Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Weekend Getaway.

Friday, February 10th was my birthday. My 30th birthday to be exact. So how did I celebrate my 30th birthday? My amazing husband took me on a weekend getaway to Breckenridge, CO and my son spent his first weekend away from home with one set of his grandparents.
This was my first time to Colorado, other than switching planes in the Denver airport. I was simply amazed by the beauty of this state. The mountains, the snow, the cute towns. Simply breathtaking. Since this was our first weekend getaway, we wanted it to be low key with plenty of time for relaxation. We rented a house in Breckenridge and that’s actually where we spent most of our time. I thought I would share some of our activities and photos.
From the back deck of the house.
When we first got into town, we were starving so we decided to stop for crepes on Main Street at Crepes A La Cart. I tried the Le Parisian with ham, brie and dijon mustard and my husband got one with turkey and pesto. Phenomenal. After the crepes, my husband ran into Rocky Mountain Cupcakes to pick up some cake pops that he had ordered for me. He also picked up some smores, which were two graham crackers with a marshmallow in between, dipped in chocolate. So delicious.

After picking up some goodies, we stopped at the grocery store and got enough food to cook all of our meals for the weekend. I really love to cook, especially when my husband is in the kitchen cooking with me, and actually find it to be quite relaxing. Plus the house we rented had a fantastic kitchen. It would have been a shame not to use it! When we were at the grocery store, my husband managed to slip away to the bakery and pick up a birthday cake he had ordered for me. And somehow he even managed to get it into the house without me noticing and surprised me with it after dinner on Friday night. What a guy!

On Saturday morning, we rode snowmobiles. To be honest, I was a little skeptical about this at first but my husband really wanted to go and I had heard from so many people how fun it would be. So I decided to be adventurous and go but opted to be a passenger on my husband’s snowmobile rather than trying to drive one on my own (that would have been bad for everyone involved). I am so glad we went. I had so much fun and the views were amazing. I highly recommend this to anyone going to Colorado. We used White Mountain Tours and were very impressed with our guide, Brian. He showed everyone how to use the snowmobile and then we set off for our ride. We followed him on trails for over two hours. And while that seems like a long time to be in 11 degree weather, it flew by and I don't recall ever being too cold. I did have on tons of layers though! It was a blast and I will definitely do this again!
Me and my husband.

The whole group.
Snowmobiling stop.
Another snowmobiling stop.
After riding the snowmobiles, we were starving so stopped for lunch at Kenosha Steak House on Main Street. We each had burgers. I opted for a regular beef burger but my husband had the elk burger. Both were excellent. The remainder of the trip was spent relaxing at our house, which was exactly the kind of weekend I needed.
From the back deck of the house.

From the back deck of the house.

I had such an amazing birthday/weekend but by Sunday I was ready to go home. I missed my little man so much. Luckily, we had been getting updates all weekend via text message. He had a great weekend with his grandparents and I think they were sad to send him home.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine’s Day party.

My son’s class is having their Valentine’s Day party this afternoon. Last week, my son’s teacher gave me all the details of the party. She started the conversation by saying that since the children didn’t know when Valentine’s Day was that they were opting to have to party on Friday. She then told me that there was a sign-up sheet for refreshments (we are bringing veggies) and that each child needed to bring a valentine box to hold all his valentines and that they wanted the children to pass out valentines to each other. I was a bit surprised by all this considering that the children are just barely over a year old. But I love a party and anything that gives me an excuse to do crafts.
I’ll admit that at first, I struggled with what kind of valentine box to make for Slade. I didn’t want anything pink or covered in hearts for a boy. So I spent some time googling “valentine boxes for boys.” Eventually, I stumbled upon this Sandwich Box Monster. Very cute, yet very boy. And it seemed easy enough. After a quick to trip to Michael’s on my lunch break, I was ready to make Slade’s valentine box. I decided to use an empty tissue box instead of the sandwich box beccause I just happened to have one on hand. I also opted to use some googly eyes instead of using the egg carton (the eggs I buy come in a plastic carton). I found some blue ball things at Michael’s (I’m really not sure what the correct name for them is) that I used for the spots on the monster. Overall, I’m pleased with how it turned out.

For the valentines, I looked at the selection in several stores and didn’t find any that I liked or felt were appropriate for toddlers. So again, I started googling and found some really cute, free, printable dinosaur valentines from HP. I was able to print just the amount I needed, wrote each child’s name on them and my husband cut them out. So easy!

I’m not a fan of giving candy or really any sugar to children (to my knowledge, Slade’s never had anything sweeter than an animal cracker, other than fruit) so I opted to give each child a package of applesauce. Slade loves these little pouches and they are great for a snack on the go. To attach the valentine to the applesauce, my husband punched a hole in the top of each valentine with a hole punch and then using some white curling ribbon leftover from Christmas, he tied each valentine to the applesauce.
I found this shirt on Carter's website and couldn’t resist. I thought it would be the perfect Valentine’s party shirt.

And with that, we are ready for the party this afternoon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day.

So I’m a day late, I know. But I wanted to share what I made my valentine, my sweet husband, for dinner. We’ve always preferred to celebrate Valentine’s day at home so I usually try to come up with something extra special to make. But for some reason I was having a hard time deciding what to make this year and I didn’t actually decide what I was going to make until I was leaving the office yesterday afternoon which meant that a grocery store stop was necessary. This is very unlike me considering that I like to have things planned as far in advance as possible. So all of that's to say, that by the time I finished preparing the meal (which I didn’t even start until after my son was asleep) we were so hungry that I didn’t take any pictures of the finished product. I was too busy stuffing my face and the thought never crossed my mind.
For our dinner I made Brown Butter Parmesan Chicken Linguine from How Sweet It Is. Oh. My. Goodness. This was good stuff. My husband ate two platefuls and quickly claimed the leftovers for his lunch today.  Always a good sign. I did two things different than in the recipe- I used chicken that I had one hand from a rotisserie chicken and I used more mushrooms than the recipe called for just because I had more than I needed and I didn’t want the rest to go to waste. I will definitely be making this again, very soon. One bite of this pasta and you will understand why taking a photo didn't cross my mind. It's that good.

For dessert, I made Molten Chocolate Cakes from Kraft Foods. These are quick and easy to make and so delicious. We paired ours with a scope of vanilla ice cream. Yum! I followed the recipe exactly although I did opt for Ghirardelli chocolate rather than Bakers. And the recipe makes 4 cakes, so we get to have cake again tonight! (I'll be completely honest and admit that I did actually consider having cake for breakfast this morning but some how managed to talk myself out of it.) I thought these were wonderful but the next time I make them, I think I will use a mix of semi-sweet and a darker chocolate to intensify the chocolate flavor a bit.
And now you may be wondering if my husband did anything for me for Valentine’s day? The answer is yes. He completely surprised me by showing up to my office with a beautiful bouquet of roses and a package of Reese’s peanut butter hearts (my all time favorite candy). Then he took me to lunch at one of our favorite places- Sushi CafĂ©. Such a wonderful surprise!

I had a wonderful Valentine's day and hope everyone else did too!