Double the birthdays

(obviously) Double the birthday fun!

I know the average person only has *one* birthday, but Hubs has been lucking out year after year with multiple. You see, I get all gung-ho scouring the after Christmas sales for birthday pressies because “his birthday is right around the corner and might as well grab the good deals while I can!”  Little does my brain realize, Hub’s birthday is not, in fact, right around the corner but rather almost two months after those tantalizing Christmas sales end.  That’s 1/6th of a year, people.

And since his birthday is so far off, I’m forced to show him the pressies I bought so he can try them on and let me know if I have to return any before it’s too late.  Fast forward two months and his *actual* birthday shows up unannounced. Obviously, he gets additional/real presents and all sorts of birthday fun.  It’s all very predictable and nice.

But.  Not this year.  I actually stayed clear of the malls after Christmas since we are on a budget.  For his birthday gift, Hubs requested to go to a Minnesota Timberwolves vs Denver Nuggets game, so we got tickets for a game in April.

Then, on his actual birthday, he had no presents to open, EXCEPT for the cold I graciously handed over, and I didn’t even have a doggone card for him.  Dirty rotten, I tell ya.

The day of, I slapped together this blog post in honor of him and then after my track practice, we decided to meet up with friends for some ping pong and pizza.  Looks like wild crazy fun, eh?

Truth is, the weather was really mean and the night was low energy because I had a cold and subsequently transformed into a troll. These are not the proper tools for making magical birthday memories.  Not at all.

So that weekend, I declared a Birthday Redo.

It was a nice sunny day, so we biked to Noodles for lunch.  Hubs had a birthday coupon and so his meal was free.  I also seemed to sprout antennas overnight…

I did finally make him a card and wrote mushy stuff on it….

After lunch, we snuggled with this little 8 week old cutie,until he got scared of my moving shadow.  HE WAS SO ADORABLE.

Then, we hit up some shops near by and Hubs picked out new shoes, courtesy of some birthday money from his dear Mom.  They were an awesome score and he loves them – bravo MIL!

Then, we shared an ice cream

and grabbed a movie to watch at home.  It was a really good day.

Hubs, somehow you managed to sneak multiple birthdays out of me again this year and it was a good thing.  Happy, happy birthday (and leap year). Love you long time.

Flashback Friday

Because it’s Hubs birthday week, I present to you possibly the cutest picture of all time:

For those of you that don’t know, Hubs is a *huge* animal lover and honestly, it makes me fall in love with him over and over again.  Happy Friday to all!!

Birthday Sparkles!

It’s a very important person’s birthday today!  My hubs.  Here’s a really up close shot of him that he hasn’t approved yet but why not post it on my blog in honor of him??

Like the good wife I am, I made birthday cupcakes from a box, but only after he went grocery shopping for his own birthday supplies.  Please say nice things so his birthday is so super special that he won’t even notice that I didn’t make him a card.

Love this guy with all of my heart; he’s the best.

Get In My Belly: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I borrowed this recipe from here and now Hubs considers me chocolate chip cookie royalty.  I didn’t argue and, in turn, crowned him Prince of Bathroom Scrubbing.  He didn’t take to this honor as kindly as I had hoped.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/4 DARK brown sugar
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla (I used fancy vanilla from Penzey Spices)
  • 3 2/3 flour
  • 2 T. corn starch
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • a 1/2 bag of semi sweet chips

Instructions:

  1. Pull out the grandmaster mixer and cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together first – then add to sugar-buttavanilla lovin’.
  3. Add chocolate chips
  4. Be an opportunist and EAT THE DOUGH.
  5. You are *supposed* to freeze the rest of the dough for an hour before baking.  I’m sure this is a grand idea but you already know I skipped this step and popped these lumpy gems straight into a preheated oven.
  6. Bake at 350 for 9ish minutes.
  7. They taste best when shared with good friends!

Mad Money

Money has been on my (mad) mind a bit…you know, ever since I upped and quit my job last summer.  Sure, I got a new job (with a handsome boss) but the pay is lots less than what I was making before.  And in truth, money has always been something I’ve thought hard about, even as a little girl.  I can get all ninja psychoanalyst and tell you the root of why I feel the way I do, but let’s not waste your time.  Since you’re already here though, I thought I’d start a running conversation about some ways I am trying to cut spending, save greenbacks, but still live life in between.

Last time we chatted, I talked about going down to one car not only to save money, but also to pay for our very spendy move to Colorado.

Today’s topic:  Using stuff up

Deep, eh?  Although a seemingly indifferent undertaking, using stuff up has actually allowed me to save a tinkle of coin.  You see, the moment we decided to move, I started obsessing over our stuff.  I began sorting, donating, trashing, paring down and last but not least, using stuff up.  My main goal was to move a little as possible.  But, lets be real, I *still* moved expired food – wth is wrong with me?

Anyhoo, the three main categories this using-stuff-up applied to:

  • toiletries (fear not, I still restock toothpaste)
  • crafty goods/deliciousness
  • food (obviously I still buy staples like waffle mix)

For example, take a gander at my lip candy collection:

These products are all in various stages of being used up and although I’ve been oogling everything under the sun at Sephora, I’ve made a pact to use these *all* up before repurchasing anything new.  Same goes for lotions, body sprays, stickers, craft paper, etc.

Using stuff up is not really the key to my money saving strategy.  But, the process has changed my buying habits.  I no longer peruse the Victoria Secret semi-annual sales, Michael’s clearance racks, and Bath and Body clearance events to stock up on great deals on more stuff (most of which I didn’t even know I wanted).  For now, I’m holding off on buying anything until I am actually out of it.  It’s not rocket science and kinda aligns with my OCD tendencies, so I feel like this is a good exercise for me now.  Are y’all doing anything, rational or obsessively, to save money these days?

Flashback Friday

Y’all, I’m so excited!  Someone special is coming to town and there is bound to be a lot of fun had and likely awkwardness captured.  I’m hoping the spectacular view of the mountains neutralizes anything annoying that I may do.  I’m sure you recognize this fair lady?

Can’t wait to see her pretty face tomorrow!  Enjoy the weekend, friends!

Happy Valentine’s!

Don’t be bashful and drink up love today; it doesn’t matter if it’s love for your partner, your furbaby, your neighbor, your plants, your family, your kiddos, or your barista (obviously don’t be a creepster about it).

I’ll be hanging out with my love, this guy:

Happy Valentine’s, my little bloggies!

Coffee Talk Tour

Since Hubs and I work from home now, sometimes we need encouragement to get out of the house.  In an effort to change up our daily scenery, we decided it might be on the right side of fun to take a self paced Coffee Talk Tour of our town and report back to you.  I know.  I bet you aren’t ready for this jelly.

Coffee House: Espressoria, which we visited back in December of last year.  It’s old news but I control the words here so I’m going to tell you about it.  The most important thing to note about Espressoria is that it’s right next door to Snarf’s, the best sandwich shop ever.  *Drools.*

The sweet sips: I got myself a yummy green tea and Hubs stuck with his traditional coffee.  The ambiance was nice, the bathrooms were respectable, and the tables had bench seating with cozy pillows.  They also dedicated a whole wall to display art and cards, which was a cutsie touch.

The bitter grounds: The place was hoppin’ and we were next to the door, so all too often, a gust of air would sweep ungraciously over my little toes.  My tea came in a contraption much smarter than I am and and when I couldn’t figure it out – Hubs tried to help by successfully releasing the lever, sending a piping hot tea waterfall over his laptop that was just days old.  Gah!!!  They were out of napkins and it took me an agonizingly long time to grab the attend of a barista to get a big wad of them.  We managed to sop up the mess and the laptop still works, thankyoumyluckystars!!!

After The Accident, I still had enough tea to enjoy but we haven’t been back since.  It’s not their fault that I’m an idiot so we’ll probably pop in after a good snarfing.

Flashback Friday

Way back when, Emily introduced me to an utterly adorable line of cards by Curly Girl Design.  The art is delightfully whimsy and the message is always sweet:

So cute, huh?  And it’s a random, but nice segue to my short time with the circus, in Baraboo Wisconsin:

That’s my Grandma – she sure is wonderful.  Looks like we had ourselves a mighty good time, in spite of my mullet.  I wish MamaP’s head wasn’t chopped off and that she’d hung on to that shirt because it’s back in style again!

Eldora strikes again

This is another Spotlife, so you can steam with jealousy over our wonderfully adventurous lives!

**Warning, long post ahead.  Might want to grab some coffee to get you through this.

Last time we trucked it up to Eldora for some snowy fun, we were slapped in the face with brutal conditions.  It sucked and made our hearts sad.  But since we have season passes there, we knew we’d be back again. Much to our delight, we got pounded with snow the first weekend of February. Gleefully we made plans, along with the rest of Colorado, to get out and enjoy it!

We rose early, packed up all of our gear and Hubs went to work on scraping the car.

Our hearts were singing with excitement.  As it would be, we had a little trouble getting out but with some patience and shoveling – we were on our way!  That’s when Hubs noticed I had ran the car low on gas.  No big deal, we swung by the gas station to fill up and grab a creamy cappuccino to put in our rockstar thermos.

We each took a swig and just as we were to set sail to the mountains loaded with fresh powder, Hubs got a text that one of his servers was down.  We hustled back home so he could work his computer magic, counting our blessings that we weren’t half way to Eldora just to turn around!

Our somewhat frustrating day quickly declined from this moment on.

Hub’s usual magic tricks didn’t work and we had to wait until the server company got their very uncool issues sorted out.  In the meantime, while Hubs was feverishly working, our neighbor pounded on the door.  When I opened up to greet her, she chewed my head off with such vile and spite, it actually scared me.  You see, even though we don’t have assigned parking spots, she had worked to clear one out, marked it as “hers” with her shovel and then left for a errand.  Unbeknown to us, we had pulled into “her” spot when we dashed home to fix the server.  It’s all very silly and petty of her but I snapped into action and moved our car to the next spot over, while she glared at me with her arms crossed.

Hubs server finally came back up (hoooray!) and we popped in the car, more anxious than ever to get to the mountain.

Well, in my haste to appease the neighbor, I did an improper job of parking in the next spot over.  And we got stuck.  Really, really, really stuck.  We took turns shoveling, pushing, spinning the tires, and rocking the car back and forth trying to nudge it onto a surface it could grip to.  This went on for a long while.  Thankfully, one of our other neighbors noticed our futile efforts and filled up a bucket of hot water for us to pour it down by the tires.  It did the trick and we were on our way, yaaaaaaay.  Finally.

We didn’t get far up the canyon pass before we were greeted with a wall to wall traffic jam, both ways.  *sigh*  We just couldn’t win, could we?

We figured there must be something blocking the pass on the way up and that’s why so many people were heading away from Eldora.  Disheartened, we waited in line for forever until we were able to turn around, like everyone else, and head back to Boulder.

*A moment of hindsight:  Turns out, it was a unique situation where Eldora got pounded with new snow but the other larger mountains didn’t get any.  So, practically everyone in the state chased the snow to Eldora, causing this local rinky dink mountain resort to be way over capacity and they were forced to turn the people away.*

Grumbling and bickering, we decided to drive to Chatauqua and hike around, mostly to let off steam because we were not happy campers. Chatauqua did a good job of upgrading our pissy moods; it was utterly gorgeous with the new snow.

Love me those Flatirons. We clomped around for a few hours chatting, taking pictures and soaking up this not so bad day.

We even stopped for a mini picnic to enjoy our cappuccino and the sandwich Hubs had packed us.  The new snow was fluffy and deep, so we frolicked.

What a sweet way to cap off a really crappy start to our day.  All was good in the hood again.

Eldora, you may have won the fight, but you haven’t won the war.  Surely, we’ll be back!!