….went to a garden party 🎶🎶🎶🎶

sung in my very bestest Ricky Nelson voice 😉

Hi there,friends! 

We had been planning on going to the plant sale at Denver botanic gardens this weekend, but earlier last week we received an email inviting us to a pre-sale plant cocktail party. 

Plants, appetizers, wine? Yup! We were in! 

So… The email stated ‘ bring your own wagon’ 

Scott insisted  that we didn’t need a wagon. Probably since I don’t own a wagon. 

So we brought our tote bags instead ( heads up, by the end of this post you’ll realize I wish I had a wagon 😎)

  

First stop, white wine 🙂 

Second stop, fun nibbles…. Bourbon candy corn, Parmesan pizza bites, sweet potato chips ..

 

Lots of plant browsing..

More wine  

  

Bourbon chicken sliders, vegetable Stromboli

  View from the bench where we ate and discussed the plants that we needed wanted …

 

We watched the skies..

 

  

Ate some cookies..

  

   

Bought some plants…

  

Waited in line for 1/2 hour.. ( where they served us more wine and nibbles) 

  Happy, happy girl 🙂 

Ps… Last chance to enter the Giveaway!

buying and storing bulk foods

Good morning 😉

Since moving to Colorado, I’ve found that I have much more access to buying foods in bulk ( beans, nuts, dried fruit,rices, spices) <—  made a little rhyme for ya 😉

 

Not that I didn’t back in Plymouth ( most health food stores have bulk bins and for the most part, they are far more affordable than buying pre- packaged.

So you grab your plastic bag, scoop your ingredients , place a tag with the PLU of ingredient in the bag and write it on the tag

( I know you know how to do this…  but I have something cool to share that I just figured out yesterday .. grab a cup of tea and stay tuned)

 

bulk itemshere is Saturday’s haul

Yellow peas

White beans

Pistachios ( they were on sale)

Himalayan sea salt

Brown Lentils

Peanuts ( SOOO much cheaper than buying a jar! )

Golden raisins ( used in the kale salad that I made to go with this and that I’m making this

Slivered almonds

 

I have a huge infatuation with ball jars. It’s the inner 1950’s housewife in me.  I also love to reuse interesting jars from pre-packaged food.

I have actually purchased items in the past based on the fact that I loved the packaging and would re use the jar for years to come

 

strawberry-basil vinegarsee the jar that I used to store  Strawberry-basil home- made vinegar … that was a salad dressing bottle  ( I make my own most of the time ) but I seriously loved the jar and knew It would become part of my collection!

 

here’s my new Tip..  I usually try to empty the bags of goods the same way that I scooped it in, through the big wide opening.

Which is WAY bigger the the mouth of the ball jar, and most of the time ends with lentils and chick peas rolling all over the kitchen floor.

Until… I thought of this bulk itemsusing kitchen shears, cut a small triangle int the bottom of the bag. Place the hole into the mouth of your storage jar and it acts like a funnel and will filter down into your jar with no runaways!

 

The only thing that it didn’t work on were the raisins. They were tactile enough that they stuck to the inside of the bag. For those I just cut the bag down the center and using clean hands, scooped them into the jars.

ball jars storage

I’m really lucky to have an open shelving area in my kitchen; But this is not necessary. In my old house I had a bookshelf that I re- purposed to be my grains & beans shelf.beans and grains

 

so no recipe today, just a little tip that I figured out this weekend and i wanted to share.

 

speaking of sharing… allow me to share this amazing Colorado sunset with you!

 

colorado sunsetnamaste, friends 🙂

painted dreams

I’m painting Ali’s room ( with a super- fun idea… More info to come soon 🙂 and it just occurred to me how much of what is happening right now is truly a dream come true .

More to come soon. I’ve been struggling with WordPress this week. I have a bunch of partial posts … Don’t be surprised if a whole bunch come at once

Lots of pics soon! I’ve been going non stop unpacking and decorating ..

House tour soon!

Oxox

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weekend snapshot part 2

So I left you at Saturday night. I forgot to mention that we did a little furniture window shopping saturday afternoon, We currently have 2 sectionals, one in our living room and one in our finished basement .

Our new house is considerably smaller than our current house so we need to do major downsizing ( which is perfectly ok by me ) neither of our sofas will fit in our new living room so we will be selling one, and buying a smaller sofa.

I found one that I really liked. The floor model had it in off white ( which I loved) but with a black haired dog, I new it wasn’t practical. ( isn’t it protocol for empty – nesters to run out and buy a white sofa 😉 ). Just kidding….actually, I’m not.. I loved the white but It also comes in a granite color, so I think that’s what we will go with.

At first Scott liked it, then he said he didn’t ( I think he was just razzing me) but in the end he sent me the dimensions of the living room to make sure it will fit.

He had to go into the office on Sunday, so I was on my own. Which was ok, because I had developed either a

Head cold
Allergies
Sinus infection or
Altitude issues.
Or maybe a little bit of each …

either way, it really knocked me down. I’m sure the fact that I’ve been going a mile a minute for 6 weeks then just stopped didn’t help

I spent the day cleaning the apartment, doing laundry, dishes and going through magazines for decorating ideas and checking out websites for ideas.
All while watching 80’s movies in the background.

It was actually fun to clean the small space! Almost like playing house 😉

I have 2 Queen Anne chairs that I love, but the slipcovers are worn. Like beyond saving- worn.
But the slipcovers themselves are soo expensive! I did a little research and I think I’m going to attempt making my own slipcovers. Ill make a prototype using inexpensive fabric to start and if all goes well, then ill splurge on a fabric that I like. * wish me luck!!*

I’ve been looking at fabric collections and found a few that I really like!

 

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I love co-ordinating fabrics and how they can feel so cozy.

The other thing that I’m going to do Is attempt roman shades ( also in coordinating fabric) for my kitchen. I did a lot of reading on how to make them and again, I think I can…. I think I can… I think I can……..

We also need to do some re arranging of our bedroom sets. Ali’s set won’t fit in her room. My current thought is to keep the dresser and nightstand and desk ( all white) but put her full headboard away and get her a twin white headboard instead.

Scott’s armoire won’t fit in our room so my thought is to put it in Ryan’s room and find a full wooden headboard that coordinates and use Ali’s full mattress in there.

I’m going to start hitting up yard sales and furniture consignment shops this weekend.

Monday I went back to super target to buy groceries for Scott since he doesn’t have a car there once I leave ( something else we are trying to figure out)

I went back to the apartment and made home a big batch of kale soup for a few dinners,

 

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and stocked his freezer and cabinets with food for the next 3 weeks.

Our open house went well .. Our real estate agent said there was lots of positive feedback, which is nice considering how hard I worked to get the house to where it is now.

By the time you read this I will be home and ready to hit the ground running again. I have. Furniture to bring to a consignment store, as well as sports equipment, clothes, etc…..

In the next 6 weeks I will have

Bought a house in Colorado
* hopefully* sold a house in Massachusetts ( updated… We are under contract!!!!)
Shipped my beloved Zola to Colorado
Have Ali’s senior prom
Cheer Ali and lex on as they walk 40 miles for breast cancer
Have all of my kids home for 1 week ( graduation week)
Watch my daughter graduate high school
Celebrate Scott and my 24 th wedding anniversary
* hopefully* find a place for Ali and I to live for June and July
Remember to breathe 😉

I’m starting right now with that last one. The only way I’m getting through all of this is one day at a time.

As I leave I just wanted to share this pic. The events at the finish line of the Boston marathon hit too close to home. I had friends sitting in the stands where one of the bombs that did not go off were found. Too scary. And the crazy manhunt and additional death and injury of the policemen.. There are no words…

Even though I’m ready to make a new life in the Rocky Mountains, my heart will always be in Boston …

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weekend snapshot part 1

Hiya friends and family! Here I am from 30,000 feet in the air again ( I think I’m getting used to this 😉 )

 

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Since I told you all I was going to use this blog as a way to share in this life-changing experience I thought I’d take these 2,000 miles to chat with you

* breathe, Sista, breathe * it’s less than 4 hours from Denver to Boston 🙂

Smooch!

I arrived Thursday night to a very hungry Scott waiting for me. I barely had time to put down my luggage and we were off to eat dinner at the restaurant that is attached to his corporate apartment, Earl’s. If you are friends with me on Facebook then you saw the picture that I posted. Although I that he is getting tired of eating at Earl’s, I just love it!

 

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On the second floor the windows come out, making it almost a balcony to the outside. Earls overlooks 16th mall which is an entire cobblestone street where no cars are allowed, just a motorized shuttle that goes up and down the street all day long. In the center of the street are little food carts, chess tables, and in the summer colorful pianos everywhere encouraging anyone to play at any time. There are stores and restaurants lining the entire length of the street . It’s got a super- fun vibe!

This was the first time that I ate there with the windows open.. And even though there was a blizzard the day before, it was still comfortable because they have heating lamps that shine down on the tables, so you have that fresh,crisp air with the warmth of the lamps.

I had the chicken tacos. In fact I’ve been there 3 times and always order the chicken tacos. Thy are made with soft corn tortillas, shredded chicken, corn, Mexican cheese and pico de gallo. Served with a side salad that has basil shreds mixed in as well as fresh mozzarella! Yum !

The other thing that I like about eating there is that they have Dreaming Tree wines by the glass or bottle. Dreaming Tree wines are wines made at a vineyard owned by Dave Matthews! The labels of the wines are drawn by Dave and the names of the wines are titles of his songs. ( Scott is a huge DMB fan). But here’s the thing… The wines are really really good!!

It was a wonderful welcome to my new city.. And let me tell you, I was exhausted. It was so much work getting our house not only listed, but spotless and I left for a week one way, the girls left another direction, and having it be perfect for an open house that was this weekend.

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On Friday Scott had to work, so once I slept in I went to the gym, then ventured out to drive by my new HOME!

It looked all purty sitting there 😉

Then I went to whole foods to get some healthy food ( I’ve been very bad with my eating habits lately and it shows… I’ve vowed to change this)

So I walked Into the store, and the funniest thing happened, I got . Nervous. Really nervous.. Like this is where I will be shopping a lot ( for the sales,produce and lentils). I actually had a little panic attack! Weird, eh?

I bought some tea, veggies, apples, lentils, kombucha ( they had a local hibiscus and elderberry flavor) eggs and milk for tea.

I went back to the apartment and enjoyed a ( well- deserved ) quiet afternoon.

On Saturday, Scott and I once again ventured to our new neighborhood, parked the car ( were from Boston. So we paaaakkked the caaaa) and walked to a cute little coffee shop called Wash Perk. Then we walked. And walked and walked. 6.5 miles actually. Just trying to get the lay of the land, time out distance to places that we will be going to. The fact that it was 66 degrees didn’t hurt. It was such a beautiful day in the park. I found myself really missing Fenway 😦

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can you beat this view????

 

We walked to a pizza place for lunch. They have wood- fired pizza and calzones and amazing salads! It was fun to eat alfresco and watch all of the people walking by!

 

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We then went to super-target to buy wine ( YES , our new Targeee the French store sells wine!) and a few odds and ends for the apartment ( laundry detergent, tt, paper towels, etc….)

Am I boring you yet? I know none of this sounds all that exciting but since its all new to me, I’m just tickled 🙂

Saturday night we walked down to LoDo, which is short for lower downtown. There are white lights strung above the streets from telephone pole to telephone pole.

 

 

IMG_0841So pretty!! We had a
fabulous Mediterranean meal at Rioja and enjoyed the walk to and from. He bought me the cookbook from the restaurant and the chef/ owner. Chef Jen signed it for me! We had a Spanish white wine and I had the artichoke and goat cheese ravioli . They were like little pillows that melted in your mouth… And now, I have the recipe!!!! Who wants to try some???

It may seem like we are eating out a lot, and we are, but Scott has a dining budget and he has not been using it so that he could wait until I was there and we could enjoy together.. We took advantage of it while we could, but once we close on our new house ( 2 weeks from tonight) that will be no more.

More about the weekend soon !

aaaaaaand………..

We bought a house!!! A very adorable house 3 miles from Scott’s office! ( after 20 plus years of a minimum of 1.5 hour commute each way.. This is very exciting for us!!! )

We went into this process with a few things on our wish list. Some were negotiable, some were not
non- negotiable

1-it had to be at least 3 bedrooms. It was very important to us that both Ryan and Ali have their own rooms when they come home from college. Not that we don’t adore Jay and Amanda.. But they have their own home …. There is always room for them, and they know that . Our new house has a completely finished basement with full bath and fireplace… *read.. Jamanda’s home away from home*

2-location! Location location location. This was key for us. We could change any part of a house to make it ‘ours’ but location is not one of them. Denver has many parks and I desperately wanted to be walking distance from a park. Not only is our new home only 2 blocks from a beautiful park, but its also walking distance to whole foods!!! ( my favorite store <3)

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3- walk-ability… I know this kind of ties in with #2 but I’ve always wished for a house that I can walk out my door and go somewhere without having to drive .

4- yard. This one is kind of funny . Our house in Massachusetts has an enormous yard.. And scott mows it once a week to the tune of about 3 hours ..( I’ve always joked that he’s in training for his retirement job of being a groundskeeper at Fenway park… Ryan thinks we are going to become potato farmers… Who knows?). Once we started looking and found how ridiculously small the yards are In the area we were looking, then it became a must that the yard was big enough for Fenway to play . This house not only has a fenced in yard, but a poop area for her off to the side annnnd….

 

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A doggy door!!!! I know!!!!. How adorable!!!!!

 

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I’ve shown Fenway pics…. She approves 🙂

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5- character. We wanted an older home … Our new home was built in 1926 and still has some original glass and woodwork as well as built-ins!!! I’m in love :). There is a small brick room perfect for creating a reading nook. Now I need suggestions from all of you on what books I should read .. ( or perhaps write????;) )

 

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6- a front porch.. This wasn’t a deal-breaker but I really really was hoping for a front porch. I’m an old soul at heart and was secretly hoping this wish would come through. Not only does it have a front porch.. But it has a porch swing!!!!

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So
Darn
Cool!!!

7-Parking… For those of you in the northeast this may sound strange.. But many houses don’t have off- street parking. We not only have a small garage ( for storing the jeep hard tops) but 2 off street parking spots. The garage is behind the house in an alley way with the parking spots right next to it ..

8- also not a deal- breaker, but I was hoping for a designated sewing area .. This house has a bedroom on the first floor that is now going to be my quilting room!!! I have a very talented neighbor who has quilting for many many years. Her husband built her a custom sewing table and I just love it. I asked him if I could pay him to build me one and he had a proto-type I his basement that he made to bring along to quilting shows so that people could custom order. He is putting the finishing touches on it and selling it to me !!!! Finally,… My sewing machine can come off of the dining room table… And I can finally finish Scott’s quilt from 6 years ago!!!

We are downsizing considerably and weeding through a lot of stuff and giving things away to those that we love. I have a wide variety if emotions that I’m going through .. It’s been a crazy year and to think how different life will be in 6 months just blows my mind…

A lot of things will be sooo different for us living in Colorado.. We’ve always lived in New England near the ocean.. But we are super- excited about our new adventure !!

Btw— sorry about the italics.. I’m typing on the iPad from 30,000 feet in the air and I can’t figure out how to change it and my teenagers aren’t with me to help..,

Thanks friends, for reading about our journey .. I’m looking forward to getting back in the kitchen and cooking!! I’ve been sooo busy cleaning and staging our house in Massachusetts to get ready to sell and as of 5 pm yesterday it’s on the market! Pulling into my driveway to see the sign in the front yard was a bit of a shock, but its part of moving on…

Much love—
Shel

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