a birthday hockey game

We celebrated Dan’s birthday this week. Yay, festivities! Lately, partly due to all the furniture shopping and whatnot, we’ve been doing more experiential gifts. Just spending time together. That’s the best way to celebrate, isn’t it?

So for Dan’s day, we started the morning together with Vietnamese coffees before he headed off to work. When he got home, we shared a cupcake for family snack (Willa signed “more” about 16 times after she finished her portion!). Thoughtful cards and gifts from family were opened. Craft beers drunk. A mini-dance party happened.

IMAGE_1382

Then we headed out just the two of us. Final destination: the Avalanche game. Our plan was to grab dinner at Euclid Hall before the game, but apparently that was everyone else’s plan too, so we ended up at Illegal Pete’s for some casual yet always delicious fare. I tried The Big Fish in a bowl: fried fish with cabbage slaw and spicy mayo. Good stuff.

IMAGE_1386

The game was great. They won! 5-1. They played the Blackhawks and there were tons of Chicago fans in the crowd. Made for a fun atmosphere, but it’s always the most fun to be a fan of the home team.

IMAGE_1387IMAGE_1385IMAGE_1383

Much time was spent at the game searching for a decent beer. Dale’s Pale Ale in a can was the best we could do. Quite good, but why is beer at sports venues always so terrible? Seriously, Colorado Native is the “premium draft” you’re offering? Seriously!? People, this is Colorado. Microbrew central. Although I will say that Pepsi Center is far superior to silly Coors Field which only serves, well, Coors. Ugh. Anyway.

IMAGE_1384

The celebrations ended with late night pumpkin pie. Birthday pie. Who says one must eat cake? Pumpkin pie is delicious.

Happy Birthday Dan!

Advertisements

vintage furniture shopping

The past couple weekends, we’ve been shopping for used furniture. Vintage. Mid-mod. Old. Whatever you want to call it. It’s not-new, local, and pretty much all-around awesome. And finally, FINALLY!, our house is starting to move in the direction of looking furnished.

IMAGE_1333IMAGE_1331

I don’t do well with furniture/decor shopping. It’s not that I have a completely terrible sense of style; I just can’t pull the trigger. I’ll see something I like, but then hem and haw over whether or not it’s what we need, and ultimately I’ll close my computer or walk out of the store empty handed. Furnishing our house has been slow going.

When we moved in several months ago, we had just a few pieces of furniture to our name. A modular sectional couch. A bed. Willa’s crib. A much-loved Ikea chair-and-a-half. We’d been waiting. Waiting until we’d bought a place to buy the “right furniture.”  That was an easy cop-out to have random mismatched furniture when we were renting. But now, here we are, finally in that more permanent place and needing to find the “right” pieces for every room. No pressure.

IMAGE_1330

But these past weekends have been extremely successful. When Alli was visiting, she helped me find an awesome dresser/sideboard. Then, on Saturday, my parents were up for a last-minute babysitting session so Dan and I could do some afternoon shopping. (My indecisiveness gets ten times worse when I’m trying to keep Willa from breaking things!) We fell in love with a pair of Harter chairs that ate up most of our allotted funds, so we weren’t able to get as many things as we’d planned (lights, coffee tables, and accessories are overrated, right?). But these chairs! Man, we love them. Apparently they are designed to “allow any space to become an impromptu work area.” Yep, I’m sitting at one right now.

IMAGE_1335

I am certainly no expert on Denver’s vintage offerings, but our recent adventures took us to some awesome places that I thought I’d share. There are surely so many other great places in the area. I can’t wait to discover them. Over the next 10 years. Since that’s how long it’ll be before our house is furnished. But I’m okay with it. It’s all part of the adventure.

Red Door Antiques / 4369 Stuart Street / Denver, CO 80212

Mid-Mod Mall / 3434 Brighton Blvd / Denver, CO 80216

Garage Vintage / 776 North Santa Fe Drive / Denver, CO 80204

Mid-Mod Vintage / 7174 West 44th Avenue / Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

IMAGE_1332{cool view from inside mid-mod mall in RiNo}

friends + french 75s

Aren’t visits from friends the best?

For almost as long as I can remember, I’ve had to spend long periods of time separated from family and close friends. It’s sad and it sucks but it’s the nature of our current society and our geographically large country. And even though the methods of communication have increased since the solitary option of writing letters, nothing compares to just spending time together. Hugging, laughing, confiding…so important. So wonderful.

Turns out, having good friends in town to visit is even more glorious when you have a 16-month-old. Willa was DELIGHTED to have friends here. She showed off her favorite toys, grinned from ear to ear the whole weekend, and barely let out a single whine. Which made her mama and dada pretty darn delighted too. Not to mention, having friends who love her and want to spend time with her makes us so happy too.

IMAGE_1324

Our visit with Alli and Pat of course included plenty of good eating and drinking (and a healthy dose of fresh air and exercise to balance things out). After they arrived on Thursday night, we caught up over sweet potato and black bean enchiladas and Unita brews. There was a lunch at Über Sausage (after my Lohi walking tour), a dinner at Old Major, a failed attempt to check out Williams & Graham, and drinks at Linger. (I also tried using Uber for the first time, which seems to me like a giant rip-off compared to a regular cab, but maybe I’m just not hip enough?) We met my parents in Longmont for beer tasting at Left Hand Brewery. I made a variation of these pumpkin waffles. We had lunch at Illegal Pete’s.

IMAGE_1321IMAGE_1322DSC00331IMAGE_1325IMAGE_1327IMAGE_1328IMAGE_1329

There also was, of course, a stop at Mondo Vino. We were feeling a bit beer-ed out, as Colorado has a tendency to make one (in nothing but the best way), so we made some purchases to take the evening in a different direction. A gin direction. And gin and champagne direction. Could there really be any better direction?

IMAGE_1326

We cheers our friendship and a fantastic visit with French 75s. It’s been a favorite drink of Alli’s for a bit, and one we enjoyed together on her birthday recently, so we decided to attempt to make it at home. It’s not hard: just gin, champagne, simple syrup, and lemon juice. It’s pretty much perfect for anytime you want to celebrate with friends. Or you’re beer-ed out.

IMAGE_1319

French 75
Makes two drinks
2 ounces gin
1 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
4 ounces champagne
lemon peel

1. If necessary, make simple syrup: combine 1 part water and 2 parts sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until incorporated.
2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add gin, lemon juice, and syrup. Shake vigorously.
3. Pour half the mixture into each glass (champagne flutes or cocktail glasses).
4. Top with champagne and a lemon peel.

IMAGE_1320

celebrating halloween

After the storm of sickness there’s been some calm, and we managed to salvage a pretty darn awesome “first” Halloween for Willa. To be accurate, her first Halloween was last year, but this year felt like the first since it was the first that she actually had some idea what was going on. And the first time she had a costume. She didn’t totally get the whole “trick-or-treat” thing, but that’s okay. She did get the looking cute part, and to a parent, that’s pretty much the most important part. Amassing copious amounts of candy? Not necessary. Looking cute? Yes please! 

DSC00145DSC00237DSC00266DSC00277