like the look of block chopping wood even more. 
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I love a Spanish style backsplash but I like the thought of using grey as the color so it’ll go with most things. 
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My friends Beth and Steve did their own flowers for their reception, and we got to go to San Francisco Flower Market. It was pretty much a magical flower emporium, and I’ve always wanted to go back. When we were out in San Francisco, and Vikas was working, it was my first stop. Vikas is a fairly patient man, but his attention span for flowers would have been exactly nine minutes and forty-two seconds.

You have to have a wholesale license to shop it early in the morning, but there is a time period where the regular shoppers can go purchase flowers. Since we were staying in a hotel, it was definitely a look, don’t buy type of situation. It was like a free botanical gardens. I love free, and I love flowers. 

Obsession: Lizzy Pancakes

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Lizzy Pancakes has quickly become one of my favorite food bloggers. I met her at a Boulder blogger meetup, and I love reading about what she is baking. Look at that cake she made above. Look at it!!!! It is all kinds of fabulousness. It’s a fiesta cake chock full of M&Ms AND SKITTLES. Mind blown. She also has a wicked dry sense of humor, so you should meet her in person. 

If you get a second, you should check out her:

I mean….

Great American Beer Fest & Other Weekend Happenings

We went to a 30th birthday party for one of Vikas’ friends this weekend that was themed after the Great American Beer Fest. It was incredibly well done. The hostess set up a soft pretzel bar with different mustards, a cheese platter to complement the different beers, mini bratwursts and some really kind of incredible bread pudding cake with peanut butter frosting. If you see me with a dreamy expression on my face this weekend, I am still thinking about that frosting. The hostess asked everyone to bring some bombers and had worked with someone she found online to smuggle her boyfriend’s favorite craft beers in from different states. I mean…she really set the bar for 30th birthday parties. Also, the birthday boy decided to run a mile for each year he’d been alive. 30 miles? NBD. Beer and marathons are a Boulder state of mind.

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I also went to a 30th birthday party thrown by three of my friends who rented out Forest Room 5 and had an open bar(!!!) in one of the private rooms. A highlight may or may not have been leaving the party at 10:30 to make the last call for Little Man Ice Cream and smuggling the ice cream back into the bar. In an unfortunate turn of events, they were out of salted Oreo ice cream. 

House Renovation in Progress

Our contractor sent us pictures of the renovation in progress. It’s so neat to see how much has already happened. Our bungalow house was built in 1925, and then sometime in the eighties (?), they put an extension off of the back. The extension was definitely a bit of a Frankenstein. They added a garage at some point and then turned it into part of the basement. Some of the before pictures are here! 

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This is the master bedroom with the bathroom ripped out. Walk-in closet here we come. 

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This is the dining room with the wall dividing the kitchen being ripped out. 

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This is the basement, which gets a surprising amount of sunlight. Which is good because this is where future children will live. Sorry kids. 

How I Quit My First Job

I wrote “Fuck You, I Quit” in grease pen on the hostess stand. I was in fact a hostess, and I was sick of my coked-out manager and his mood swings, being taken advantage of by the other hostesses, and a slew of other complaints. It was the end of summer before my first year in college, and I knew I was treated poorly and no longer needed that job. Later on, I always felt sheepish about my immaturity and not leaving on good terms.

Looking back, I knew so much more at 18. I knew what I had earned. I knew I had a shitty boss. I knew. My first internship out of college involved a boss that would later be fired (and escorted) out for anger management. In my twenties, my starting salary was $25,000 for an incredibly stressful job. Sure, we got a raise every six months, but I never thought to ask for more even though I was underpaid by industry standards. At one point, I cried so hard under some empty desks that I had to remove paper from boxes headed to the archives, so that I could blow my nose. I’ve since worked for both coked-out bosses and alcoholics (both with deplorable mood swings). I’ve worked some really shitty “professional” jobs.

Of the 11 years I’ve been a PR professional, 2/3 of the agencies and 1/2 of the startups have shut down. This too is a (loud) reminder that putting up with being put down isn’t worth it. All that stress and sweat in a miserable environment for companies that shut down? Truly, being at my current job has been constant lessons in working in a healthy environment.

At 18, I knew when to throw in the towel. And while I would never, ever repeat the language (or method) I used, I hope I’ll always remember to stand up for myself.

Parties I Have Loved: Outdoor Movie Night

One of the things I love most about Boulder is how serious everyone takes their parties and events. People make 8 course dinners from scratch or hire street performers or rent sumo costumes for parties. I’ve seen some pretty amazing parties living here, and I love it. My friends had an outdoor movie night, and I was put in charge of bunting. It turned out so cute for a backdoor movie night. They put the screen up on the back of their house and they even rented a popcorn machine. We watched Indiana Jones and ate amazing food, and didn’t let a little rain get in our way. 

Christmas Sometimes Makes Me Sad, Like Vegas

Today reading this article about the “War on Christmas” book from Sarah Palin set me off. Each year, someone on my Facebook feed goes off about how angry they are that someone at Target says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” This always enrages me right back. If you’re a consumer, and you want to say “Merry Christmas,” please say it (and I’ll say it right back). But to expect an entire corporation to leave out significant groups of customers by catering to one religion is ridiculous. 

And…that brings me to the other thing that drives me nuts is that I’d rather see people rail against the blatant materialism of the holidays. I’d rather that people avoid 5 am Black Friday sales so people don’t have to miss Thanksgiving with their family. Seeing people fill up their carts with electronics and the inevitable mobs that happens holiday shopping gives me the same feeling I get when watching people play the slots in Vegas. It’s sad. It makes me stabby. I’m not usually one to go off on materialism, as I battle it regularly. And I certainly love a good sale but a significant portion of Americans are still paying off Christmas debt from last year. 

If you’re worried about the spirit of the holidays, battle against materialism.