31 July 2011

we made it- the end of july!

it's almost here.  august.  tomorrow will actually be the first day of the last month of summer.  i know, many of you are probably starting to get sad... but oh my god am i ready for fall!  fall is my favorite season of the year and, to be frank, it's too damn hot.  it's bad.

i haven't been blogging lately about what we have been up to, because as previously mentioned (multiples times) we aren't doing much.  but here's a few pics of our city park jazz picnic last weekend with special guest: BREWSTER!

momma and her first grandpuppy

LOVE that man's eyes :)

me and my 'best friend'

resting in the shade with a cold one

29 July 2011

what you do matters.

hi again, all.  i know, i know, it's been another 10 days.  i could sit here and tell you that i've been so busy, working so hard and doing so many awesome projects, but, well, that's not really the truth.  and let's be honest, you don't really care about what i do every moment :)  so i won't write another little post with excuses.  what can i say, it's been a bit of a lame summer for me.

but what i will tell you is that i have been doing a lot of thinking.  running in the mornings and yoga in the evenings is really clearing my head and making me think about certain things going on in my life.  but today was especially cool for me.  i was driving to work this morning, listening to npr (what can i say, philip is rubbing off on me), when i caught this week's story corps.  it wasn't the most riveting story, it was about a man who booked entertainment acts in the catskills, as told by his children.  but listening to the way they spoke about their father, i just fell in love with them.  it's the fact that every day, no matter what is going on in your life, every person you pass by or bump on the street is dealing with issues of their own.  of course everyone knows that.  but imagine if you knew what those things were - if you knew their struggles, their triumphs, their worries... would it change the way we would deal with each other?  or would it be so important for us to see eye-to-eyes, as i am struggling with in my own life right now?

and then i stumbled on this.  now i realize i might be about nine months late on this, but that doesn't make it any less amazing to me.  this is the coolest thing i ever heard of, and to me speaks volumes about what i was just saying.  that no matter what is happening to you at this very moment, no matter what you are feeling, that everyone else on earth is going through something of probably the same magnitude in their own lives.  if you kept that in mind all the time - would you treat those around you differently?

just wanted to share my thoughts with you all tonight rather than talking about what i didn't do this past week :)  since i have decided to go back to school for public policy, i've been trying to get more involved.  volunteering for a few different causes and trying to make a conscious effort to be better person - if i'm going to work in non-profits, i need to keep my judgements and stereotypes in check. and this video (i haven't seen the whole movie yet but i can't wait - and want to participate in 11/11/11!) just helped me remember what is important in life - but not just my life, in all people's lives.

but on a less serious note - i'm doing a bunch of fun things this weekend, including going to the dragon boat festival, so good pictures should be up in a few days!

hope everyone is having a good JULY! xoxo

20 July 2011

quick update during a slow month...

ok, so it's been a slow month blogging wise.  you definitely got me there.  but i'll do a quick update and tell you why :)

i'm kind of past that whole "i'm enjoying doing nothing until i start school" thing and i have decided to try and do as much as i can before i start school.  yeah, a bit of a change in philosophy. but i just happened to get involved in a few things lately that have been hard to turn down.  first of all, i'm doing lots more volunteering with olive branch - be sure to sign up for their mailing lists, as i'm going to be helping out with the newsletters! i'm volunteering every friday before i head off to work, in addition to whatever i can help out with via my laptop at home.  i'm really excited to be doing something more meaningful with my spare time and utilizing my "talents" in some way.

and then... well, it's campaign season.  don't worry, i won't get all political in the blog.  but during obama's 2008 run for president, i did some volunteering - just phone bank kind of stuff.  but we were living in brooklyn, where the whole state was going blue, and there wasn't much of a challenge.  i figured since i am going back to school for public policy anyway i should get a bit more involved in the political scene around denver.  colorado is going to be a major swing state in next year's election and i feel like i can really help make a difference around here.  last weekend i dragged two of my girlfriends door-to-door canvassing with me and had an awesome time!  i had one of the local campaign organizers call me today and we are getting together saturday to come up with more ideas for visibility in our neighborhood - so that will be yet another thing to spend my time on.  but i'm getting excited!  the political discussions are getting me geared up for school and ready for whatever debates may come my way in classes this fall.  i'll need to be prepared, after all... once i'm in class i can't end debates the way i do with philip (us telling each other to shut up or kissing to make the other one stop talking).

we've also had some series of events in the last week that have prevented anything productive from taking place - a trip to the ER, a car break in and a few emergencies at work that have made longer days a necessary reality.

and, to be honest, i'm trying to not spend too much time at home.  it's so damn hot here most of my evenings are spent in the yoga room on my mat in front of the fan.  i can't even bring myself to do too much weeding in the front yard, which desperately needs done BTW.  any takers? ;)

another big morning meeting for me - but stay tuned for more updates!  and sign up for that newsletter!

10 July 2011

10 best of summer

like my little pic?  it's the denver summer skyline :)  not quite as good as the view i have of denver at sloan's lake, but i don't have any good pictures of that so... there it is.  anyway, it's been quite a while since we've done a top 10, so i thought july would be the perfect time to name my favorite things about summer. enjoy and feel free to share your own!

10. biking everywhere

so i might be singing a different tune sometimes when i'm riding uphill sweating like i'm a czech man in a crowded tram in august (a total of about five people probably get that) - but really i looooooove biking.  and since philip and i just share the one car, summer is the perfect time to take advantage of bikes.  during the weekends we are trying to bike everywhere we can: the market, the park, to dinner and happy hours, etc.  philip bought me the coolest bike basket ever, that clips off the bike so i can bring it into the store for me.  i don't have any pictures of my super cool new bike, so below is me on a rented beach cruiser in california.

9.  the water

let's blame it on my zodiac sign - us aquarius folk really love water.  it also could have been that growing up in new york (and even once we moved out of the state) we spent every summer at our summer house and on our beach (we had membership in a private beach club - woodhull landing), or summers spend on my grandparents' houseboat at lake powell.  but no matter the reason, i'm obsessed with water.  my dad always called me a fish growing up and it is still true today.  philip and his family tease me because every time we are out in california i have to go in the ocean - even if i just touch it with my toe.  but beach days or pool afternoons are the best part of summer to me, even if i don't get it as much anymore living in colorado.  i'll always have those childhood memories - and bianca's backyard pool :)

8.  city park jazz

hands down the best way to end a summer weekend.  for ten sundays from the first sunday of june, there's a free jazz concert in city park.  my uncle's old company does the sound for this perfect pastime, so my whole family got in the groove of going.  it's a time to open some wine, kick off your shoes and enjoy some live music.  leave it to denver to bring something so awesome to the people for free.

the whole fam at a concert last year when aj was around

i'm so lazy.

hi all.  sorry there haven't been any new pictures of the house lately, but in all honesty we haven't done a lick of work around here.  it's been kind of nice, actually.  like i said last weekend, the 4th of july holiday was really all about enjoying the house and not working on it - and we have still been in that 'enjoyment' mode.  and, if i'm being honest, i don't really know what we would work on next.  there's always yard work to do, but with the crazy colorado weather bringing us monsoon-like rainstorms every evening there hasn't been much chance of that.

but if i want to be even MORE honest... i'm enjoying not doing any work.  all i want to do lately is lay around and watch some of my favorite movies with my favorite husband.  maybe it's the stormy weather every night, maybe it's the fact that we are trying to save all the $$ we possibly can, or maybe, just maybe, it's the fact that in just over a month i start school in addition to my full-time job, and there won't be much time for anything but schoolwork anymore.  and i mean that now moreso than ever.  see, last week i went to go visit my new political science advisor.  i was excited as hell to meet her, get some good advice and get this ball rolling!  she gave me some really good news: quite a few of the required public policy classes i need to take are offered in a weekend format.  these classes only run three weekends throughout the entire semester, all day saturday and all day sunday.  not too shabby for three credits, right?  so after some debating with philip, i signed up for two, bringing my total credit tally for fall semester to 15.  and i'm kind of freaking out about it.  i mean, i want to do this right and i want to get through it as quickly as i can - but i don't know if i can do 15 credits.  when i come home from working til 6 on a friday night (so i don't even walk in the door til at east 7) and i see piles of laundry, breakfast dishes that need washing, dinner to be cooked... and i just don't know how i will deal with homework on top of it.  i'm starting to get nervous.

05 July 2011

a lovely colorado weekend

hey all!  hope it was a festive (& safe!) independence day weekend for you.  it was a hot and eventful one here - my awesome mother-in-law was visiting from california.  it's shaping up to be almost like a tradition; she drove out last year for the same holiday weekend.  it was a good time for me to reflect on some serious before-and-after since she hadn't seen the house for a year.  we had no backyard, nothing hung on the walls, a disaster area of an office, an old doodie shower with moldy tile and a library that was never used.  what progress we've made.  it was the perfect time to not work on the house but finally enjoy it :)

but let's get to it.  i want to fill you all in on our weekend!  it was a celebration of the great state of colorado, i tell you!  friday night we started with some good friday-night-mexican, a tradition around our parts.  margaritas, guacamole and crab enchiladas... mmm!  saturday morning we slept in as late as my non-air-conditioned house would let us and set off on some brewery tours!

first stop: oskar blues, where we had some good southern food and a tasting of their brews.  i've never been a huge fan, so i was pleasantly surprised to love four out of the five microbrews i tasted.

the original taster

southern food and good beer - what could be better on the 4th?
 next stop: new belgium.  unfortunately, this was not my favorite part of the day.  on a day-to-day basis new belgium isn't even my favorite - enough with the fat tire!  there are better local ambers out there.  i mean, we were still at a brewery drinking FREE beer, so still not a bad stop.  but it was too hot, too crowded, nowhere to sit and the selection was a bit disappointing.  usually when you go to these breweries you are treated with beer that you can't buy in the stores - but not at new belgium.  we had free glasses of ranger IPA, somersault, abbey and headed to our next stop.

half the taps at new belgium

i so want one of these!
 last stop on the brewery tour: o'dell.  definitely, without doubt, the best part of the day.  o'dell is one of my favorite beers and they did not disappoint.  first of all, their building is awesome looking.  and when we walked in we were greeted with lots of table room, air conditioning and speakers playing iron & wine.  i quite literally never wanted to leave.  my mother-in-law had a sampler while philip and i opted for some fancier brews - myrcenary, st lupulin, double pilsner, wooden elephant and helles bock.  it was awesome and i can't wait to go back - so take note, whoever visits me next!

classic sampler (levity, the 2nd on the left, is the best one!)


patrizia and philip enjoying cold brews

me in front of o'dell - my mother's maiden name! 
 after our day long drinking extravaganza, we made our dinner reservations at the highlands coral room, followed by cocktails at a cote - where i found yet ANOTHER fantastic grapefruit concoction!  rose champagne, vodka and grapefruit juice.  two of those and it was the perfect icing on my cake. for those who haven't been to a cote but love this type of ambiance - GO!  now!  sunday we rode bikes around sloan's lake and highlands, shopped around highlands and stopped for fish & chips.  and for yet another perfect evening, we headed to city park for city park jazz.  three and a half hours of total relaxation.

busy scene @ CPJ!

my love :)

the three weekenders (and my fave organic ale in the front!)
 but the weekend wouldn't be complete without a stop at LITTLE MAN ice cream, which we all love for it's namesake our little man :)

all in all, a pretty perfect long weekend :)