What I’m Loving Lately: Summer 2018

Every summer is my favorite summer but looking back, Summer 2015 really was one of the best and I think it’s because I embraced the busyness.  I was thinking less about how many alcoholic beverages I was consuming or if it was okay to eat another meal out and more about checking another restaurant off my list or prioritizing a trip to the museum on a Sunday.

This summer, I am trying to find a bit of balance between fun indulgences and responsibilities that might feel OBLIGATORY but are really just me being stubborn.  Nobody will die if I buy Larabars instead of making Dorsey Bars, in the same way that it will all be okay if I don’t attend every single week of the Farmers’ Market.  Less black and white thinking, more focus on enjoyment, being okay with not doing something and trusting that things will work out anyway.  These are the things I’m working on this summer.  Here are some things that are helping with that enjoyment part.

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No Pressure Gardening

Look, this garden is great and being able to walk into the backyard to grab some fresh basil is truly life-changing, but I’m still hitting the grocery store every week so I’m not entirely reliant upon homegrown stuff and that takes ALL the pressure off.  Anything that comes up and ends up being edible is just a bonus.  It also helps when your backyard gets a lot of sun and growing things is relatively easy.

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Waterloo Sparkling Water

LaCroix who?  We bought these at Whole Foods for our Memorial Day BBQ and had a ton leftover but I’m not complaining because coming home from work and cracking a refreshing beverage is pretty great.  I don’t even claim to like watermelon-flavored things but this one is really good.

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Andi Dog

Not to act like I’m the first person to ever own a dog but this is the first dog I’ve owned as a grownup person and even though he’s smelly and barks at every dog and refuses to eat until we feed him from our hand and insists on sleeping between Joey and I and is cranky in the morning, I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH.  He sits on my lap every morning when I eat breakfast and he has this little orange and blue ball that he tries to hide/protect by putting one paw over it and he howls to imitate sirens when an ambulance drives by and it’s all just the cutest.  Thank you, Andi Dog, for making my life 100x happier!

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Grilled Salmon

Can you even believe we had never grilled salmon until a month ago?!  Turns out it’s super easy, super fast and a super way to not turn the oven on.  Also gets the skin so perfectly crispy!  And when your main is a no-brainer, you have more time to tackle all the side dish recipes you’ve let pile up for the past five years.

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Prepping for Binge Mode: Harry Potter

If you haven’t been frantically re-reading the HP series in extreme anticipation of Binge Mode’s deep dive, then you and I (and Joey) are leading insanely different lives.  I’m mid-Order of the Phoenix and HOLY SHIT, I had forgotten about so many book details since I originally read it back in 2003!  It basically feels like I’m reading it for the first time and it’s been a PURE DELIGHT.

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Dorsey Sister Supper Club

We were like two glasses of Steigl Radler and several slices of pizza in at Cart-Driver, when my sister announced we should have weekly dinner dates this summer and I could just take her anywhere I wanted in Denver.  IN!  We had our inaugural Supper Club at Comida with watermelon-jalapeño margaritas, griddled tacos, fried shrimp and flan and I think I like this new ritual very very much ♥

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Summer Week Nights

Without any effort, Joey and I have fallen into a post-work groove.  It goes something like come home, spend half an hour in the back yard (reading, watering our garden, trying to keep our dog from egging on the neighbors’ dogs on the other side of the fence), cook dinner, eat in the back yard, clean up, walk our pup, hop into bed and read.  It makes my heart so happy!

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In other news, we just got back from a weekend trip to the Quad Cities to see our friends Nick and Tracy get married and while I’d like to share a bunch of pictures I took, all I have is two breakfast sandwiches, a rehearsal dinner selfie and the ceremony kiss, so I guess I’ll just say Milltown Coffee makes a mean lavendar honey latte, “All I Want for Christmas is You” is a surprising crowd favorite on the jukebox (even in June), ice cream makes for the best nightcap, BREW in the Village is a hidden gem and a good wedding is a true honor to witness ♥

Happy Monday!

Weekend Things: Unexpected Perfection

I thought Memorial Day Weekend was going to be my favorite weekend of the summer, but this weekend, the first weekend of June, caught me by surprise with just how perfect is was!  I know we’re only four days in, but June is THE BEST!

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Joey went golfing Friday afternoon and wasn’t planning to be home till late, so I did what any person does when home alone on a Friday night in a house that feels like it’s 90°… make no-bake granola and boil water (to brew kombucha) from the burner on your grill.  The second part of that plan was maybe a mistake because I ended up with a pot of water full of cotton, but shhh, anything to avoid heating up our house is fine by me.

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The rest of the night featured reading in the hammock, eating hot pink slider bun leftovers, watching the Rockies game with Andi (Heartbreak by the Dodgers #1) and then Joey came home and we resumed our watching of Arrested Development Season 5 until I looked over and he was full on sleeping, so I ordered us all to bed 🙂

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Saturday!  The best day!  Joey requested yogurt bowls when we woke up, so I made us each one, and then we ate them in the sunshine of the backyard before biking to the Famers’ Market for the first time this summer.  It’s such a small thing, this little trip we take (almost) every summer Saturday, but it makes me SO HAPPY.  It was already busy when we got there and early-summer produce is always a bit slim, but we got iced coffees and cherries and saw a long-haired dachshund and two new foods stands (BAO BUNS AND TACOS!) so I was truly in my happy place.

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Spent the rest of the afternoon on this little retaining wall project Joey cooked up for us.  I lifted like 10 of these bricks and did very little complaining but OH MY GOD, it was actually really hard for me.  I woke up Sunday and everything was sore!  And before you make fun of me, we looked it up and they weigh 52 pounds each.  Joey was doing most of the work, but he named me Refreshment Coordinator so I helped by providing lunch, plus I arranged for our groceries to be delivered because that just seemed like a major time-saving move.

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We cleaned ourselves up fairly early because we wanted to grab dinner before the Rockies game.  I’d been wanting to try a new-to-us placed called Goed Zuur and oh my god, I cannot believe we had not been there before!  They mostly serve sour beers and we’re on the fence with those but I did have a good one from Odd13 and daily happy hour means it was only $3, plus the food choices were great.  We both opted for a hot dog and shared a bag of duck fat, black pepper & Parmesan popcorn that I think I may have been shoveling into my mouth.  Sooo good, we’ll be back for sure!

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The Rockies gave up EIGHT RUNS in the 7th inning, but thankfully, I was barely paying attention because we attended this game with Hannah, Josh and, for his first ever Rockies game, Mason!!!  He was wearing a little Rockies onesie, baby sunglasses and a teensy hat and I COULD NOT HANDLE THE CUTENESS!  They got him a First Rockies Game button and a picture with Dinger even ♥  He was so well-behaved (and such a flirt too!) but they decided to head out at the 7th inning stretch and Joey and I looked at the score (Heartbreak by the Dodgers #2) and decided to leave too.  Made the spontaneous decision to grab ice cream at Sweet Cow afterward and look, if it’s summer and you don’t have a nightly reminder set on your phone to get ice cream, are you even really living??

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The Sunday plan was for Joey to work on the wall and me to do our food prep for the week, but I thought about it and decided we needed to have more fun than that so I suggested we grab breakfast and hit up the Chalk Art Festival as soon as it opened up and Joey was game.  We got toast and a waffle at Huckleberry then made our way to Larimer Square.  The bad news is that it was already crowded with people but the good news is it probably wasn’t as crowded as it got to be later in the afternoon and it also wasn’t too hot.  I took some shot of my favorite ones, which turned out to be anything with bright or bold colors and then we got the heck out of there.  I checked and we hadn’t been to the festival in 5 YEARS, whoa!

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The rest of the day involved wall building, lunch making (Beet, Farro, and Watercress Salad with Fig Vinaigrette coming right up!) and laundry folding but I did sneak in a workout (amen for partly cloudy skies that make mid-day running possible) and a trip to the liquor store, because I take my roll as Refreshment Coordinator very seriously, okay?  Rockies lost AGAIN (Heartbreak by the Dodgers #3 = a sweep, UGH!) but let’s focus on how good the wall looks so far instead 🙂  Joey wanted to get it in before we get a sprinkler system (FINALLY!) at the end of the month and I already think it looks great!

Rounded out Sunday by reading on the porch swing, walking Andi, cooking a quick but delicious dinner of grilled salmon and a broiled veggie side, featuring radishes we grew ourselves (!) and eating it in the backyard (MY FAVORITE!) before finishing up a movie we started on Saturday called The Tale.  What can I say, except that it was deeply disturbing but masterfully made?  Look it up!  In conclusion, if the first weekend of June is any indication, this month is going to be incredible ♥