Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 212 - Bluegrass Festival & Outlets

Today was our first full day in Breckenridge, and it was beautiful! We relocated from the location we stayed for the reunion to a gorgeous, large home just a couple of blocks from downtown Breckenridge that was big enough to comfortably accommodate all of us (10 adults and 6 kids).

This afternoon we decided to head to the base of the Keystone ski area to check out the Blue Grass & Beer Festival. It was a fun event and although I am not a huge fan of blue grass and can't enjoy a beer these days, there was plenty to see and eat :) There were several stages around the festival, so no matter what path you would walk along the hum of music was always near by.

For lunch we had philly cheese-steak sandwiches and quesadillas

We spent about an hour or 2 walking around enjoying the sites & sounds and it was a neat experience

Later in the day as we were heading back towards Breckenridge we decided to stop off for a very quick hike and scenic view. (Quinn ran a head to scope out how far we had to go, ha ha!)

It was absolutely beautiful. There were many sail boats that sprinkled the lake below and the mountain scenery all around was breath taking.

Other Firsts: Later in the afternoon it started to rain, so we decided that would be the perfect time to head over to the outlets. One stop I had to make while we were there was to the Le Creuset store. Quinn and I received a few of these gourmet cookware items as wedding gifts, but there have been a few pieces I have still had on my wish list including this large stock pot & grill skillet

Since I was in no position to buy new clothes (with my growing belly) and because the sale was just so good (25% off the outlet price of the stock pot and 40% off the sale price of the skillet)I got both! Both for just over $100 (normally these 2 would of cost well over $200). Did I mention they have a lifetime warranty, let's get cooking!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 211 - Snooze

We are driving to Breckenridge this afternoon, but first we spent a nice morning (and early afternoon) in Denver. After sleeping in a bit and reloading the car we set out for brunch at a great local restaurant called Snooze (Thanks to Ellen & Bob for the recommendation). We got there just past 10 and had to wait about 45 minutes for a table, but took that as a good sign! And we sat outside as we waited and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.

Once inside the decor made me smile, it was retro, but clean and new and everyone working & dinning all just seemed so happy (great first impression)

The menu had a nice selection and since we were on vacation I decided to order the pancake flight (3 flavors of pancakes of your choice).

I went with blueberry, the 'cinnfull' (it came with white chocolate chips, drizzled with homemade Bacon Caramel, vanilla cream sauce, pecans and topped with cinnamon butter) and the pineapple upside down pancakes. They were all so good, but the blueberry was my favorite (I came so close to finishing all 3!)

We thought we were being a little healthier with Quinn's order of Huevos Rancheros, but it was huge (and so good) and because the table next to us had the potato cake (and it looked too yummy to pass up) we added one of those and some sausage on the side too.

Everything was delicious! Plus Snooze takes extra measure for sustainability and organic & local foods - bonus!

I have to say, this vacation is off to a fabulous start!

Other Firsts: On our way to Breckenridge, we took a small change of route to go over Loveland Pass.

Every other time we have been to Breckenridge (or any peak in Colorado) has been in the winter, when tunnels seem like much better choices than driving over mountains without guardrails . . . but today the weather was gorgeous and the scenery was breathtaking.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 210 - Mellow Mushroom


Quinn and I haven't taken a road trip for a long while (other than our very regular car rides to Omaha) so this morning when we set out for Denver we were pretty excited.

The main purpose for this little adventure is to get to Breckenridge, CO for a family reunion on Quinn's side, but we are also making a vacation out of it with all of Quinn's immediate family and a stop in Denver tonight to spend some time with our good friends Bob & Ellen.

We went to dinner in down town Denver and Bob & Ellen picked a great restaurant, the Mellow Mushroom

It had a neat urban, retro and modern decore

We started off with the fresh pretzels - the dough was so warm and delicious!

Quinn and I shared a cheese pizza with mushrooms, tomatoes and onions, it was so good!

The food was great (the service could of been better) and the company was wonderful!

Thanks Bob & Ellen for the great company over dinner and for having us as your guests for the night. We hope we get to see you soon!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 209 - Dinning Room Table Upgrade!

We bought a new dinning room table tonight.

Over the phone.

Sight unseen (well, it was not seen with our eyes - but my mom saw it in person).

I did get a picture texted to me from the sales lady and was able to look at this image online.

There's a long story behind this table, but basically my parents bought the exact same table for their lake-home, their was a mix-up and a second table was ordered and became on sale (at about 1/3 of the original price) today. I have been dreaming of new a table and love this style (there are also 2 leaves so we could seat up to 12 . . . in a different house, where we would have room).

So we bought it!

It is going to be big for our dinning room and I don't think it is going to match very well - but I am thinking long term and I do love the table :)

More to come when it actually arrives in our home!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 208 - Golden Oreos

We never buy cookies. Or really any packaged desserts . . . but you know what they say, "never say never." While picking up a few essentials at Target, for our upcoming Colorado road trip the snack food isle pulled me in with it's sale on Golden Oreos

Have you ever tried them before?

I am pretty sure they are not new, but they are good and I really am surprised that I had never tried them before today. I am glad I discovered the golden oreo, but hopefully having these little treats in our cupboards won't become a regular occurrence :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 207 - Tissue Paper Pom-Poms

I've noticed these fun tissue paper pom-poms on blogs, Etsy and magazines and thought it would be fun to try out making them. I also told my sister, Janelle about them recently and while she was at my house this past Friday she made a few. I didn't get a chance to make one when she was here so tonight I gave it a whirl.

Click HERE or HERE for some examples of other blogs that have made these.

I found a few different sites with directions, and decided to follow these Martha Stewart steps. Also, a couple of days ago I was at US toy to pick up some gift wrap and got a few packages of tissue papaer for this project (10 sheets for 79 cents a pack). I had some wire in my craft supplies and used black thread to hang the finished product.

First, I took 8 shhets of paper and accordion folded them with about a 1 and a half inch strip. I think next time I am makeing these for an event I will use a ruler or something like that to keep each fold exactly the same, but for tonight the free-formed version was great. Once the folds were complete I wrapped and twisted a wire around the center and traced a half circle (using a soup can) and cut a rounded edge to finish the ends.

Next I gently pulled back each layer, one at a time and was careful to fluff out the ends too

In no time, All layers were out. I then pulled back a couple layers so that I could twist a loop out of the wire ends to attach some string to, to hang the finished pom-pom

To see how it looked, I hung the one pom-pom over our table and thought it was pretty neat. Such a simple and affordable decoration.

Next, time when I make these for a party or event, I will make a variety of sizes and fun colors.

This one pom-pom took about 15 minutes from start to finsih and only cost 0.79 - Love it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 206 - Ready for Costco (we bought a deep freezer)

This afternoon Quinn and I headed to Nebraska Furniture Mart (in Kansas City) to see what kinds of deals we could find on a few different things we have been talking about getting/doing for a while.

We ended up buying a deep freeze.

I never thought I would ever be so excited over a freezer :) We will be picking it up later next week and once back at our house we will store it/run it in our basement.

I love the types of things that I get excited about these days . . .

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 205 - Bethany & Stephen's Wedding Day

This evening we celebrated the wedding of our dear friends Bethany & Stephen. It was a beautiful ceremony and such a fun reception!

above & below photo by lizabeth photography

The wedding ceremony was at Redemptorist Catholic church. This was my first time here and it was a very beautiful building; the perfect setting for Bethany & Stephen's elegant, evening wedding celebration

The reception was held at Club 1000 and it was decorated so lovely. There were multi-sized white paper round lanterns all above the dance floor and each table had an interesting variety of flowers and candles that helped set a simple, yet elegant mood for the dinner and dancing :)

We had a great time and couldn't be happier for Bethany & Stephen!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 204 - Amy's Frozen Meals (Enchilada's)

After being out of town for the last week and back in the office today I knew I wouldn't get a chance to take much of a break (even if I wanted to) so as I do many days - I brought my lunch today. Last week at the grocery store I picked up a new frozen lunch, called Amy's

A few months ago, I learned from Jane Goodall's book, Harvest for Hope about GMO's and noted the Amy's brand as a smart choice, but never thought much more of it and filed that information away . . . until last week when the meals caught my eye and I decided to buy one to try.

After my lunch today, all I can say is Yummy :) These are seriously so good and by far the best frozen meal I have ever had! Sure they have a few more calories than 'SmartOnes' or a 'Healthy Choice' but each bite is worth every calorie. Plus it's organic and GMO-free AND Gluten-free.

If you have never tried these before you should!

(I know I am rattling on a lot about some frozen dinner, but I can't help it, it really was that good)

Cheers to another great discovery.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 203 - Sullivan's, Omaha

During our sales rally today, my team was lucky enough to avoid the box lunches and were treated to an excellent meal at Sullivan's Steakhouse in downtown Omaha.


The service was top notch and everything was delicious. I ordered the lobster bisque to start (after a whole platter of appetizers was shared by our table) and for my main dish I had the shrimp scampi.

I am heading home tonight (with my sister and her family) . . . my first mini-road trip with the Risdon's!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 202 - Second Trimester

Today we started our second trimester!

Other Firsts:
Tonight I attended a dinner with my company that was part of our 2010 sales rally. The key note speaker at dinner was gentleman named Gary Knuth and he was excellent. I was hoping to 'google' him and include some more information here, but I didn't have much luck with my quick search. So, in a nutshell, he had a engaging, inspiring personality and was clearly an excellent salesman once upon a time. His discussion focused on the importance of having fun in all of life, not just our free time :)

That's all for today (it was a long one!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 201 - Mini-Phil Photo Shoot (first time using a real puppet)

I am working in Omaha for a couple of days this week and today during my monthly Wellness in Motion meeting (our company's wellness group) someone mentioned still needing a picture of our COO (who also happens to be my dad) working out/being healthy for our upcoming annual meeting and they needed it by the end of the day tomorrow, so the group came up with the idea to get some pictures of mini-Phil, instead of my actual dad and I volunteered to get it done.

Mini Phil is a puppet that some friends of my parents had made for him by the same woman who makes all the puppets for Terry Fator. I believe it is their friend's mother-in-law who makes them . . . anyway, my dad is a pretty funny guy and has a little puppet of himself that he introduced to the company at our annual meeting a couple of years ago and that now sits on a shelf in his office - so tonight as I was leaving the office I brought mini-Phil home too.

Before I share the pictures from our mini-Phil photo shoot, I thought you may want to see a picture of my actually dad.

OK - onto the good stuff :) Once home I asked my mom if she had any gifts or clothes that we could use as work out clothes and low & behold, being the excellent shopper that she is - she had a little Adidas jumpsuit she had recently bought for Liam. We also grabbed an under-armor hat-thing out of my brothers room and then got mini-Phil ready to hit the gym.

My mom and I had fun getting the puppet positioned on the different equipment and snapping shots and couldn't help but laugh for the entire 10 minutes or so that we took pictures.

My dad decided to stay out and that he would see the final images during the company meeting, but he did give us the idea to take one of the back of mini-Phil's head first, to throw some people off . . .

Is that Phil on the treadmill?

No it's mini-Phil!

Then it was on to some ab work

And finally the elliptical

Just another day working out for mini-Phil, (Big Phil works out all the time . . . he would be so proud!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 200 - Veronica

We said good bye to Vegas this morning

And once at the airport, Quinn and I each headed out on our own, Quinn back to KC and me onto Omaha. But before we took off we put in one last dollar at an airport slot machine, and after a couple of pulls Quinn turned his $1 into $50 :)

A fun way to end our Las Vegas adventure.

When I landed in Omaha a little after 6 this evening, my mom was there to pick me up :) After a quick dinner with my parents, I headed over to my good friend's Ryan & Tiffany's house to finally meet their baby girl Veronica

(unfortunately I forgot my camera so I borrowed this picture from Tiffany's facebook)

Veronica, is such a doll! I am so glad I got to meet her in person tonight and hope her mommy let's me visit again soon :)

Other Firsts:
Before heading to my parents house we picked up some gyros at The Greek Islands restaurant (I had never been here before, but plan to stop again soon. The food was great and the restaurant was simple & charming.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 199 - Garth at the Wynn

Today was another great (and VERY hot) day in Vegas. This morning we got up and got in line to pick up our tickets for the Garth Brooks concert and then grabbed a quick breakfast before getting to the pool to claim out spots for the afternoon.

We got down earlier today than yesterday and found 2 perfect chairs to soak up some rays and more importantly with easy access to the pool.

I had to laugh a little bit, because we noticed at the pool yesterday that the wrist bands (one of many security measures to not allow scalpers to get their hands on any of the tickets) for the Garth concert were white and today they were hot pink :) Here is a shot I snapped at the pool of Q & in our matching pink wrist bands, Quinn loved it.

While I was getting ready in the bathroom, Quinn snapped a few shots from our room and of 'Garth's private jet coming in' (really not sure if this is actually his jet, but it is possible.

With our tickets in hand we headed out (so exciting!)

Since this was the last night of our long Vegas weekend, we decided to have dinner at the Wynn Casino buffet. It just seems like something you need to do while in Vegas and since I had never been to a Vegas buffet it seemed like a great plan. We didn't take any picture of dinner (nothing too exciting . . . although the desserts were very cute and I was tempted to take about 10 different ones, I think I settled on 3). Dinner was good (for a buffet) and quick which was key - so we could head over to the Encore theater for tonight's main event - GARTH!

Similar to the Beatles Love show, absolutely no cameras or pictures were allowed once inside the theater, but we do have our memories and it was awesome!

The Encore theater is a small intimate venue and was such an amazing way to see one of the greatest performers of our time entertain a live audience. The show lasted a little over 2 hours, the majority of which was based on Garth's personal music influences through out his life, with Garth singing bits of his father, mothers, brothers and later his own favorites. During the later part of the show he sang some Garth classics and took some time to talk directly with a few lucky quests.

I have been 2 regular, large arena Garth performance in my life before tonight and those were awesome too, the events are difficult to compare because they had such different intentions. One of my favorite moments of tonight's show was when the entire audience stood up (we sat most of the show, unlike my other Garth experiences) to sing Callin' Baton Rouge - So much fun! And when we all sang along with Garth to American Pie.

Hooray for another magical night in Vegas!!

Onto Omaha tomorrow . . .