Saturday, January 30, 2010

New addition to the Owen family!


Meet Elizabeth Lorraine Owen!  She was born on Thursday morning to my friend Jessie and Matt Owen.  She is just as cute as can be; mom and dad are happy and healthy!  In true tradition, no milestone for Jessie goes without snow.  As she will tell you, there is always snow on her birthday so there's no surprise there was heavy snow on the day they brought home their little girl


I can never imagine just how small a newborn is until I see one in person.  I just love her tiny little feet


I even got to hold her for a minute!  Hospital rules dictate no visitors, because of swine flu.  So I had to settle for meeting her in the lobby on their way home




She just disappeared in the car seat, she was so tiny!


My friend Kendall got to hold her as well :-)


Then it was time for them to go home.  It was a short visit but one I didn't want to miss


Here's a picture of proud momma and papa!  Congratulations guys!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesdays







Weeks like this, I need a little extra help!  Lucky for me, there's a Starbucks on campus.  I know it's silly, but it makes me happy that they still use the holiday cups :-)



The past few days there have been some really nice sunsets!  I've been trying really hard to carry my camera with me and most of the time it's paid off




I'm always amused by the number of staples in any road sign.  Bonus for catching the moon in the distance too ;-) 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Strange weather


The weather today was very strange. Even the plants were confused! I got up and it was dreary but warm; very warm. It rained a bit off and on but finally cleared up mid day and was actually very sunny! Then by the time I was leaving for work, the dark clouds started rolling in and it got chilly. As I got in my car to drive home, hail and rain started to fall. I even saw lightning!


I was happy to have my camera with me today as the weather provided some nice light and later, clouds


These are two very elusive kitties at my work. The grey one has a name, Catnon, but the other remains nameless...except "Raccoon kitty". You can get pretty close to Catnon but Raccoon kitty will disappear almost as soon as you see her

It's a miracle I was able to snap this photo


With the sky looking so ominous, I decided to head to the top of the parking deck before going home


The sky only got darker!


Do yourself a favor and enlarge this one...see if you can see the rain falling from the sky. This was about 20 feet in front of me. It was one of those things where you see the wall of rain headed your way. Because it was back-lit by the sun, it made it look like the sky was shimmering


And just a little fun with bokeh


This was the color of the sky on my drive home. Amazing!


Happy Monday

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Smooth


Here are the makings of a delicious smoothie! I'm missing strawberries but it was still good. I'm a huge fan of making my own smoothies

Tonight I had a consultation with a couple for shooting their wedding. It went really well and I think I'll be hearing from them soon!

Alex and I also framed out the entrance for our shower. Now, use your imagination...


On the left will be a wall that encloses the shower. On top of that wall will be a large piece of glass. To the right will be a curb that you step over into the shower; that will remain open. Right in front of the wall, you'll see is where the toilet will be (the black ring on the floor). It's coming along!

This week is wearing me out so I'm off to bed!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend warriors


This weekend was pretty busy for us! Saturday we worked on our bathroom a bit and had Adam and Catherine over for dinner. We even busted out our fine china! It was our first chance to use them

Oh, and I got a new bed spread :-)


So we are still working on ripping everything out of the bathroom


But we're close! We hope to be putting down cement board this week


This whole area in the above picture will be a walk-in shower with a bench. I'm so excited about getting to work on that! It's coming along for sure

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Terrible Tuesdays


Tonight I made my first batch of primal chocolate chip cookies. They're pretty good. I was skeptical because they are made with almond meal, which is slightly unfortunate because almond meal is crazy expensive. Whole Foods and Giant charge $14 for a 1 pound bag. Luckily, I checked out Trader Joes and they sell their own that is $4/pound. It is not blanched so it's a bit different. Mine look nothing like what they did in the picture from the recipe. I'd say if you absolutely have to have a cookie, this is a good substitute. Otherwise, I'd rather just wait and have the real thing. Honestly I think what makes these taste like chocolate chip cookies is all the butter. Thank goodness butter is Primal!

I gotta be honest, this primal thing is catching up to me already. I'm very tired and hungry all the time. I eat a full meal and then am famished in about 20 minutes. It's strange. I got the sweet tooth craving tonight, perhaps due to a crappy day. It's a good challenge and I feel good most of the time, but the hunger thing is killing me. I gotta find some other things to eat!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mondays


The snow melting (slowly) on campus sometimes looks like lace. It's very pretty in the sunshine

Someone else enjoys the sunshine; Annie!

It looks like she has no legs here. She's a loaf kitty


I had obviously disturbed her nap


Oh Mondays...I wish they were as easy as yours, Annie

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pizza


So, doing this Primal challenge, there is one thing I miss the most already; pizza! Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love pizza. I happened to come across a primal pizza recipe made with almond meal instead of flour. It was actually a very simple recipe and I threw it together pretty quickly.

How did it taste? Really good, actually! I was skeptical but it turned out great. Anytime I need a pizza fix, I'll turn to this. The recipe is really only for the dough and sauce, the rest is up to you. We put fontina, mozarella, mushrooms, green and red peppers, bacon, and onions.


Doesn't it look great? On another note, now that Domino's has changed their recipe, I'll definitely want to try their pizza once our challenge is over

Earlier today we got around to putting up our new lights


I am so happy to have these up! They look so much better than the old ones!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Back to work


Here's a nice close up of my new ring! I love it. It has 3 white sapphires in it

So, the other day, I took my camera to work and I'm glad I did because I caught this...


Can you tell what it is? I'll tell you at the end of the post

And then Mason has these newspaper bins which were arranged so closely to the rainbow. I like it :-)


And lastly we got our new lights approved by our HOA. Here are the old lights. I'm very excited to get the new ones up. However, we did have to do a bit of prep work that will delay the new lights being up until tomorrow. Behind these behemoth lights were large holes that we needed to patch because our new lights won't cover there. So, patch, paint, then hang lights tomorrow


PS...they're kitty prints!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New year, new things


So, now that I'm all caught up on vacation posts, it's time for the standard "new year" post where we all declare some changes we'll make and what we liked about the past year, etc. I'll do a little bit of that but I wanted to talk about a 30-day challenge Alex and I are doing (well, he talked me into doing it with him).

He had come across a website called Mark's Daily Apple where among other things, he talks about "The Primal Blueprint". I won't go into too much detail because I feel most of my readers aren't exactly interested in the fine print so I'll give you a quick rundown. What this means is that for 30 days we will eat nothing but what was available to our caveman ancestors; meat (lots of it), nuts, berries, fruits, vegetables, but no grains and no dairy (note: Mark says dairy is ok in moderation if your digestive system can handle it). It's interesting shopping for this the first time because you realize how much quicker you can get out of there due to only shopping on the borders of the store. This is where all the fresh, non-packaged food is (meats, veggies and fruit). I had heard so many times to shop this way.

So much of what goes into our food nowadays is corn. If you are interested in this, I suggest you watch "Food, Inc".

There is, as usual, an exercise portion to this as well but Mark emphasizes getting outside and having fun; hiking, frisbee, biking, swimming, running, etc. Anything BUT the treadmill. Well, it's winter (and probably one of the coldest ones yet) so I'm not sure how we'll handle that but it will probably involve lots of body-weight exercises inside.

I have my share of digestive problems, from lactose intolerance to a probable gluten/wheat allergy. It is not surprising to find how many people actually have this as well. It's not a defect in our bodies, it's just that some of us never evolved to be able to eat corn, wheat and dairy.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. We are on day 3 and I feel fine. The diet resembles the one Alex and I did several years ago when we were sponsored by a company. It is hard for me to cut out the sugars because I have such a sweet tooth but I still find berries and other fruits satisfy my sweet tooth.

Last night I came across a primal recipe that was for a pumpkin "brownie" so I thought I'd try it. That is what the picture is of up above. It turned out much better than I expected. I added a few things to the recipe just to spice it up a bit. It only had 5 ingredients; pumpkin, nut butter (I used cashew but you can use anything except peanut butter since it's a legume; a no-no in primal), baking soda, 1 egg, and honey for sweetness. I added cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, which I think helped enormously. I think they'd be incredibly dull without the spices, but to each-his-own.

On to other things; I know I dropped the ball on my whole 365 pictures so I want to make it up to you (who is you? blog, readers, myself, whoever). My goal is to carry my camera with me at work; which should be easier since I bought myself a small bag big enough to carry just my camera with a lens. Because my job has me out and about, I have the perfect opportunity to snap some pictures. I hope I can do better this time!

On another unrelated note; I am reeling at the fact that it was almost a year ago that Alex and I put an offer on the house we are now in! We have lived in the house for about 8 months but we put the offer on it on January 10th. How crazy is that? I am reminded of the madness and the hoops we had to jump through to get this house but I am so happy we stuck it out. I love that house and I'm so excited for the plans we still have for it.

That's another thing, we will be jumping back into our projects this weekend, focusing mostly on the master bath. I really want to get that done soon. So there's that to look forward to as well.

Anyway, I think that's enough for now. Check back soon for more updates!

Happy New Year!

The trip; Denver


So our first stop on our trip was Denver, CO. We flew out to Denver and that's where we rented a car to drive the rest of the way. Here's Alex waiting with me to board the plane early morning on the 26th, right after hearing the reports of the other possible terrorist on the other plane.

Regardless, we weren't worried and made it safely to Denver at noon. Got our car and headed to our hotel, the Curtis. This is a very modern and young hotel! I recommend if you're young but that's about it

Every floor is themed. We were on the "LOL" floor. The elevator kindly reminds you every time you arrive at your floor with a silly recording of what it is. Ours said "Welcome to the Laugh out loud floor" followed by lots of loud laughing


You could also rent boardgames from the front desk. Fun!



Not a Chippendales in the hotel...just the men's bathroom


Activities for the day; Dodgeball on the second floor ;-)



Lunch at "The Corner Office", the restaurant in the hotel. Overpriced for sure and quite the spot for hipsters but we were starving so we hit it up


Where it's always 5:00


If you look on my finger, you can see my new ring :-)


I got a grilled cheese and tomato basil bisque. It was the most fancy grilled cheese I'd ever had...delicious too!


Then it was off to explore the city. Ignore the dust spots in my pictures; I didn't have time to send my camera out for cleaning before we left



Ok, so I got a little crazy with the squirrel pictures. But their squirrels were all redheads! Super cute!


And VERY friendly!


Alex was my guinea pig to see if they'd take the bait




And again



The architecture in Denver is very interesting. This was a Modern art Museum






We spent the rest of the evening walking around town. We had dinner downtown in a Mediterranean restaurant called Rioja. We weren't too hungry (and it was a little pricey) so we just got appetizers and dessert


This is part of "LoDo", Lower Downtown.


And here's the dessert we got. It was called Hazelnut Tortamisu and it was ridiculous!


Next morning we were off to Colorado Springs!