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Colorado 2016 - Kohler Created

Our 2016 Colorado Trip

By | Colorado, Travel | No Comments

Authors note: I’m back from the dead (read: mountains of work)! Here is the post on our vacation to Colorado last month, and I’ve got a catch-up post in the works!

Yup, I have a feeling we’ll be going to Colorado once a year. How can you not? It’s just one awful state away, and there are so many friends and activities!

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To say we did a lot on our trip would be an understatement. The first part of the weekend was dedicated to Neil’s race. While he will definitely be making his own post on how that went, I’ll just give you a little rundown.

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Neil’s been wanting to try out High Plains Raceway for some time. So when a race popped up on the calendar and the timing was perfect (not in our busy season at work), we bought in and started planning a trip to Denver and all the logistics involved with toting a car, trailer and toddler across Kansas.

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KK and I weren’t able to spend a ton of time at the track. The altitude and intensity of the sun coupled with hot black gravel parking area didn’t make it an awesome spectating experience — which sucks because it is a gorgeous track. It’s very remote and right in the middle of the high plains. KK and I could have walked around for HOURS.

Denver swinging 9-3-16 from Kohler Created on Vimeo.

While we were in Denver, we stayed with one of my closest friends Patrick and his wife Jen. Patrick and I have been friends since high school — nearly 18 years! While Neil spent the weekend racing, KK and I hit the local parks and visited downtown Golden with Patrick and Nate (oh yeah, remember him?). The entire Denver area is amazing. It is jam packed with people and things to do nearly wherever you turn. We also ate some incredible food and enjoyed downtime around the house.

Dancing with Patrick from Kohler Created on Vimeo.

Neil finished racing and came back to Denver Sunday night. On Monday, I hit FAST/CrossFit LTP to train with Nate. Their facility is amazing! Nate and I worked up heavy singles of both snatch and clean and jerk, and then did a 20-minute EMOM of sled pulls, handstand walks, GHD sit-ups and lunges. It was definitely an adjustment with the altitude.

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We also did a little exploring in downtown Littleton and stocked up on spices from Penzey’s, and chocolate from The Chocolate Therapist. Support your local businesses, they are amazing! Both also have online ordering, so get your fix, the prices were amazing. We ended the night grilling steak and asparagus on the deck.

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Tuesday, we hit the Denver Zoo with Patrick. After the wild success of the St. Louis Zoo a few weeks ago, we decided it was a must to do it again. While KK was a little less enthused because we got precariously close to naptime, she did enjoy the exhibits (especially the water ones) and saw a lot of cool animals. Huge thanks to Patrick for catching so many photos while we wrangled the beeb.

Colorado 2016

Colorado 2016

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Wednesday was an awesome day for me. I got an amazing massage, and then we hit a Farmer’s market in Cherry Creek for lunch. We had a little of everything, including tacos (Roxie’s Tacos), tamales and perogies. KK loved the tamales, and the tacos were to die for.

For dinner that night, a failed attempt to get sushi to celebrate Jen passing an important certification test for work led to our discovery of Thai Basil for the first time. Oh my gosh is it amazing. We don’t eat at a lot of chains, but we would definitely eat that often. The pineapple curry was phenomenal.

Thursday, Neil and Patrick set out really early to hike Mt. Bierstadt, Neil’s first fourteener. Patrick has done many fourteeners, and really wanted to hike one with Neil (I’m too much of a scaredy cat of heights). They talked about it for weeks ahead of our trip, weighing the pros and cons of each option. They got a lot of AMAZING photos, and one of the other hikers on the trail that morning even caught a video with his drone. I literally haven’t been able to stop watching it all week!

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That night we met up with Nate and Michelle for one last dinner out. Patrick chose an AWESOME beer garden called Kline’s in Arvada close to Nate’s gym, and we had an amazing dinner and conversation. It was open air, and the setting was just perfect to bring a toddler to. KK had a blast!

Friday we packed up super early and headed home. It was a wonderful trip, and I’m still amazed it’s already been a week since we came home. It was really hard to send KK back to daycare again on Monday. Parenting isn’t easy, no matter what circumstance you are in. For Neil and I, the time we spent with KK uninterrupted was priceless. It felt like she grew so much in just a short week and it was so cool to get a little closer to her world and perspective and how much it’s changing and evolving constantly.

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I think Josh Bridges said it best. “Being a parent is like being in this awesome club that, once you’re in it, you wish you would have joined a long time ago.” I don’t know that I would have agreed with him when she was an infant and screaming for hours on end, but I’m definitely a card carrying member now.

Toddler Thanksgiving - Kohler Created

Belated Thanksgiving

By | Family, Holiday, Thanksgiving | No Comments

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I feel like this sums up the holiday weekend. So. Much. Rain. I started this post the day after Thanksgiving and just now got around to finishing it. Why do the holidays play out this way every single year? My to-do lists just explode, there’s never any time! We had an okay Thanksgiving. The weather was gross and we ended up leaving family early because they forecasted ice and we didn’t want to get stuck. I had hoped to take a lot of pictures, but between the wet, dark weather and a long toddler nap in the middle of the day, it just felt like a blitz. I didn’t even get any pie! But Neil managed to capture a few lovely photos, so here they are!

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That face!

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Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete with out 5 dogs in the house…


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My grey-faced first child.

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Relaxing with Grandma!


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Five-O

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Sweet Beep. 


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She’s only recently learned that some toys are for dogs and they will follow you around to get them.

And a few from the rest of the holiday weekend…

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We were at Lowe’s for unrelated items and came across this awesome rug that nearly covers our entire living room for less than $150. And then Neil made me a hot toddy.

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While most of the movies we’ve been watching lately are Disney, animated or both, I did get a little Julia time in.

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Neil helping KK spoon her favorite applesauce at Flat Branch. She also enjoyed the crayons, despite her facial expression here…

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Mexican food for days!

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I’m only a little obsessed with Eddie…

Travelling with Beeb - Kohler Created

First Race Weekend + Travelling with Beeb

By | MK, Travel | No Comments

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As I mentioned in Kaitlan’s 6 month post, the CrossFit Open and Neil’s first race weekend were two benchmark dates we’d kind of set as “goals” to accomplish when Kaitlan was born.

Well, Neil’s first event was this weekend and we made it! It was a two-day in St. Louis at Gateway, so it involved travel, hotel, and meals, and it went better than we thought. Travelling with baby in general and planning each day was definitely a lot more involved than pre-Beeb, but Kaitlan did great and really just went with the flow. Without making this any more than a recap, a few things that helped:

  1. A hotel room with microwave and fridge: Made having prepped meals and snacks easier, saving time and $$. Hampton Inn also has free breakfast and round-the-clock coffee service.
  2. Toys that could be toted around: While Kaitlan isn’t heavily reliant on toys yet, having a few key portable things that could be played with in different ways helped.
  3. A king-sized bed: When you don’t want your baby crawling all over the hotel floor, a big, central surface area rocked.
  4. Wipes and dish soap: Having wipes and dish soap at all times makes cleaning baby, bottles and other misc items easy.
  5. Arm & Hammer diaper bags and dispenser: I received these as a gift and hadn’t realized just how awesome they are until we started travelling.

A few things I’ll definitely be doing differently next time:

  1. Pack less: There’s packing for incidentals, and then there is simply packing too much. I’m guilty.
  2. A backpack: While I like our diaper bag, I think the next stage of her life will require a backpack, something with a zipper.
  3. Ear protection: While the noise didn’t get too loud and we were out of range, I’d like ear protection next round just in case.

Stay tuned for Neil’s recap coming soon!

A peek at our Fourth of July break

By | Camping, Floating, Travel | No Comments

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Our Fourth of July weekend was a whirlwind of travel and food. Looking back, it’s almost impossible to recount all the stuff we did! The main event was our two night trip to Table Rock Lake near the Arkansas border to stay at our friend’s lake house with a slew of our other friends.

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We arrived Saturday morning, a bit later than the rest of the crew who had arrived the night before. It was the cutest little a-frame, and with nearly twenty of us, it was PACKED! Upon arriving, we noticed immediately that Neil’s brother Ben was missing. Turns out he’d had a little “oops” the night before. He jumped off a moving golf cart and broke his wrist. Yay for urgent care!

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You know you’re having a good time when finding broken bones on your x-rays becomes a game. They also ended up as window decorations later in the weekend…

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We decided to make his arm festive too. I have no idea why I had Mardi Gras beads in my bag, but they looked good wrapped around part of a beer box. After adorning Ben’s arm, we made an awesome dinner of bbq burgers, jerky and dessert (recipe coming soon!).

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Huge yummy burgers, mixed with bread crumbs, onions and seasoning.

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Cooking with cheese and one lonely veggie burger for Kaycia…

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Yummy deer jerky from Matt and Katie. So good! Yes that’s yours truly, a rare sight on this blog. After dinner, it was time to make our way to the lake to watch the fireworks from the boats. However we were slightly delayed by the boys. Somewhere in the planning stages of the weekend, they had decided they were all going to make and wear jorts (jeans + shorts).

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It was definitely a competition to see who could have the shortest jorts. Poor Nathan (far right) cut his so short they ended up being a skirt. And after looking at tags, we realized Matt (in overalls) was wearing Rue 21 — a girls clothing brand. A total Michael Scott moment if you’re a fan of The Office. And yes — that is the start of a beer-amid on the table.

I opted not to take the camera on the boat to see the fireworks or swimming, a decision I was sad about at the time, but grateful for now, as our group did lose some valuables to the lake over the weekend. And really, it was nice to totally de-tech and enjoy not feeling the need to document everything. We had a crazy fun time, with lots of good food and relaxation. Neil took one picture that I think sums it all up:

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Kaycia on the couch-mobile Sunday morning. She’s so cute, this was the perfect picture to encompass how tired we all were at the end. I always feel that weekends like these come fewer and far between the older we get, and although I’m always happy to return to the sanity of our house and routine, it’s still fun to party and play hard when we’re able.

Speaking of getting older, in two weeks Neil is turning 30! He’s requested a float trip, and plans have been well underway for the past few months. Now I just have to figure out how to make sure there is birthday cake — any ideas?

How did you spend your holiday break?

Meeting Ree Drummond – Pioneer Woman Book Signing (St. Louis Edition)

By | blogging, Books, Cool Stuff, Food, Jessica | 11 Comments

Pioneer Woman Book Signing

I’ve been squealing online for weeks about the Pioneer Woman book signing that happened in St. Louis over the weekend. I’m not a crazed PW fan or anything, but when your freelance and grad school ambitions keep you from getting out much (read: keep you from getting out at all), you tend to get excited by almost anything out of the norm. I’m wearing clean socks today!

My best friends (Anja, Rachel and Liz) and I decided to make a FULL weekend of it, so we booked a hotel room and made the two-hour (five hours for Rachel and her friend Allison, that’s dedication) drive to St. Louis. Somewhere on that car ride we became the CIA, hell-bent on stalking our target and being FIRST in line. Nothing is worse than a book talk/signing and being the last in line and in the back. So after scoping out our target, the St. Louis Public Library, we grabbed lunch and headed back to what we thought would be no line.

We weren’t first. We were somewhere in the area of 30-35th in line.

Fail.

Apparently in the midst of our relaxed mall Mexican-fusion lunch and our sidetrack to Williams-Sonoma, we’d been compromised and beat to the punch by some really insanely loyal fans. I’m talking people bringing at least five books and a gift. A gift!? I thought that was a little strange. Don’t get me wrong, if Eddie Vedder showed up for a book signing, I’d bring a gift (the gift of ME. Sorry honey, celebrity encounter rule!), but it just seemed a bit, I don’t know, over the top? I’m not talking about trinkets either, I’m talking gift baskets. Google “Pioneer Woman Book Signing St. Louis, I dare you. She even apparently has haters, but I won’t even go there.

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So after waiting two hours in line, we finally filed into the library, conveniently cleared of patrons and lined with more chairs than I could capture with the camera.

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Pioneer Woman Book Signing

Look at the scowl on that woman’s face. I’m thinking she wasn’t so amused by my charm. Or my huge camera lens.

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The talk didn’t actually go that long, I think the people who weren’t there for the signing were kind of peeved. She was very shy and seemingly still baffled by her fame. She answered a few questions, and fielded a few to her husband, Marlboro Man, who had tagged along. Rachel was so impressed that they had driven to St. Louis because it meant they drove through Springfield to get there. In the true spirit of being Neil’s wife, I was just wondering what they had driven.

After the talk, they released us in groups to get our books signed. Here are the girls waiting after Marlboro Man had signed our books. I swear I saw an old lady try to cop a feel. Apparently his reverse side is quite famous?

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This girl is smug because she was first in line.

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And Rach…

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And all of us…

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And ME!

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Our signed copy.

In case you’re wondering, no, I haven’t read the book, Black Heels and Tractor Wheels, yet. It looks good, and it’s an incredibly gorgeous looking book. It’s even beautiful beneath the jacket it if any of you true bookworms decide to take a look. I typically save these books for travelling, and the next time that looks to be happening is June, though I might try to sneak some reading in here or there before then if I can manage it.

I had so much fun going to this event, for more reasons than just having the opportunity to meet Ree. Maybe some of you can relate, but I feel like blogging is sometimes the more socially acceptable alternative to being a Trekkie. Despite the fact that the Internet is so mainstream, there still seems to be a stigma surrounding those who meet, operate businesses and socialize online.

Maybe it’s because so much of my life and occupation involve technology, but I just don’t get it. I’ve met and maintained my best relationships online (including with Neil), and operate a business that has exploded over the past year because of Twitter and this blog. Some of my family and friends think I’m a bit strange for blogging, etc. but at events like this, everyone has a huge camera and a netbook, and you knew in an instant that they were there doing the same thing as you, and it’s thrilling! I don’t say it enough but thank you so much for continuing to read and watch us grow, and for giving us a community to feel a part of.

So on that note, are you reading any good books lately?

In a Fit of Nostalgia Today…

By | Goals, Jessica, Neil, Travel | 3 Comments

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I’m having one of those weepy nostalgic days. Neil got a new job. Not in one of our dream cities yet, but nonetheless an upgrade and a better opportunity than his current job affords at a price that makes the economy and all its stresses a little easier to breathe in. I’m grateful.

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In the midst of being so happy for him, I can’t help but think back to our first vacation. It was 2007, and we were dating long-distance at the time (3 hours apart), and the week-long trip to Florida to visit my sister was the most time we’d been able to spend together. It was like playing house in a dream-like state. Our little hotel room had a kitchen we made breakfast in, and waking up next to him for five whole days felt more amazing than I had ever dared myself to imagine. I cried for hours after he left. Nothing felt certain at that point.

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So on this day when we continue to dream big things for our lives and plan major milestones and the expectations that go along with them, I can’t help but think back to when the biggest dream we had was simply living in the same city and sharing a space every day. It’s so easy to let expectations fly and forget how far and from where you came. I feel like I do it all the time. Have you?

Our Healthified Thanksgiving Feasties

By | Cats, Clive, Holidays, Thanksgiving | 6 Comments

We had an incredible Thanksgiving down in Springfield with Neil’s family. Three wonderful days in the country with little connection to the outside world. Even though we are active bloggers, we value the precious little time we get off  and really took the holiday as a time-out for ourselves. We made no new blog posts, took no work with us, and instead pooled our hours into some much needed self-indulgence. We read books, watched movies, played video games and spent hours warming couches and cuddling with Clive and the cats. We also walked the many trails Neil’s dad has made on the property. So while you didn’t see any last-minute Thanksgiving food posts or some early Christmas cookies out of us, know that we are refreshed and ready to hit December running!

And now, on to our holiday! We had an awesome feast, all healthy recipes we kind of made up as we went along. The turkey was local, organic  and free-range that Neil’s mom got from someone who raises them, and it was perfectly smoked by Neil’s brother Ben. We had tons of sides and lots of fresh fruits and veggies to snack on. A perfect feast with a little something for everyone.

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Neil’s cousin Austin made his first latticed Apple Pie for Thanksgiving!

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It’s a skill every teenage boy should master don’t you think?

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Ladies, Austin is single and can lattice!

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A close-up just in case you weren’t already convinced.

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Deb’s baked sweet potato balls. I’m making them this weekend to share with you!

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My cranberry-orange sauce.

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I love watching cranberries pop!

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Working on my cranberry-artichoke stuffing…

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Our Thanksgiving Turkey, perfectly smoked by Neil’s brother Ben.

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Neil’s Red Wine Gravy, perfect as always!

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My corn and herbed mashed red potatoes, carefully atop every black-Friday ad.

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Deb’s cayenne and smoked paprika deviled eggs, Neil’s favorite.

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The guts of my cranberry-artichoke stuffing.

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Sliced Turkey.

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Fresh cold weather garden slaw. I just love the color.

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The finished cranberry-artichoke stuffing.

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Deb’s all-veggie stuffing. Mine had chicken stock.

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Freshly washed green beans in an antique collander.

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Neil’s mom does the snapping because she does it lightning fast.

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Fresh veggies for snacking.

My Plate

My heaping plate. Hey, it only happens once a year!

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Neil’s brother Ben ate the leg. It looked so funny on the plate I had to take a picture! I was actually kind of jealous, it looked really good.

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The required picture of Austin for his dad.

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Clive wore himself out just watching us cook.

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The desserts! Apple Pie and Neil’s mom’s super special rum cake. Special meaning she puts the rum in after the cake is baked.

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Neil’s dad’s first photobomb.

While we were cooking and eating, it actually started snowing, so we went outside to play after dinner with our cameras. Austin took these incredible shots. I’m envious of his lens collection!

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Snow, snow SNOW!

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ice covered all the branches…

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…some with leaves still on them.

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Grass poking through the snow.

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Clive looking out over the yard. It was his first snow and he loved it, despite loving neither wet or cold. His hypocrisy knows no bounds.

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Mimi from a perch.

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A shot of Lucy taking a sun nap on the porch.

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Perfect little crystallized flakes.

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A shot of Neil from the trails.

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A view of the setting sun from the front porch.

It was a perfect holiday that like so many are gone before you realize it. Before we knew it, it was Saturday and we were driving home to a mounting pile of emails and work. Ah well, Christmas is only a few weeks away right? Thanks again to Austin for taking all the wonderful photos for us to share!

How did you spend Thanksgiving 2010? Did you succumb to the turkey sleeps? Spend time outdoors?

First Blogging Conference in the Bag: Show Me the Blog St. Louis

By | blogging, Food, Friends, Photography, Travel | 7 Comments

Our Homemade Business Cards

Above: The homemade business cards I threw together right before the event.

I was finally able to attend my first blogging conference, Show Me the Blog, in St. Louis this past weekend. I won a free ticket via Kate at Capturing Como, an amazing local blog that covers the happenings of Columbia outside Mizzou. I can’t tell you how great it is having people in this town whose lives don’t revolve solely around football and tailgating. Columbia is definitely a lot more fun for me with her around.

Although it was a smaller gathering of local Missouri bloggers and social media gurus, I completely had a blast and believe I’ve finally caught the conference bug everyone keeps talking about. Going into it I really didn’t know what to expect. I am the most awkwardly shy person I know, especially when I’m around groups of people, which is mostly why I got into blogging in the first place. Meeting and interacting with bloggers in person was a lot easier than I thought it’d be and all the credit goes to them for being so awesome!

Rather than recount chronologically everything that happened between Friday afternoon when Kate picked me up and Saturday night when we finally headed home, I thought I’d recount some of the great people I met while I was there.

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The first speaker was Roshini Cope, author of Glamazini.com who spoke about “The Ten Commandments of a Successful YouTube Channel” Roshini is hilarious. There are just those people with natural comedic timing and a dynamic public speaking style and Roshini has them both. It’s unfair really. Her presentation was phenomenal and I learned so much. Who knew YouTube channels had so much power!? Okay you probably did, but I have totally underestimated it. See her conference recap here and be sure to check out her Youtube channel!

Melissa Gillam

Very rarely (VERY rarely) do I ever meet people who could very easily be long-lost good friends. Melissa Gilliam, author of Small Town Girl’s Guide and Marketing Director for the YMCA Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood not only gave an amazing speech about Non-Profits and the Implementation of Social Media and Social Networking (which is hugely relevant to what I do) but she likes good food, backpacking, and exploring rural Missouri for all of it. She also apparently has some famous boots now!

Food Blogger Panel

The informative food blogger panel. From left to Right: Angela Ortmann of STLWineGirl.com; Troika Brodsky, Communications Director for Schalfly Beer; Steff Pollack of CupcakeProject.com; and Abby Schwartz, Yelp St. Louis Community Manager

The F Bomber

Chris Reimer, Chief Marketing Officer of the Scorch Agency and owner of Rizzo Tees with his awesome F Bomb t-shirt. Chris started out like many of us do, trying to be practical and what most would consider to be a responsible, serious adult. His creativity however was undeniable and once the entrepreneurial bug bit him in 2007, Rizzo Tees was born. I have a feeling I’ll find some Christmas gifts there this year!

So there you have it, my very short abbreviated review. I could easily go on for hours, but I wanted to keep it short. There were so many great speakers and panel discussions. Check out the conference page for more info on all of them. Also, they’ve set up a Flickr for photos. I’ve also added them to a Twitter list, which I hope to grow as I connect with more people from the conference and St. Louis in general.

While I still have you though, I have to share this:

Flaming Sushi

Flaming Sushi! I kid you not. I’ve never seen anything like it. This is what happens when you live in a small town people. You are entirely too easily sold on anything that’s bright and shiny! Kate and I had fun in our post-conference race to hit every store we don’t have in Columbia, including a stop for sushi with local radio host Leslie (of Simon and Leslie in the Morning on 102.3 BXR if you’re local) and then a fiendish sprint through Trader Joe’s after they had technically closed the store. I came out well, though I regret not splurging on the dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

What did you do this weekend?

Oh the Fair!

By | Food | 4 Comments

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A few of our fair photos from 2007

The Minnesota State Fair starts today. It’s the best fair in the nation, and more than just Minnesotans think so. Although we don’t eat a lot of junk food, I have a weakness for cheese curds and homemade chocolate chip cookies, while I’m pretty sure Neil would subsist entirely on Pronto Pups if he had the option. Sadly, we won’t be able to make it this year, but we are planning to make some fair food this weekend, so check back next week!

What’s your favorite fair food?

Going-To-The-Sun-Road

By | Backpacking, Camping, Games, Jessica, Neil | 2 Comments

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I’ve totally neglected writing up the rest of our trip in Montana. Life since has been insane and I feel like I’ve been swept off my feet and am truly just along for the ride. Looking at the pictures though, I still can’t believe we were at Glacier, and how used to the surroundings you get, almost taking them for granted after a while. Our intended plans for Day 4 included an ambitious 8-hour hike to actually see the Glaciers. That was squashed when I woke up to my period that morning. Having endometriosis makes them highly unpredictable (let alone painful) and I didn’t want to have issues on such a long hike commonly evacuated because of bears. Remember that line in the movie Anchorman? I didn’t exactly want to test the myth.

So instead we decided to drive up Going-To-The-Sun road to do some short hikes and check out the scenery. First we started with another awesome breakfast. We had seen Anthony Bourdain eat Spam on his Hawaii episode. We both had never had it, but decided to give it a tray. Why not? It’s vacation, it’s not like we eat this stuff every day. Behold:

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Yup, Spam and Eggs. It’s right out of Monty Python’s classic bit. It doesn’t taste too bad, and like in No Reservations, I could see how it would be good in sushi. But alone? It’s a salt block. Either way, it filled us up for our drive up the mountain.

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I want to say that I did good most of the way up, at least until the vertigo hit. I have a nasty case of acrophobia (fear of heights). I’ve overcome it to a greater extent, at least I think so. We hiked Flat Top Mountain (over 11k feet) at RMNP on our honeymoon, but I still get super anxious around sheer drop-offs, and Going-To-The-Sun-Road has no shortage of them. It’s a really narrow road, in some areas a tight fit for two cars. It’s the only road that crosses through the park and over the Continental Divide, by way of  Logan’s pass.

I wish I could say we made it to the top, but I was sobbing  and a complete mess about 1 mile from the top so finally at one of the picture points, we turned around. I still feel terrible. Apparently it’s GORGEOUS at the top, but I become another person once acrophobia takes over, and I can’t control it. At all. I sob to the point of drooling, and there is snot all over my face. To say I’m whimpering would be an understatement, because I’m screaming in “what if” scenarios. I can’t even look out the window. On the way back down, once I composed myself and stopped white knuckling the seat, we stopped to see the river:

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Falls

We also checked out Hidden Lake, a short trail off Going-To-The-Sun Road. Yes it really was this green, and all the Photoshop in the world couldn’t tone it down.

Hidden Lake

That night I taught Neil to play Cribbage over s’mores. Cribbage is my all-time favorite card game. It’s actually part of the curriculum in a lot of Minnesota Public Schools because it’s a great dynamic thinking and counting game, perfect for kids…and adults! I think he likes it, though probably not as obsessively as me. I even have it on my phone!

Cribbage

My cheapie Dollar Store board just for camping.

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There is that point in any camping trip when you feel truly a part of the nature of things. Campfire and evergreens have permeated your clothing and hair, and you begin to feel like a “regular” around the campground. You’ve watched several overnight campers come and go, and people who are very obviously new to the game struggle with tents and where to get firewood. You don’t even mind anymore that you’re on day three without a shower. It’s an awesome feeling and the best part of camping for us. The feeling of belonging and mastery far from home. I’m craving it all over again!

Our fourth and final day in Montana coming up soon!