Colorado Cocktail Taste Test

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Last night after a girly day of shopping, grilled cheese, crafts, and pizza (we are the classiest of girls) we had an impromptu Colorado cocktail taste test hosted by dad (of ‘Dad’s Corner‘ fame). He’s been practicing his bar tending skills over the past few months, so when my sister saw 5280’s poll for the official Colorado state cocktail, she knew he would be game to try at least one. Of course, Dad can’t say no to a challenge so he concocted our own in-home, four person contest between all three. Like I mentioned, I wasn’t expecting to end my night this way, which means that I did not have my regular camera to take lovely pictures! We did our best though. We had a sample size of each drink and picked our own winner/s. Check out our thoughts on all three drinks below! Spoiler alert: YUM.

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Kevin Burke’s “The 4th Pin”bitters, Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur, Whiskey, orange peel.

Dad: offered the most traditional western drink…like when Colorado was an old cow town.

Mom: liked the complex herbal flavors

KT: definitely strong but was pretty good. I liked that I could taste the bitters towards the bottom.

Bepcity: really nice layering of flavors. I don’t always do well with strong drinks, but I really enjoyed this one.

20140209-115852.jpgAlexandra Parks’ “Central Slope Sour”: Lemon juice, honey, Three Pins Herbal Liqueur, Breckenridge Bourbon, Avery IPA

Dad: Becky and her man hands squeezed too much lemon…but still really good.

Mom: really liked the honey and lemon! Would be great on a hot summer day.

KT: liked it best because of the tart lemon juice! It was definitely sour! But again, the herbal liquor added something unique.

Bepcity: loved it! I just felt happy drinking this. The perfect, summery glass of lemonade with a kick.

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Sean Kenyon’s “The Centennial Smash”: Palisade peach, mint, Colorado honey, bourbon, Three Pins Alpine Herb Liqueur

Dad: I think I added too much bourbon…this one needs a second chance.

Mom: thought this would be my favorite, but it was my least…wonder if it would be better when palisade peaches are in season to get more fresh peach taste.

KT: I agree with mom. Felt very summery.

Bepcity: I liked the subtle peach and mint flavor, but agree we should give it another shot.

THE VERDICT

All great contenders for a Colorado cocktail! The girls all agreed that the Central Slope Sour was our favorite while Dad picked The 4th Pin as his favorite. We all expected to like the Centennial Smash best, but it was everyone’s least favorite – possibly due to our own lack of in season peaches. I think we will definitely be trying it again this summer! All three used Leopold & Bros Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur, which is really cool stuff. Highly recommend you take a look at 5280’s post, which has videos of each bartender making their entry. Even if you’re not in Colorado, it was fun to have a little tasting party of these tasty drinks that will get you pumped for summer! I love you, Colorado!

Indoor Birthday Picnic

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July was too hot for picnics. This was heartbreaking for me because picnics are definitely on my list of top favorite activities. I apparently don’t hide this fact either – last year for my birthday Paul and my mom almost got me the exact same picnic themed gift! My mom sent me an adorable, custom picnic kit and Paul said, ‘hey! I almost ordered a nearly identical basket!’ I didn’t get the set until the day after my annual birthday picnic, but don’t worry, it still got used! So yes, this year’s annual birthday picnic was a given, but the weather was just miserable. I have not adapted well to the Boston humidity…rather than sweating through our lunch we decided to try an indoor picnic. We kind of stumbled around the internet to see if there are any places you can go to set up an indoor picnic…we really weren’t sure how that would work or what we were looking for though. In the end, I thought a picnic at home with Mad Men sounded very pleasant! This was, I believe, the week that Mad Men stole my life. It was lovely and I’m glad we still kept up the tradition even when we were too stubborn to go outside. I was leaving for Colorado the next day, so it felt really nice to just chill out and enjoy the day before a busy travel day.

I also have to give a shout out to the prettiest birthday package (last photos)! I woke up and gasped at the sight of this beautifully wrapped box on my desk. Isn’t waking up to packages just the best feeling ever?? Birthday part two featuring the prettiest cake coming up soon!

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Dad’s Corner

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It seems like after every family celebration I get to write a post about how I surprised so-and-so with a visit. Sadly, this isn’t one of those posts. I didn’t buy a plane ticket home for Father’s Day even though I really, really wanted to! I’m trying to save up for future visits and such and I had just been home a month ago. I got to feel semi-included though with a FaceTime call and a group text convo complete with picture updates. Dad got a special meal, of course, but as always, the ‘puppy brother’ tends to take over everything. I tried to keep this balanced though and limited the puppy pictures to just two!

I mentioned last time I was home that there has been a casual competition to ‘make the blog,’ which I think dad has already won with his enthusiasm alone! SO, in honor of dad, this is Dad’s Corner. I missed a good meal! They barely had time to digest all of this before my mom and dad were off to ALASKA the next day! I’m so glad they got to go on a trip they’ve been dreaming of for so long to celebrate a very special anniversary. Us kids are so fortunate to have great parents that have taught us that it’s important to work hard and do great things but also how equally important it is to have a sense of humor and see as much of the world as possible! Oops, mom kind of snuck in on Dad’s Corner somehow! I hope dad can deal with that…I really wanted to include a picture of his famous (and probably record breaking) soft serve ice cream cone towers. The only one I could find from my own camera is the first one we ever took and it looks pretty wimpy. Since then, he has really perfected the art. Uh oh, I smell a Dad’s Corner part 2. 20130623-140616.jpg

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I had to throw in a cool picture from another past anniversary (I think) in honor of the most recent one! All you need is love. : )

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This is our puppy brother taking over the whole phone chat and looking right at me! haha! 20130623-140630.jpg

And here he is getting ready to be shipped off to visit me. Why so sad? No overnight shipping for this pup. : P

Tutu Part Two

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This isn’t my first tutu post here and it certainly isn’t my last. Tutus are just great. They make people happy. And they are super easy to make. Somehow the subject came up in my mom’s classroom and she kind of jokingly asked me if I would come teach her girls how to make their own while I was in town. I was thrilled to spread the tutu love! I’ve worked in an elementary school before and have always loved helping out in my mom’s classrooms, so I was really looking forward to it. I brought in their color requests on a warm, yet rainy Friday and we got to work. My sister and grandma (who was also visiting) came and helped keep the tulle strips coming – those girls were fast workers! We had less than an hour to work, but they made some good progress. The girls were so sweet and fun to hang out with. And they made some pretty awesome color selections!

I’ve always known what a good teacher my mom is, but I was definitely reminded during this activity. She has a small class of kids that just need a little extra attention to get on grade level. She treats them just like any other kids in the school though and really cares about them on an academic and personal level. I could tell how much they appreciated getting to do special activities. Especially after working so hard all year! Anyway, I could go on and on about all the great things she does for her kids (being that I am also one of her kids), but instead I will leave you with a few pictures of our fun afternoon! And if you’re interested in my first tutu DIY, here it is!

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I knew we would get along great when I got their pink and animal print requests!

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Her face was much happier than her hand

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Yeah, they had cake and punch before we arrived…grrrr

Denver – Manneken Frites

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I was so excited to try Manneken Frites when I was home last week and we just barely squeezed it in. My mom and sister tried it a while ago and knew that it was just my thing. Mostly because they had poutine, which I have mentioned at least a couple of times on this blog. Love it! Unfortunately, poutine has been removed from the menu, possibly temporarily. Shucks! I wasn’t too disappointed though because I was mostly interested in trying a few of their many, many sauces. We ordered a double with three sauces: buffalo blue cheese, sauce andalouse (green pepper + onion), and chipotle mayo. My mom and sister already knew that the chipotle mayo was a must and they were right. The other two were great and all mixed well, but maybe we should have been a little more creative with our choices! The server mentioned that we somehow ended up with every orange sauce they offer. Oops! Didn’t even think of that. Honestly, it was nearly impossible to choose three sauces. They all sound really good.

These are the restaurants that I love trying. And whenever I have dreamed up imaginary restaurant ideas it always uses the same concept of doing one thing really well and offering lots of cool choices and varieties. I’ve mentioned how indecisive I am – I always appreciate having the option to choose more than one thing! Manneken Frites is a really fun place to go sample with friends. They also have hot dogs and beer if you want a more substantial meal. By the way, if you’re in Boston, Saus has a very similar menu and their poutine is really good! They also have waffles and ice cream, but I’ve only tried the poutine. I’ll have to go back soon and take some pics!

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Extra Special

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Don’t worry, my mom isn’t mad at me for waiting so long to post about Mother’s Day…at least I don’t think she is! I was so happy to get to go home to Colorado last week. I thought I would be blogging a lot because I finished all of my class assignments and I always find tons of things to blog about when I’m at home with family. I did take tons of pictures, of course. And I started a few posts, but I don’t think I posted…anything. Oops! I just had such a nice time hanging out with everyone and enjoying the sunshine (for the last few days when it finally stopped raining).

I planned ahead way more than usual for this trip because it was an extra special one. My mom’s birthday was on Mother’s Day and I won’t say which birthday, but it was a good one. I already pulled a surprise visit for my dad’s, so I had to be somewhat clever with this one. I kept it a secret for a while, but eventually told her I would be coming…I just told her the wrong day. Yeah, totally not clever, but clever enough to work! I arrived a day before my parents returned from a little trip of their own and then us kids surprised her at the exact same place we surprised my dad – and almost the same exact table. See, so un-clever. And Perfect!

In my family, I’m not alone in the food obsessed department. Most of our occasions revolve around what food will be enjoyed. That was very much the case on this extra special day. And while I have lots of other things I could post about from that day, for now I’d just like to share the food! We had a lovely picnic at the park and then burgers and a milkshake bar (so awesome!) to end the day. I hope that I can always be home for my mom’s birthday/mother’s day. I know that I can speak for both of my siblings when I say that we are all so thankful to have such a great mom and friend. She’s always made every celebration fun for us and I hope that we can return the favor now that we are all grown up (sort of)! Love ya, Mom!

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So, everyone at the table was genuinely shocked that I forgot to take a picture of my burger before I ate it. That like, never happens. I was so excited to dig in. And I have to give credit to my dad and his ‘$50 burger.’ Ok, I’ll admit it – you did good.

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My flavor creation: vanilla ice cream, Nutella, cookie dough, and rainbow sprinkles. Plus chocolate whipped cream and more sprinkles on top! So good! We looked at the Millions of Milkshakes menu for inspiration (never been, but good ideas!).

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Classic chocolate for Dad. And props to my sister as well for blending up and beautifying our shakes! (Yes, they were both campaigning fairly hard to ‘make the blog’) Excellent work, my friends.

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With all these other people taking over my blog, I have to end with another picture of my contribution to the day. Breakfast sandwiches! P.S. Have you all seen this pretty amazing invention? No, I didn’t use it, but I wish.

A Video For Ozzie

It’s a very special day, y’all! Sorry, sometimes my southern roots come out when I’m excited. Today is Ozzie’s FIRST birthday. I can’t believe it! I remember the day he got to come home with us like it was yesterday. Of course, I haven’t gotten to be around him as often as I’d like, which could be why the time has flown by so quickly for me. We did spend a lot of quality time together when I was home in January though. I decided to test out the video on my camera and had a lot of fun following him around and bugging him with a lens in his face.

I’ve loved making videos ever since I was in elementary school. A neighborhood friend broke her arm one summer, so I spent practically every day making ‘movies’ (that were basically inspired by our favorite movies) with her since she couldn’t go to the pool. It wasn’t until I moved away for college that I started playing around with video editing again. I set video clips of my move to music and sent them to family so that they could see what I was up to. I have been really excited to start creating some video content for this ole blog. I have two others in progress and am glad that I finally got around to editing this snowy footage. I hope Ozzie likes watching himself and I hope he has the best day ever. I hear he might be making his first trip to the dog park! Wish I were going to be there to film what I’m sure will be an adorable and hilarious trip. Happy birthday, Ozzie! And now for a whole ton of pictures.

DSC_1268I kept catching a guilty Ozzie with these Christmas decorations!

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IMG_3693 Have to throw in my two favorite pictures of the real Ozzie. Digging for candy wrappers.

IMG_3695And here is how we calmed him down/punished him for punishing us with his craziness.