Weekend Things

It’s Monday and I’d like to wish a very Happy Birthday to my dad, who is turning 70 today!  It’s also Oscar Nomination Day and I’d like to wish a not happy day to the Academy who didn’t nominate JLo, Greta Gerwig, Awkwafina or Adam Sandler.  Now, let me tell you about the weekend!

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As movie season winds down, I think we’re going to find ourselves at home more often on Friday nights, beginning with this one.  We queued up The Report basically as soon as we got home (Adam Driver is great as always and I was HORRIFIED to see those torture scenes, it’s an important story albeit not the most enjoyable one), then moved on to Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as an alcoholic paraplegic who joins AA with Jonah Hill as his sponsor.  Joey fell asleep halfway through but not before we enjoyed this homemade ice cream.  Peanut Butter, banana, honey flavor is majorly good!

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Woke up Saturday morning and made buttermilk pancakes (the best!!), then finished our movie and I mostly liked it but REALLY loved Jonah Hill in it ♥  Not a fan of watching movies in two parts though, so no more of that please.  Afterward, I drove to not one, not two, but three different grocery stores looking for extra ripe bananas to make banana bread with.  Turns out people will comment when they see you picking out “bad” bananas.  I finally sort of succeeded (still had to use the oven trick) then came home to a watch dog and some afternoon baking.  I made this Almond Flour Banana Bread,which is gluten-free and dairy-free and WHOA, it turned out so good!!!  This might be my new go-to despite the fact that I’m neither gluten nor dairy-free!

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Date Night!  We had tickets to the Nuggets game and decided to hit up a new restaurant beforehand.  We debated then landed on Woodie Fisher which is inside an old Fire Station so it looks extra cool on the outside, but as it turns out, it’s beautiful on the inside too!  We had amazing service and we LOVED the food, but it was EMPTY in there so please take this as encouragement to go try it out, Denverites!  The Nuggets lost 😦 and it was Western Night 😦 but they did parade a mini horse around and Joey made a Little Sebastian reference, so all was not lost.

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Sunday was a busy day!  First up, family breakfast for my dad’s birthday.  Joey went to Huckleberry to grab us both a coffee and then we did a drive by coffee exchange through our car windows, ha!  Breakfast was not long enough for me because I had to rush out for a haircut I’d previously scheduled and it all made me feel a bit frantic, to be honest.  Post-haircut, we headed to Grant and Kelsey’s Sprinkle for Baby #2!

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Back at home, we finished lunch salads, I finished my book (I didn’t feel like I completely understood the ending and yet, I didn’t care enough to want to completely understand the ending…) then made “Fish and Chips” for dinner and watched Atonement, because it’s a Saoirse world and we’re all just living in it!  I have so so so many older movies to catch up on and yet, they are sometimes hard to watch because they just don’t look great.  I was really distracted during the first half of this movie by how harsh the sunlight was!  Did it really look like that when it came out in 2007??  Anyway, by the end, I’d decided I rather liked it!  Andi wasn’t very helpful in choosing a new book, but he sure did look cute ♥

How was your weekend??

4th of July & a Birthday Staycation

We have been off from work since 3:45 PM on Thursday and I am definitely experiencing “WHAT DAY IS IT??” syndrome.  Feels as if a whole lifetime — a lifetime that included a hail storm, a grill feast, the wonderful third season of Stranger Things, a morning coffee shop trip, a delivery of wood for our deck, a manicure, dinner at The Preservery, breakfast and the Farmers’ Market, a 7-minute ride on the light rail, a full day of acting like a tourist in our own city (more on that soon) and that Sunday night feeling of going to bed with a heart full of gratitude.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

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Got our firework fix at the Rockies game on Wednesday night

Maybe you’re one of those people that can’t fathom the idea of working on the 4th of July or maybe you’re like me and would rather have the 5th of July off and get an extra long weekend.  So we worked Thursday, but skipped out a bit early, hit up Home Depot for flowers, got home to plant them and then watched them get beat up in a totally weird hail storm??  Oh well, they looked pretty for a minute there!

We had to wait out the rain before we could grill dinner and then it had to be an indoor Independence Day Feast but it was okay because our lamb was amazing — let’s forget the moments of terror as we cooked these over an unusually flame-y grill — and also because I maybe wanted to watch Stranger Things anyway 😛

Andi didn’t seem to mind the fireworks last year but our neighbors were setting off some extra noisy ones that kept occasionally flying into our yard and our pup was not exactly having it.  We caved and let him sleep in our bed with us!

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Feta Yogurt Dip with watermelon (that I didn’t know was yellow until I cut into it!)

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Armenian Lamb and Grilled Vegetables with pita

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We had a plan to start our day off on the rooftop at Blue Sparrow and it was momentarily wonderful but we had to rush out when our Lowe’s delivery showed up with a bundle of wood for the deck Joey is building us.  Please give me full credit for helping move all the wood into our garage.  We probably could have been productive afterward but instead… more Stranger Things!  I did eventually have to make it to a manicure appointment though and get this, on my walk over to Base Coat, an older man in a convertible pulled up beside me and said “need a ride?”  Are you serious??

Anyway, after my color changing polish mani, we took our pup over to my parents’ then took ourselves to dinner at The Preservery.  I’d maybe been saying I wanted to go there since it opened… three years ago.  It was GREAT!  Back at home, we watched all but the final episode of Stranger Things which, in retrospect sounds insane, but I was definitely going to fall asleep during the finale if we continued on.

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A Saturday Staycation!  Look, I know some people like to go big for their 30th birthday, but that ain’t me.  I was more into the idea of a weekend trip, but then I remembered how much time it takes to travel and decided a staycation sounded best!  We looked into a handful of Denver hotels and landed on The Maven because we thought it would be cool to have a balcony overlooking downtown Denver, be within walking distance of Union Station and the MCA, and have so many good food options right at our fingertips.  I think it was the perfect choice!

First things first, though.  We biked over to the Farmers’ Market per usual but then did the unusual and had breakfast at Mercantile.  Turns out they have a pretty great little menu and it’s a casual order-at-the-counter-and-seat-yourself set up so we got to enjoy our food out on their patio.  Joey complained that it’s NOT a calzone unless it’s all closed up but looked pretty good to me, plus my ricotta pancakes were delicious!  Most importantly, peaches have arrived at the FM and I am so happy!!!

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Back at home, we quickly packed up and took the 7-minute light rail ride back to Union Station, then walked over to the Dairy Block to leave our bags and do a short walk through of the shops before heading to the Museum of Contemporary Art.  It was penny day!  So for 2 cents, we got to spend a little over an hour perusing the art then chilling on the rooftop patio (still one of my favorite Denver secrets ♥) before heading out to find lunch.  We maybe checked the menu at three other places before making it all the way to Hearth & Dram to find it closed for lunch.  But, conveniently, there were a bunch of scooters out front so we each hopped on one and rode toward the 16th Street Mall and had a lovely patio lunch at The Kitchen.  It didn’t even rain!

We walked the mall after lunch and it had been a while since either of us had done that.  It was, uh… interesting.  If you come in from out of town, my advice to you is just don’t go to the 16th Street Mall.  It’s just chain restaurants and questionable happenings.  Joey continues to refer to this walk as his favorite part of the day just to annoy me…

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By this point we were able to check into our hotel room, where we spent some time relaxing.  Our patio had a great view of none other than Coors Field!  Plus an airsteam trailer in the lobby serving up one complimentary drink per person 🙂  Most importantly though, we bit the bullet and finally booked flights to Italy for this October.  I am beyond excited and only a little bit nervous about that long flight and finding hotels ASAP.

Around 8, we made our way back over to Union Station for dinner at Ultreia, which turned out to be just okay.  I wasn’t impressed by my drink and the food was pretty lackluster overall, but we did grab Little Man ice cream at Milkbox afterward so it wasn’t a total loss.  Watched like 20 minutes of Wildlife in bed before we realized we were exhausted and went to bed.  A truly amazing day!

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Sunday morning, Joey ran downstairs to grab us complimentary coffees from Huckleberry (how perfect that our favorite coffee roaster has a location inside The Maven!), plus toast for me and a breakfast burrito for him and we ate both on our little patio.  Denver was much quieter (but no less beautiful) in the morning ♥  We checked ourselves out shortly before 11 AM, took the light rail (only a four minute ride on the way back!) home then picked up our little pup.  All in all, just a truly wonderful little weekend “trip” that I feel so happy to have experienced.  P.S. We watched that final episode of Stranger Things and my heart could hardly handle it.  “Please make this scene end!” is a real thing I said, while fighting back tears.  Also, Scoops Troop Forever!

And as if that wasn’t a good enough end to my 20s, my mom showed up at my office today with a red velvet cake!  How did I get so lucky??