Monday, October 27, 2014

7 Year Itch...

I can't believe that this was 7 years ago......and to be honest I am not even sure if it seems like shorter or longer than that. It's so funny, I don't remember too much about our wedding it was such a blur but it sure is nice to take some time to look back once a year!
 Do we have the 7 year itch? Well we sure had the itch to celebrate in Mexico! Right now we are on our first real/non-work/non-weekend vacation since our Honeymoon 7 years ago! crazy! To the Nicole that is writing this a week early.....have fun, relax and remember the animals won't know how long we are gone!
 Matt and I have been thru so much in 7 years..... job changes, houses, moving, moving again and I won't lie our road has not been easy. But what we do have is a passion to always aim higher. We pulled ourselves thru dark times and I can say that currently Matt and I are in the best year of our marriage. I am excited for the future and where that road will take us.....just hopefully not on another move! haha!
Happy 7 Years my love!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


If you need us this is where we will be for the next week!!!!!! I am sure I will posting and sharing our vacation via Instagram so head on over there to say hello!!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Last Hoorah!

I swear lugging in Bella's litter is such a pain, it is amazing how one small box can weigh SOO MUCH! But then this morning that weight made me happy because that is exactly how much weight I have lost!!! 38 Pounds! An entire box of cat litter
This will more than likely be my last post on my weight loss and I JUST about hit my "Pre-Vacation" goal of loosing an additional 10 pounds since March. Instead I hit 7 pounds lost since March but I will take it...... 138 is where I stand now, there is actually a 3 in that number and that makes me happy!
I have lost a total of 21.59% of my overall body weight!!! But remember this is over 1 1/2 years!! It is so crazy to say that because if anyone knows me patience is not something I ooze out.....but somehow I was able to have some within this process!!! Slow but steady.......I did it really slow but one thing I can say is that I never once gained.....I just maintained and then slowly lost! And I am proud of that! So there it is folks........am I ready to jump into a swimsuit tomorrow in Mexico? No way, but I need to remind myself that I was carrying around an entire box of litter with me.

Thank you ALL for your support and kind words over this long journey! Now I need to focus on a healthy lifestyle so that I am not in that situation again. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

But First.....

Ok, I have a confession to make........even though I leave for Mexico in like 2 days I just can't get excited yet. Why? Because I am going to miss my animals so much it hurts. I know, so crazy but I literally might cry the first night away without them. We are having a friend of the family stay to house/pet sit while I am away and I know she will not kill them......she will love them......they will be ok.....but I can't help it. The thought of being away from them kills me. How do people leave their human-children? I don't get it.
I worry if they will wonder where I am? Will Bella be sad sleeping alone? UGH.....this dialogue goes on and on in my head!
GET IT TOGETHER NICOLE!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for listening.....I had to share.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Perfect Fall Supper

On Moms last night here in Denver a few weeks ago I wanted to do a real nice Fall dinner and even Matt was able to come home to eat with us! I made a Fall Salad with Kale, Red Wine braised beef over Pumpkin risotto and it was a HUGE hit!!! So I am sorry I didn't take step-by-step pictures but I want to share the recipe with you all anyways!!

Fall Kale Salad:
Toss these items in a salad bowl:
Kale
Red leaf lettuce
Shaved green apple
Dried cranberries
Pumpkin seeds

Dressing:
(I always eyeball the dressing so I tried to make it into measurements for you all....)
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Dash of Salt and Pepper
1 Teaspoon Poppy Seeds
** Mix those ingredients together**
Then while whisking all about 1/4 cup EVOO!
Then add to your salad and your done!!!

Red wine braised beef from The noshery
ingredients
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 3 lb beef chuck
salt 
pepper
1/2 bottle red wine
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves
instructions
pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven or a heavy oven-safe pot. let it get nice and hot. add diced carrots and cook until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. when the carrots start to brown, add the onions and celery. 
cook the vegetables until the onions begin to caramelize. i know you will be tempted to stir and fidget with the vegetables, but trust me: let them sit a bit, stirring occasionally. it's the best way to get some good caramelization. use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables and set aside on a plate.
pat the beef chuck dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. don't be shy; it's a big piece of meat.
if needed, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in dutch oven, letting it get nice and hot. the butter should shimmer. sear the beef on each side for about 5 minutes -- don't fidget with it. it should be brown, not grey, and crispy on the edges. remove beef and set aside.
pour 1/2 a bottle of red wine into the pot while still hot. using a firm spatula, scrape up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pot. return vegetables to the pot. lay browned beef on top of vegetables. 
add fresh herbs, garlic and bay leaves. tuck herbs into the liquid and bring to a boil.
cover and place in oven at 325 degrees for 3-4 hours or until tender. it should fall apart using a spoon, if it's still firm return to the oven and let it go another 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Risotto
I learned to make risotto years ago while working in a fine dining restaurant and once again I just kinda make it to my taste but I found a Giada recipe that seems perfect for you all to use......
****** At the end when you stir in the parmesan stir in 1/2 cup of canned Pumpkin!!!*******

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3/4 cup of finely chopped onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
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Directions

  • 1
    In a Medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep hot over low heat.
  • 2
    In a large heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  • 3
    Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rise is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.
4
Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and the salt and pepper. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl and serve immediately.




Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Kings at Red Rocks!!!

A few weeks ago Matt got to see Kings of Leon at Red Rocks!! Yes, please be jealous! ha! KOL is my favorite band and I have seen them 2 times prior but this takes the cake!!!
 We got the park early and I packed us up a tail gating picnic and look at the pic above...... we literally got to watch a family of deer eat their dinner while we ate ours! It was really nice!!
 The weather was perfect for the concert, once the sun went down all you needed was a light jacket!
 This picture perfectly sums up how perfect the night was..............

Several items are still on SALE below..........check it out!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mr. 500

If you remember Mom, Matt and I gave Dad airline tickets and game tickets to his FIRST NFL game back on his Birthday last month and the day finally arrived!!!!! Even though it was just the 4 of us we wanted the full game day experience!!!
 Matt got us this super fun Farmers tent which worked out perfect for our pre-game eats! I made sandwiches and packed up the cooler and we enjoyed a beautiful Denver day before the game!

 Did you know that you can not take purses into the stadium??? even small ones?? Mom and I had to leave the line and find the "purse check" station to leave our stuff at......so yup, that was a road bump for sure! But.....now we know I guess and now you do too!
 Outside the stadium it was a beautiful mild 70 with wind but stunningly inside there was NO wind and it literally felt like we were sitting on the surface of the sun! I actually got a heat rash thru my jeans....no JOKE!
 I just love the pre-game festivities!!!  And one of those cute Cheerleaders in pink is named Erica and we danced for the Hornets together!!!
 We all got so lucky that for Mom and Dads first NFL game we got to see history!!! Right here is Peyton's actual 500th touchdown pass!!!
And here is the catch!!!!!!
It was really neat to be there and we shall now call him Mr.500!!!!
 Even though we all were on the verge of a heat stroke we had such a wonderful time!! Go Broncos!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gone Girl

I read Gone Girl about a 1 1/2 years ago and I loved it, since I have been counting down the days to the movie debut! Last Saturday while Matt and my Dad watched football Mom and I went to see this and I was blown away! First of all I loved seeing it with someone who hadn't read the book.....to see her reaction to everything. Second, I was so excited about the cast and they did not disappoint AT ALL....they were brilliant! I loved every minute of this movie and it just might be my favorite movie this year. No really, it was. You guys must go and see this 5 STARS!!!!


Tea and More Tea.....

I love finding new places for Mom and I to check out when she comes to town and so when I picked her up from the airport I took us to afternoon high tea at the Brown Palace!
 The Brown Palace is a stunning historical hotel downtown and every afternoon from 12-4 they have afternoon tea and people just rave about it!!!
 And they were right, it was just so fun and so different from what Mom and I would normally do!!! And the food was so good that we just might have asked for seconds!!! You can check out the hotel and tea for yourself by clicking HERE!
 Mom and I always love taking fun cooking classes and Sur La Table is our go-to spot!! Earlier this year the movie Chef came out and so this class was based on this movie! It was a fun night of cooking Cuban food which was outside the box for me and I Loved it! We also got to take home a copy of the movie too!!!
 So in Boulder is the Celestial Tea Factory and they do tours which are hugely popular and FREE! Sadly, no pictures were allowed in the tour but I was able to snag this cutie below!! The tour was fun to see how tea is made and stored! I wouldn't plan a whole trip around this tour but if your in Boulder this should be a stop!!! Bonus....you get FREE tea! ha!
 After we got home from our day in Boulder I wanted to make a girl friendly dinner that my Dad and Matt would not have gone crazy for! I made homemade roasted cauliflower soup with Pumpkin oil and Fall kale salad! It was so yummy and Mom loved it!
 Here is the recipe:
Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Pumpkin Seed Oil
Serves around 4, total cooking time around 45minutes
Need!
1 head cauliflower chopped
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
2-3 cups Chicken (or veggie stock for vegetarian) stock
1 cup milk
3/4 cup smoked white cheddar
S&P (I used white peppar)
1 tablespoon Cumin
Drizzle of Pumpkin Seed Oil that you can purchase HERE!
Immersion Blender

How!
1. Toss cauliflower with EVOO, S&P then roast the cauliflower at 425' for 30 min
2. In a pot sauté your onion in EVOO until tender, then add the garlic in for just a minute or two.
3. Add your cauliflower to the pot and mix into onions
4. Pour in Stock, just enough to barely cover all the cauliflower and bring to a boil
5. Add in Cumin, S&P and reduce heat to let simmer for 10min
6. Use your Immersion Blender to blend mixture until smooth or you can transfer to a regular blender and then add back into pot!
7. Add the milk and cheddar and check your seasoning to see if you need to add more of anything

Then just pour into bowls, drizzle with the Pumpkin Seed oil and top with a little more smoked cheddar!
Enjoy!!!

The next morning Mom and I found the cutest craft/antique store in Castle Rock and of course we had to hit up the Outlet Mall!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

You Guys!!!!

I am so sorry I have been away for so long, my Mom was here for a week and then prior to that I just wasn't feeling it.....we all have those days! And now.....I AGAIN have a sinus infection! I never got them before the move so maybe it has something to do with the altitude or something....who knows!!!
BUT.....I want to catch you guys up on the past few weeks!!!!! AND>......I have a HUGE blog sale coming up ALL Fall and Winter items and 90% have the tags still on them!!!!!!!!! YAY

When my Mom was here we got to do some very fun things around Denver and the weather was just perfect for us!!! This past Monday we went to the Denver Botanical Gardens to see the Chihuly exhibit and it was beautiful!!!!





 This picture is my favorite, doesn't it look like a post card? Like maybe we are in Italy?? One can dream!




Stay tuned for more posts!!!!!!

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