Monday, April 30, 2012

Project 365: Day 66

My fiance and I teamed up for a delicious meal of fresh Polish Kielbasa (cooked in Dry Dock Hefeweizen) and crispy red potatoes! I found the "Hot Crash Potato" recipe on Pinterest (recipe here), and they were delicious!
While we ate we watched a new episode of Castle and it looks like Kate Becket and Rich Castle are going to get together next week... best month EVER - I'm engaged and Becket and Castle are finally admitting that they love each other, does life get any better than this!? hehe.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Project 365: Day 65

Trying to capture what a beautiful day it was today! Life is good!

Project 365: Day 64 (We're ENGAGED!!!)

I'm ENGAGED!!!!!
can you even believe it!? I can't!!!

so let me back up and tell the story :-) Last week, Aimee sent out an email to all of our friends subject line: Free Rockies tickets this Saturday! and it went like this:

Hi Friends!
So I just won 10 Rockies tickets from my school for this Saturday at 6:10pm...who wants to come with me?? Kevin is able to come, so the first 8 people to get back to me are in!!
To which I responded: ooo fun!!! Nick and i already have tickets from our season ticket plan, but we'll be there!!!  
Fast forward to Saturday and it turned out that Aimee still had two extra tickets so Nick and I decided to sell our tickets and then use the free ones to sit with all of our friends. Around 3pm Aimee and Kebi met Nick and I at our house to ride our bikes over to Fado's Irish Pub for some pre-game happy hour beers.  Some of Nick's friends from school were there too so we had a nice crowd of like 15 people hanging out before the game.
Nick left a little early so that he could scalp our tickets and by the bottom of the 1st we were all in the game - Me, Nick, Kebi, Aimee, Kev, Kyle, Randi, Ben, Carrie, and Bara.
Throughout the game I was looking for a picture of the day. My first opportunity came when Shane Co. had an ad up on the score board that I thought was particularly applicable (of course I had no idea what Nick had planned!):
Then Kebi and I decided to download a phone app for "Earth Man" - an eccentric vendor in Denver.
You can download the app, place an order, and click the "Beer Me" button and within 5 minutes he shows up at your seats with all the beer you just ordered, it was awesome! So at that point I was pretty sure that my picture of Earth Man was going to be my picture of the day:
But then... the 7th inning stretch came, and my whole night changed!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game came on the loud speaker and just like I do at every Rockies game, I tried in vain to get Nick to stand up and sing with me. I didn't waste much energy on him because he never joins in, so I turned around and started singing with my friends. Next thing I know, Nick has his hand on my back and is saying my name and I'm like "What are you doing" and he gently nudges me and says my name again and I repeat, "Nick what are you doing?" and when I turn to look at him, he's down on one knee - kneeling in spilt beer, peanut shells, and chewed up sunflower seeds.
I've got an Isotoner glove on to keep my beer-holding hand warm and I am COMPLETELY caught off guard. The first words out of my mouth were "What are you doing!?"  I had absolutely no idea that this was going to happen. I just kept saying "are you serious!?" I sat down on the bleacher and he leaned in and asked me to marry him. 
I was crying and laughing so hard, I didn't even know what was happening

It turns out Aimee didn't win any tickets, the whole thing was an elaborate plan for him to get all of our friends at the game for the proposal. Nick bought the tickets a week ago to make sure that we all got seats together in the same section that he and I were sitting at when the Rockies won the National League Championship in 2007.   No one knew except Aimee and Kevin (...and a couple people who Aimee and Kev spilled the beans to, hehe)
Nick asked Aimee and Kev to make this sign for me with the stipulation that the sign had to have the word "Finally" in it.... well this whole thing has been 5 years in the making!

Of course I immediately posted the ring to Facebook!
The night was PERFECT all of our friends were there to celebrate with us - a surprise for all!!!
After the game (the Rockies lost) we all went to Wynkoop to celebrate so I got an engagement AND and engagement party all in one night! Randi and Aimee bought mini bottles of champagne for everyone and we had a champagne toast!

Thank you to Aimee and Kevin for being a part of our special night - it was more than I could have ever hoped for. Today I'm the happiest girl in the world.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Project 365: Day 63

Best thing about flying into Midway Airport??? Gilmart Polish Deli and Grocery is RIGHT down the street!! Every chance I get, I stop in and grab some kielbasa and pierogies to bring back home for Nick. This time I got four kinds: potato, cheese (which is ricotta), and sauerkraut for me and Nick and for Aimee, I got some strawberry pierogies! YUMMY!!!  I think I'm going to mix the cheese and strawberry ones next time and cook them up in some butter and brown sugar for a nice sweet treet!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Project 365: Day 62

One day trip to chicago... thankfully Nick gave me the best Christmas present ever a couple years ago and I was happy to spend an extra hour in the airport reading my kindle.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Project 365: Day 61

So my birthday was a couple months ago, but this little plant from Kebi is still alive and kickin'.... come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I watered it... I should go do that now!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Project 365: Day 60

I got new shoes!!! I scooped these up at Bayside Mall just before I left Miami on Friday and they're awesome.
Do they look familiar?? They're just like the pink ones I wore two days ago.

Actually it's just a sole with three little loops on it and then you get all these different ribbons and accessories and you can wrap them a million different ways and change your shoes every day! They're called Bijolie and unfortunately their website isn't much yet but i can't wait till I can order more accessories online! They have a youtube video to show you how to make some of the designs

and they have another one with 5 loops for more of a "gladiator" look:
Pretty fun!!!

Project 365: Day 59

I went to Boulder today for work and my customer took me up Baseline Rd. to see the view of the city from the top. It was a gorgeous day and all the green in the mountains is getting me very excited for the summer!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Project 365: Day 58

Ashley, Aimee, and I went out today for some mani-pedi's and Yogurtland... what a beautiful Sunday afternoon!

Project 365: Day 57

After a looooong week away, Nick and I decided to spend Saturday afternoon on a leisurely bike ride touring some of the new breweries around town. We picked 3 that we had never been to before, chose a route and headed out. It almost reminded me of something we might have done on our backpacking trip in SE Asia and it was good to be out exploring our own city together.

Our first stop was River North Brewery down by the stadium - it's only been open for a couple of months, and I'd say they're off to a good start.
Nick got the sampler and I got the white ale and all in all the beer was pretty good. It's only a couple blocks from Coors Field and with tickets to 20 games this season, I'd say there's a pretty good chance we'll be visiting again soon.
Right now it's just a three-man operation and one of the guys was nice enough to take us on a little informal tour. The site used to be the Flying Dog brewery so they have plenty of room to expand their capacity as they grow.... it's pretty cool!

Next we hit the Cherry Creek trail on our way to Strange Brewing company.
There was actually a pretty good crowd at the brewery, despite the completely random location, and everyone was sitting out in the sun enjoying the afternoon.  
Nick and I split the sampler which included all 9 beers that they had on tap including a dunkelweizen and a cherry bomb stout. I have to say, I wasn't too impressed by their beers and based on how completely in the middle of nowhere it is, I'm not sure we'll be back.  But we had a fabulous pork sandwich from the card vendor and enjoyed a nice and relaxed atmosphere.  
Our third stop was Wits End Brewery which wasn't too far from Strange and was also in the middle of nowhere.
This was a cool brewery. The vibe was totally laid back and we ended up talking with the other patrons about various microbreweries in Denver and the best places to get kielbasi and German mustard. Scott - the owner and brew master - was a really nice guy and took some time to hang out with us as well. 
This was supposed to be our last stop of the day, but Scott gave us a tip that the Colorado Cider Company was just around the block so we swung by to try a sampler flight of their hard cider.
Both Nick and I are more of beer people, but the cider was pretty good, and since Nick really wants to go back to Wits End one of these days, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a bit more of this place.

This, again, would have been our last stop, but while we were at Strange Brewing Company we discovered that there is a place called Pints Pub in our neighborhood that also brews their own beers!
It was practically on our way home and we needed to eat dinner anyway, so we stopped by for one more round.  Not too shabby! I can't believe we never knew this little gem was right down the street.

Finally after Pints Pub, the sun was going down and Nick and I were sufficiently exhausted. We headed home and were in bed by 10!

All in all a fabulous Saturday! I can't wait to do it again. Me + Nick + my brand new bicycle + good beer... what more can you ask for?

Project 365: Day 54, 55, 56

Day 54:
After a nice sushi lunch with a customer I headed up to the poster session to look for some of my customers. I spent about 15 minutes visiting several of their posters, finding none of them manning their posts, when a Bruker customer from Estonia approached me and asked me if I wanted to go on a bike ride. I didn't have to be in the suite for almost 4 hours so I figured, why not!

30 minutes later, we met in the lobby to head out on a ride. I figured we'd be out for an hour or two, but we ended up on a 4-hour, 24 mile bike ride - a little more than I bargained for, but it was great to get out of the hotel for a bit and we managed to get two little swims in as well... not too shabby.

Day 55:
On Thursday I managed to sneak away for an afternoon and actually get some solid beach time in - it was glorious. The sun was out, the water was the perfect temperature, the week was almost over... it was a beautiful day!

Day 56:
Thursday night our suite was open until 2:30am!!! The customers couldn't get enough of the band - it was some of the best dancing I have seen in years!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Project 365: Day 53

Tuesday has come and gone and I have to say, it was a pretty good day. Instead of realizing just before bed that I hadn't snapped a picture yet, I ended up with several for the day to choose from. First there was dinner with my customers:
Then there was fun with dice in the suite after midnight
And then after holding off for 4 days, my colleagues finally convinced me to hit the town of South Beach and have a couple cold ones.... we didn't get home until 4:30 am!!!
 Good times were had by all!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Project 365: Day 52

As one customer put it tonight, this is my "Vendor Prison" for the week! Thrilling.... isn't it?

Project 365: Day 51

Well our booth opened and I made it through the first night! It was actually not too bad. I have to say, I'm a lot more comfortable at this conference now than I was a couple of years ago. It also helps that with my new territory, I have a lot more customers here than previously so I really do feel like I'm getting some valuable work done by being here.  Once again, last night I forgot to take a picture all the way up to the end of the night at which point I snapped a picture of the "Usual Suspects" who were on their way out to the bar.

I've been a bit under the weather and taking a brief sabatical from drinking, so I didn't join them, but it was probably for the best. I feel great this morning!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Project 365: Day 50

Day one of the ENC - so far, so good. We started the day with an internal meeting (9-1) and then I had the afternoon free to myself before a 6pm mixer with our customers. I managed to get a 90 minute yoga session in (on my new travel mat) and lunch and a nap!

An extra special surprise came during our little event because just across the bay there was a fire works show. We had a little balcony and the view was so good we were joking that Bruker actually sponsored the show - it was awesome! I'd say it was an auspicious way to start the ENC.

I tried to get a picture of the fireworks, but u know how that goes... so just before I came up to my room, I snapped a picture of myself with Betty Demgar, our Mid-Atlantic Sales Rep and my partner in crime for the week :-)

Project 365: Day 49

Well... the longest week ever has begun! Thankfully I have come prepared with my own yoga mat!

About a month ago I started using free podcasts to do yoga in my hotel rooms because sometimes it's the only thing I am really motivated to do on the road. The bad thing was that doing it on dirty hotel room floors was basically disgusting. So finally, after hurting both of my wrists in Chicago when using a hotel towl as a mat, I went online and bought a travel yoga mat from amazon (the brand is Gaiam). It's awesome because it folds up like a big T-shirt, and it's perfect for in-room yoga. I've actually been using it in Denver on top of my regular mat because it's better at keeping my hands in place when they start to sweat, so I'm pretty excited about the purchse!

This week will be my first time actually using it on the road, breaking it in hotel style - so here is my picture of the day!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Project 365: Day 48

Today was a good day. I'm gearing up for my big torturous trip to Miami tomorrow, so I've been spending the week cleaning the house, getting all unfinished tasks off my desk, and working on general wellness so that I can at least go into the week as prepared as possible. Today I managed to completely clean out my inbox and take care of all outstanding customer needs so that is a huge breath of fresh air. On top of that I made it to Lamar's class which always makes me feel good, and did 4 loads of laundry! (what can I say, I'm kind of a stud).

By 5:00 I was already packing for my trip (unheard of!) and decided that I'd try to make a 6:00 yoga class to get my chi in order. I called Nick asking for the car, but he was stuck in Rockies traffic so I decided to try to bike it to my class - which just happens to be 5 miles away and according to Google Maps is a 28 minute bike ride from my house.

It was 5:30 when I finally got my stuff together to head out the door, but I figured that I'm in pretty good shape, I can beat the Google Maps estimate and make it to class! I had my brand new helmet on and my brand new travel yoga mat in my bicycle's basket and I took off to my Yoga class (I should just give up now, move to Boulder, and start making my own granola!)

Half way there (after hitting ever freaking red light in rush hour) I realized that there was a pretty good chance I wasn't going to make it, but I was on a mission to relax - determined not to give up. I was huffing and puffing up hills, running stop signs and red lights, and extending my head out over my handle bars as if that motion might help to propel me there just a bit faster.  At 6:01 I pulled my bike up to the front of the studio JUST as the instructor was turning the key to lock the door (they lock the door during classes so that no one can disturb the yogis). "NO! WAIT!" I yelped, but to no avail! She turned her back on me and disappeared into the studio.... I pressed my hands up against the window and tapped my bike helmet on the glass a couple of times, hoping she might let me in, but I was too late. 

Realizing at this point that this studio is way too far to bike to in the future, I still thought I would ride home at a much more reasonable pace and time myself just in case I ever decided to try this again.  I figured it must have taken me exactly 30 minutes to get there because I left my house at 5:30, so I was expecting about a 40 minute return trip.  Imagine my surprise when I arrived at home and my stopwatch clocked the ride at 25 minutes!!!! Either I left way later than I thought I did (not unlikely) or all that busting my ass did absolutely NOTHING for my time.... how pathetic!!

O well, at least I got a little workout in and made it home in time to cook dinner for my sweetie (or should I say sweaty! He was still huffing and puffing from his own workout at the gym when he came home and immediately sat down to dinner!
 The last night we'll have dinner together until next Friday... boo hoo!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Project 365: Day 47

Happy Birthday to Aimee!!!!
For Aimee's birthday, we got a group of us together to go to Comedy Works down town - it was a local comic showcase, so we saw 6 local comics preform short sets. A couple of them were duds but most of them were really hilarious. The headliner was a guy from Boulder named "Hippieman" and he was great! After the show we all got on stage for a group photo, and here is my picture of the day:
Despite some more issues with the  bills (this seems to be a reoccurring theme!) we all had a blast. Happy Birthday Aimee!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Project 365: Day 46

Wow, life is crazy! With vacation and a conference behind me, I'm playing massive catch up at work and my house is an absolute mess! The weekend is over and I have three days to get my life in order before heading to Miami for 8 days... ahhhhh.

Today, though, I managed to make it to Lamar's class at the Y, and do some grocery shopping, and cook a new recipe for dinner. I found this easy lemon chicken recipe from Pinterst and turned it out surprisingly delicious!  The great thing about it is that the ingredients are all things I typically have on hand except for one fresh lemon - so it will be a good recipe to keep in mind for when I don't have much food in the house. I paired it with a salad and mashed cauliflower - althouhg next time I think I'll put it with rice and steamed or stirfried veggies. All in all though, another recipe success!
If anyone's interested, the recipe came from this article 20 Quick Fixes for Boneless Chicken Breasts . Or you can go directly to the recipe here.  The chicken is fried, so it's not the healthiest thing I cook, but I will definitely make it again!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Project 365: Day 45

It's finally here. After 6 months of waiting the day has finally arrived..... OPENING DAY!!! The first day Nick and I got to check out our "mini-plan" season tickets seats (we only got 20 games worth, not the full 81).  Nick had the whole day off and I took a half day and at noon we headed down to the stadium.

Usually we walk to the games (40 minutes) or take a cab ($7) but today we started a new tradition: biking to the games!! It's free and took less than 10 minutes to get there with the added bonus that I looked super cute on my super cute bike! yay, fun!

We went into the game an hour early so we could take a lap around the entire park - just checking out what's new, getting the lay of the land - and then we went upstairs (our seats are on the upper deck) where we took another lap of the park. We made it to our seats for what was definitely the best part of the entire afternoon:  The singing of the anthem, an air force F16 flyover, and a balloon release!!
The balloons were awesome because of the wind they were coming directly towards us and it felt like we were in a snow globe! It was so fun!!!

Then the Rockies went on to lose the game 7-0 and all of our hopes and dreams were shattered. It's gonna be a long season if they continue to play like that!  Nick made a last-ditch effort at a rally during the 9th inning, but it was a quick 1-2-3 (of our best hitters) and the game was over... bummer.
look how sad he is... :-(

On the bright side, our seats are pretty good! We might try to get them moved down a couple seats because our view is partially obstructed by the staircase, but we have end seats in the first row in our section and we're just over the third base line. AND they're in the shade, which is going to be awesome in the summer! (although it was about 75 in the sun and 60 in the shade today, so we were a bit chilly - nick didn't have a sweater and went outside in the sun to warm up in between every inning!)  Despite the Rockie's poor showing, we had a fabulous day.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Project 365: Day 42, 43, 44

Day 42:
My favorite time of the year has arrived!! Lilac season! I absolutely love the smell of lilacs and they're all over the city right now! I Stole a little piece of one on a walk on Friday night so that I could enjoy it a little longer. They don't last very long, so don't forget to stop and smell the lilacs this week!!

Day 43: Nick and I spent the afternoon hanging out with Doug and Ingrid in Boulder and their 1 1/2 year old son Lou. The last time we saw Lou (in November) he was just scooching along on the floor - not yet in a full crawl - and was not yet talking. Fast forward, several months and it's like a whole new world. He's running all over the house, saying lots of new words, and understanding way more than he can verbalize. It's amazing. On top of that, the kid can use an iPad. And I don't mean he can drool on it or randomly touch some icons, he can legit use it! He knows how to  select the apps he wants, and exit them when he wants, and play the little kid games, and even work the camera!! It was UNREAL. Mark my words, 30 years from now, this world is going to be a crazy place!!!

Day 44: Happy Easter everybody!!!
Today Nick and I went to Jessie, Robyn, and Matt's place for a big potluck brunch (which lasted from 11am - 7pm!) The food was amazing - ham, mac and cheese, red velvet cake, egg casserole, quiche, kielbasi and sauerkraut, crescent rolls, muffins, carna asada tacos, filo wrapped asparagus.... it was amazing.
AND Jessie and Robyn planned a big Easter egg hunt for everyone! It was a blast. (Here's my official Picture of the Day)
Katie was the winner of the hunt
And afterwards, we all hung out and enjoyed the gorgeous day - throwing around a football, doing a puzzle, drinking mimosas, and eventually playing some games. Good times were had by all!!!