ibotta…  money-saving app…  put cash back in your pocket!

howdy, friends!   Since it’s Friday I thought it might be nice to share a great way to save money. ( so you can spurge a little over the weekend ) 

****Scratch that.   It’s taken me ALL weekend to write this!!  *****

It’s called ibotta. And it’s free. And I’ve saved almost $100 in a year! 

You need to have a smartphone with a camera.  

You start by creating a free account. You can build a ‘team’, or join one ( bigger bonuses for everyone on your team ) .. But we will come back to that .

Think of it as an instant electronic mail in rebate 

  

Start by opening the app.  It senses where you are and will let you know what is near you.  For purposes of this post, going to use grocery. 

  

We are shopping at target. Click on ‘target’. It will take you to the current offers 

  

Once you click on the store, it will show you which offers are available. 

See that cheese? We are going to buy it 

  

Once you click on it, you’ll be asked to either watch a very short video (15 seconds or so ) or to take a quick quiz 

( like, have you tried this product before?) 

  

Using your camera, you line up the barcode in the box.  It automatically scans the code

  For items with out a barcode, you skip the scanning step ( but not the ‘unlock the code’ step) 

  

When you have all of the items on you list, click ‘verify purchases’   

 

Scan the barcode and then click verify purchases ( this ensures you are buying the right product) 

  

Once you get the green check mark, you need toclick capture receipt 

  

Line it up and take the photo. Then click submit receipt 

 

That’s it! As long as they can read your recipe ( I’ve only had one issue..  So I save receipts until I know for sure..  I re submitted it and it went through no problem ) 

The money gets deposited into your account! Presto! 

For online purchases it’s a little bit different . 

Start by clicking on the store 

 

  

 

Click the unlock the code buttons

  

Once codes are unlocked, click redeem .  It will give you the option to go immediately to their website to shop or to email a code for later 

* very important… You MUST shop through the link via ibotta, otherwise the rebate won’t work*

  

Simply shop! The rebate will be automatically added to your account once you shop !  In my experience, the online rebates take a few extra days to show up, but they always do.  You just have to make SURE you shop through the link provided. 

Questions?   How about how do I get my buckaroos? 

  

 

There are many ways to cash in. They have partners and have more being added all the time.   Simply click ‘ cash out’ and click what you would like.  I’ve earned over $80 at Amazon alone! 

When I cashed in my bucks for Amazon, they immediately emailed me a e certificate and I was ordering my goodies on Amazon with in seconds!

Soooo….. What have I missed?   Ibotta is in SO many stores! 

Home Depot

Target

Petsmart

Sephora

Whole foods

Walmart

Vitamin world 

Express

Aeropostale

Walgreens

Kohls

Kmart

Macy’s

Toys r us 

Costco

Best buy

Joann fabrics

Hobby lobby 

Michaels 

Chicos

Charlotte Russe

Soma

Jc Penney 

Nordstrom

Lands end

Toms

Zumba.com

Under armour

Restaurants

Chills

  

 

Hooters

‘ any restaurant’ 

TGIFridays

Quiznos

Applebee’s 

Olive Garden 

Outback Steakhouse 

Red lobster 

Buffalo Wild Wings 

Travel

Orbitz

BEER! 

WINE! 

FTD.com

1-800 flowers

Magazines.com 

How can you resist this? 

Any other questions? Ask!

If you want to join my team enter the code

 ‘ qzjbiy’ 

when you sign up via the app.   Of course, you don’t need to join my particular team, but the bigger the team the more bonuses everyone on the team receives! 

I get a rebate everytime I buy 

Milk

Eggs

Bread

Fresh produce.

Makeup

The list goes on and on. ..

Let me know if I can explain anything else! 

* although the ibotta app was designed here in Denver, I have zero affiliation with the company.  I am just really impressed with how well this works and I do love to save me some bucks! *

ryan’s quilt

good morning, friends 🙂 

Today I’m sharing my latest finished quilt.  My entire family is very intense hockey fans.  Seriously…  We live and breathe it. 

My middle child, Ryan, asked me for a Colorado Avalanche themed quilt. I had purchased the fabric last summer. And like many of my projects, it sat in my sewing room.  Until last month. 

I thought it would be fun and extra-special if I actually  made it and surprised him by having it finished and waiting on his bed when he came home from college! 

I could have just used pre printed fabric to make it, but he’s 22 and I was not wanting a ‘kiddie’ looking quilt. 

Here’s what I came up with 

  

 

Avalanche colors! 

  Sneak panel of ‘official’ fabric on the back 

  

Not quite sure why these pics are so watercolor-y….  I’ll have to see if I can fix it.  

I’m always in such a better place when I’m creating 🙂 

Oh.. And in the Jerk seasoning giveaway

Congratulations Amy!  Your seasoning will be on its way! 

Oxox

one pot roast chicken with vermouth sauce 

hiya friends! 

I’ve been roasting chickens for what feels like my whole life…..  It’s such a homey meal and I’m positively addicted to Making bone broth with the leftover bones.

But the mess after roasting a chicken. Oiy. Vey. The cleanup was never something that I look forward to. 

For about the last year, I’ve been roasting a tad differently, and it’s worked great for me, cleanup is almost nothing, and well, it’s just awesome 

ONE POT ROAST CHICKEN WITH VERMOUTH SAUCE 

1- 4-5 pound chicken, giblets removed

1/2 onion, roughly chopped

2 carrots ( no need to peel) rough chop 

1 celery stock, rough chopped ( I didn’t use in this recipe, but I usually do ) 

Sea salt and pepper 

Flour ( I like brown rice flour ) 

1/2 cup dry vermouth 

1/4-1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth 

Meat thermometer ( under 10 at most stores) 

**Cast iron skillet 

Start by preheating over to 425 degrees.   

Salt and pepper both inside and outside of chicken 

Place all veggies in cast iron skillet 

  I’ve thrown in a few over ripe tomatoes here….  Not necessary, but added another layer of flavor. 

That’s the fun part of this recipe.. Use what you have, make it your own.   You can add fennel bulb, parsnips, lemon, Potatoes..  Herbs..  Have fun with it! 

Place seasoned chicken on top of chopped veggies, strategically placing so that there is a little bit of space underneath 

  

Place in preheated oven and roast for about 20 minutes, until crust looks brown and crispy.   Turn temp down to 325 and continue to roast until thermometer inserted in deepest part of thigh ( without touching the bone ) reads 165. ..  

( juices Should run clear, not pink,from where you insert thermometer) 

Using potholders, remove pan from oven.  

 

* here’s a napkin for you * 😉 

Let rest for a few minutes, then carefully transfer chicken to cutting board, allowing it to rest longer. 

Making the sauce…….  

Using a slotted spoon, remove veggies and set aside. 

Drain all but about 1-2 tablespoons of accumulated fat. Add flour and using a fork or whisk,  mix flour and fat together until it looks crumbly.  Stir mixture continuously for about a minute, 

Turn heat off, add vermouth slowly mixing the whole time, then turn heat back on to medium, and allow to thicken. Add broth a little bit at a time, until desired thickeness. 

  

(Ps… You are  Cleaning the pan as you go!) 

You can serve the sauce like this, but for a smoother sauce, strain through a fine-mesh strainer, using a spatula to get out every last bit . 

  

Cut the chicken breast off each side In one pieces, then slice vertically.   Remove wings and legs. 

Serve with sauce and veggies! 

Finished photo here

Simply rinse your cast iron skillet under warm water, using a brush to remove any last bits, wipe down with a pair towel and brush with a little bit of oil.   

Cleanup done! 

***. Cast iron skillets…  

Ove my years I have used many different kinds of cookware,   In my opinion, there is none superior to the same thing our grandparents used, cast iron. 

They are inexpensive, ( under 20 at your local hardware store) 

They do need to be seasoned, but this is easy and once you do it properly, you should rarely have to do it again 

You can also find them at yard sales ( I would love to have know this magic earlier, because I would have treasured a cast iron skillet from either mine or my husbands’ grandparents ) 

Don’t let rust on a pan at a sale  scare you! You can easily scrub it off, and re season.  A cast iron skillet should last forever! 

Never ever, ever use soap on the skillet.  This is so important . 

Seriously….  This might be the best 20 bucks you’ll spend in your kitchen! 

Save all of your bones and scraps… Next up.. Fail-proof stock! 

trader joes cinnamon school house cookies

A 44-year old woman should not be having this much fun with cookies

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🙂

thanksgiving 2014

How on Earth is it Thanksgiving time already? I swear it just turned y2k..

Like yesterday… right?

For those of you who have been reading for awhile, you may recall that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not only the day itself, but the days leading up to the feast.

Life has changed drastically for us in the last few years, and the excitement of my whole family coming over is no longer a reality since we live so far away from any family.

I’m grateful this year that our youngest child was able to travel home for the week. She arrived from Providence last Saturday, and it’s been great to just have her here

My RYAN is halfway across the world studying in Scotland for a semester, and jamanda will be in Florida celebrating together. We will be missing the three of
them so much

This time of year can be very exciting, but also very depressing, depending of what the earlier part of your year had in store for you.

I have many friends and family going through tough times for one reason or another. It makes me sad, and I think about their individual situations a lot.

It makes me really stop and appreciate the little things in life, even when I think I’m having a bad day.

As we go forth in this holiday season, just take a second to think of others’ and send good wishes, whatever method works for you.

Tomorrow is big cooking day ( click the above Thanksgiving link if you have no idea what I’m talking about)

I decided to start a little early this year. I picked up my bird ( tiny.. 10 pounds… How do I even cook a turkey that small?) and made my brine IMG_1080.JPG

I’ve been BRININGfor about 10 years, and wouldn’t dream of skipping this important step.

There are so many reasons to do so.. I can elaborate if you’d like..

One of the coolest reasons? IMG_1082.JPG

I brine in this cooler.. I bought specifically for this purpose.. And what’s super-cool about this? My turkey never ever goes into the fridge! It frees up all of that precious fridge real – estate!

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Here’s this years’ bath 😁 ( with my yittle bird in there)

I’ve roasted the chestnuts

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And getting ready to peel them for dressing #1 tomorrow

I’ve made my creamed onions ( my favorite! )

And I’ve made my CRANBERRY SAUCE.. Although this year I made it in my vitamix… And it was awesomely easy and perfect!

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This years’ cranberry sauce is extra-special….

I received a knock on the door yesterday and a neighbor was holding a package addressed to me. It was from a dear friend, Laurie ..

Laurie sent me 2 pounds of organic cape cod cranberries and Eastham turnip! THANK YOU, Laurie! Oxox

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I am so grateful, as It was hard to find Massachusetts cranberries (which I’ve eaten my whole life ). ( last year my mom sent me some last mintue.. Thanks, mom! )

The other thing that I couldn’t find last year was Bell’s seasoning.. Something else With which I’ve grown up.

It took me 5 stores… But guess what I found today!!!

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It may not seem like a big deal, but to me it truly is.

I’m very exciting to make my two stuffings tomorrow!

I think in an overwhelming way I am thankful for not only my family, but my friends as well. I have some pretty fantastic friends, from all stages of my life. I have friends that I haven’t seen in almost 30 years, ( Wowzers!) and yet, we chat like it was just yesterday.

I have friends who are always there, regardless of time zone differences, and that I truly can talk to about anything, and vice-versa.

I have friends that I’ve met in the last year that I can’t imagine not having in my life. I look forward to spending time with everyone.

I have friends who have had layovers at DIA and because we are so close to the airport, I’ve been able to visit with them

I even had the pleasure of traveling to Austin this past September to stand next to a friend as she married the love of her life…. I’ve been friends with for years, but did not actually meet face to face until her wedding dress rehearsal!

If you know me then you know that I am who I am.

And I am truly blessed.

I’m working hard to keep TRADITION alive, despite all of our recent changes…

Like I said in my post about traditions ( click tradition link if I’ve lost you ) .. You don’t really realize when they are happening..

And in the same way, you don’t realize how dramatically we go through the stages of our lives until we are far into the next stage.

As always, thanks for reading. I’d love to hear some of your families’ traditions 🙂

Oxox
Michelle

would you like to win a quilt?

would you?   I can help 😉   8 years ago, my sister and I  began to walk in the avon walk for breast cancer 40 miles.. 2 days   My girl was always there on the sidelines ….  best cheerleader  EVER! best cheerleader ever!A few years   Ali and I at the end of  40 mileslater, when Ali & my niece , Alexis were 16 ( minimum age to walk ) Our team doubled!   team pinkteenieshere we are at the end of day 1   Over the years we have raised ( as a team) over $36,000 in hopes to find a cure for this deadly disease! for the past few years I have made a quilt each year to raffle as my main fundraiser.

 

pink raffle quilt

my first raffle quilt

 

 

Breast Cancer Raffle quilt

 

and another….

 

raffle quilt

and another….

 

raffle quilt

 

 

 

and another…

 

 

raffle quilt

 

 

 

 

and this one wasn’t a raffle quilt, but a quilt for my little niece , Kalli

 

Kalli's quilt

 

for many reasons,we walked together last year for our last time.

 

This January, Ali called me and told me that she wanted to walk again this year. You see, we started walking all of those years ago because our neighbor, Fran sadly lost her battle with breast cancer.

 

Neither of us knew her very well, but that didn’t matter. It affected us both quite profoundly.

Last year my Stepsister, Audra was diagnosed as well.

 

Sadly, I could fill this page with names of friends and friends of friends who have been affected.

 

Ali said, ” mom, I need to walk this year. It’s too important, even if I have to walk alone.”

She signed up and within hours, her best friend , Colleen did as well, and a few weeks later, their friend, Amanda joined them as well.

Three high school best friends who , despite  the workload of being  freshmen in college, have decided to fundraise and walk 40 miles in 2 days

 

six chicks

in their ‘friend group’, 3 are walking, 3 are cheering

 

So I have offered to make a lap- sized ( the size that the above pictured quilts are )  or Crib sized quilt to be raffled off as a way to help them with their fundraising.

I will do it the way that i did last year, which is sell the tickets now, with 100% of the proceeds going directly toward their walk.

Using rafflecoptor I will choose a winner at random the Friday before the walk.

 

The winner will have their choice of colors and style/ design of quilt to be made… as well as a personalized label on the back of the quilt.

 

I will have it finished and shipped to the lucky winner by mid- summer !

 

Tickets are $5 a piece or $25 for 6 tickets.

any amount will help them.  Even if you just buy one ticket!

 

If you are interested in helping these young ladies, you can click on their link, donate directly into their account ( via credit card) then leave me a comment in the comment section below, On the girls’ team facebook page , barefootgirl in the kitchen‘s facebook page, or send me an email, barefootgirl27@me.com, just to make sure that I have you properly entered into the raffle.

( all donations are fully tax- deductible)

 

Alison’s page ( click link to bring you directly to her page)

 

Colleen’s page

 

Amanda’s page

 

I hope that you’ll consider purchasing a ticket and helping these motivated girls.  and if you do, you might just be lucky enough to win a custom quilt in time for chilly fall  evenings!

 

and if you happen to know of anyone who would be interested in this, please consider sharing … it doesn’t take but a second to share, and every dollar counts!

 

oxox

michelle

the ryan story

so many bloggers these days are writing the ‘birth stories’ of their children.  While I think ( personally ) that sometimes there is too much info out there, I also think that having the story of one’s grand entrance into this world, is something that , if documented properly, can be something to be shared for years to come.

21 year ago today, I gave birth to my second child. back then, there weren’t blogs ( that i know of) we did not have a computer nor, computer access) ahhhhh.. the simpler days..

 

The night before Ry was born ( and early the next day) is by far one of my greatest memories. In fact, many times ( like in the 1,000s) I will often in my own head relive that entire experience.

here goes.

Ryan was not due until late May. I had my appointment with my doctor early in the afternoon. It was a Thursday, the Thursday before Easter Sunday.

Sparing you the details, he told me that my baby would most likely be born early and to not dismiss any signs of early labor; he felt like the baby was not in any danger, therefore not bed rest or hospitalization like when I was later pregnant with  Ali

point taken.

I left the office excited and nervous. I stopped at Friendly’s for an ice cream cone. Toasted almond fudge in a sugar cone. It was sooo good.

I drove home to get Jason off of the bus and realized that I still had not finished Ryan’s car seat.

When Jason was a baby, car seats were not mandatory.In fact, his car seat didn’t even have a seat belt attached!

This was back in the day when money was uber-tight, Scott was working full-time and working on his masters’ degree at night, 5 days a week. He’d leave at 5am and get home at 11:00 pm. This is where our family tradition of scrambled eggs at midnight began. Eggs were cheap, and Scott and I ate scrambled eggs in bed while catching up on the day probably 3 nights of the week.

anyhooo.. I picked up a car seat from a thrift store a few weeks prior, and took the seat cover apart, made a pattern our of it, and found fabric n sale to re- the cover.

when I got home that afternoon, I decided that i should work on it. It was a good thing that I did.

I texted Scott to tell him what the doctor said.. ( that was a funny… there was no texting, there were no cell phones)

Scott’s answer, ” He can’t be born this weekend, I have a study group and a final!”

HA! trying to tell a baby when it will be born is like.. well, it’s like something 🙂

fast forward to 8 pm that night. I started feeling some signs of labor. We were about to watch 90210. I took the clock off of the wall and began timing contractions. They were quite regular, but manageable.  He said that if I still had them when the show was over, we could call the doc.

When the show was over, I was still having them. Scott said, ” are you sure you are in labor? you don’t look all crazy and breathing weird like the women on TV” ahh.. another one of Scott’s silly statements.

Now, this was our second child, but circumstances were quite different with Ry.

WE called the doc, He said to come in, Scott called him mom, I called mine and we dropped Jason off at our neighbors house.

On the way to the hospital, Scott said that he felt like we were wasting a trip. HA!

They got me all settled in my room, and sure enough, I was in labor. Scott was watching Johnny Carson and Cheers Reruns. I felt pretty good, all things considering.  Shortly after midnight I started to have some intense cramping, so the gave me something for the pain.

Which sped up the labor, and seconds later, they told me to push. I was in shock. I remember asking them ,” already? I haven’t  been here that long”

 

now this is the interesting part.  Ry wasn’t expected until the end of May. When I went into labor, I never thought about the date. At all.  Until I began to push… and out of the blue, I looked at Scott and said, ” I’m giving birth on the same day that my meme did” I didn’t think of this ahead of time, It was the strangest thing that all of a sudden I thought of this.

You see, my Uncle Ricky was born on April 8th and at 12:24 am, Ryan entered the world.

He was tiny, yet perfect.

 

and I had just had the pain meds kick in. and let me tell you, I thought I was beautiful. Like unbelievably beautiful. And i told everyone. I men EVERYONE .. “look at me, I’m sooo beautiful! I just gave birth and I’m sooo beautiful!

Let me tell you, I saw pictures later.. and I was anything but beautiful.

 

My mom and sister were at the hospital, they brought us Dunkin donuts. I ate a glazed munchkin.

Scott never called his parents back because he was afraid he’d wake them. What he found out later was that my Mother in law spent the night awake waiting for a phone call.

Silly boy.

Scott went home in the morning and picked Jason up from our neighbor to bring him up to see us. My neighbor later told me that he slapped the Polaroid of Ryan on the table as proud as can be, stating, ” he’s a beautiful, healthy baby boy”

 

( yeah, no cell phone, no instant camera, no digital.. good ol fashioned Polaroid.)

newborn ryan

 

6 perfect pounds.

Big brotherIMG_3934so proud!

 

Ryan and jasonwe went home the Friday before Easter, Good friday. I remember panicking that Jason would wonder why the Easter bunny wouldn’t have had a basket for his new baby brother.

 

The bunny ended up coming up with a great idea of filling a baby bottle with jelly beans 😉

I remember my mother in law telling me the story of my sister-in-law,Karen  going to her house the Friday morning and when my mother-in-law stated, ” Ryan has arrived” My sister-in-law said, ” Ryan who? ”

It had all happened so fast that family members didn’t know he had arrived until he was already here.

 

Now I mentioned that my sister was at the hospital with my mom. That’s because even though Jodie and Scott’s younger sister , Kristin were away at college, they were both home for easter weekend, so everyone got to meet Ryan 🙂

 

and Scott made his study group AND aced his final 😉

michelle and Ryan

see… I told you I wasn’t as beautiful as I thought!

 

but Ryan was all of that and more.

newborn Ryan

 

21 years ago today, this little boy became my soul mate ❤

 

 

weekend away.

Good news! Scott and I have survived our first full week as empty nesters!   C’mon, you have to admit, it’s kind of funny that we are in our 40’s and that we have never lived alone.  Until now.

of course there’s fenway too, but I’m starting to think that she thinks I’m boring without any kids to pick on 😉

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but seriously now, I saw a billboard over the summer that boasted ” Snowmass Balloon Festival”  It showed all sorts of beautiful balloons effortlessly floating amongst the back drop of Autumn tinted mountains.  When I looked up the dates, and the rates of the hotel rooms and found that it was actually affordable, we did it. we booked our first weekend away.

And it was kind of a cluster.

for starters, we had planned on getting up early, going to the DMV ( for the 4th time) to try to get CO plates for the jeeps.  So there we were, bright and early, only 30 in line.  WE got to the desk and the lady informed us that we were missing a document.

Lovely. Um, by the way, that is NOT listed on the CO website..

And for the other jeep, documentation that I had been on the phone with MA registry the week before ( after begin on hold 26 minutes) and after the MA guy ASSURED me would be accepted, would not be.

again, lovely.

We headed home and found said paperwork, dropped Fenway off at the kennel and set back to the DMV. time #5. And 50th in line.

2 hours later, we have Co plates. Scott got the basic green & white mountains and I picked the in memory of Columbine plate. I often think of those victims ( even though that was years ) before Colorado would become part of our lives, and having the plate on Zola makes me feel like I’ve done something to show that.

So a total of 8 complete hours wasted at the DMV. you can buy pot on every street corner here, but you need to hand over your firstborn for plates.  ( my first born was not injured during this ordeal 😉

perhaps you are supposed to stop and smoke the weed before going to the registry?

Of course I am joking, and also have never smoked at all, so that part doesn’t interest me.

But spending 8 hours trying to get plates? that irked me.

Especially when on visit # 5, the lady that helped us told us that the paperwork that we went home to get that lady #4 told us we needed, lady # 5 told us we didn’t.

it’s all good. history now.

buuuut, it took us so long that we got on the road late. And with all of the devistating floods that have happened around us, we had a very long drive … about 2 hours longer than it should have taken us.

By dinner we arrived in Snowmass Village, it’s just outside of Aspen. We scored a great slope side room with a balcony ( free upgrade ) and the balloons were set to set up Sat night on the slopes ( sans snow)

We checked into our room and went to dinner at the hotel. we were the only ones there. It was weird. Even the waiter joked about how it was like the Shining around there. Apparently it is their off season from the end of August- Mid November. ( thus the great rate on the room )

I was kind of bummed, because I love to people watch, and the only people were us. We actually watched

while waiting for our food ( which was fantastic, over priced, but fantastic)

We went to bed early since the first of the balloon shows was early in the am.

So up early on Saturday and this is what we saw

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and of course that was followed by lots of rain. And guess who didn’t think to bring raincoats?

oops.  Since we were up and ready for the day, we drove into Aspen just to see it.

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just as we had expected it was a quaint  mountain- surrounded town

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I can only imagine how beautiful this must be in the winter….

We stopped for breakfast, tried to drive around to take pictures, then headed back to Snowmass, where we got coffee and sat inside looking out at the incredible rain.

After a while it let up a bit, so we walked around

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this was a giant chair.. I’m not sure why I didn’t take a pic of the whole thing.

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the outdoor ‘mall’ at snowmass. Again, how much fun would this be in the winter with snow? ( you can ski right into the resort and mall)

IMG_6090about his point, we both realized what we had feared, that we are incredibly boring people.

we went shopping in the mall area ( everything was on sale) but bought nothing because nothing fit me 😦

instead, we bought a deck of cards, went back to the room ( with intentions of going to the main lobby where the big fireplace was) but instead, I fell asleep.

I know, exciting, eh?

when I woke, it looked like the sun was peeking through, so we put on our hiking boots and went for a hike.  My weight loss has to start somewhere and nature calls to me.

I didn’t bring my camera or my phone, because I was convinced that The skies would open up on us. ( which they did not)

I think I saw bear poop. I mentally took note of it then looked it up when I got back. TMI? perhaps. but I was curious

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here or not, but I have an injured leg that has developed into nerve issues. Although I have been cleared by the doctor for physical activity, certain thing just suck. Like any sort of incline at all.  So this hike, although not intense, was really hard for me. And discouraging. But it’s a start. and since this came in today

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( our season ski passes.. do I ski? lol.. we will find out! )

 

I need to build my leg strength up starting somewhere.

After the hike ( which Scott later informed me that we had in fact barely gained any altitude ;( ) we went to the Mexican restaurant overlooking the slope for happy hour. $5 fresh juice margaritas? yes, please.

we also ordered a bunch of happy hour snacks for dinner ( making up for the over priced meal the night before) and then something cool happened

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the weather cleared! ( at least where we were)  and a band set up on the slope

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and one by one the balloons started to arrived and set up!

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and people too!   I was finally able to people watch!

Notice everyone’s winter coats? guess what else we didn’t bring….

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we went back to our room ( warmth) and listened to the band play out from our awesome free- upgraded balcony ( which made it even sweeter)

We had every intention of getting up early Sunday to go see the balloons go off again, but in the middle of the night, I got the WORST headache that I’ve had in years. It actually woke me up.

I went to take ibuprophen and guess what? it was with the rain coats and winter coats.

( how dis I managed to travel without it? oh yeah, 8 hours at the DMV)

I ended up having to put cold washcloths on my forehead, It was intense.

I’ve had 2 migranes in my life, and it’s been 20 years since I’ve has one.  This ended up going away after breakfast on it’s own, so I don’t think it was, but it was pretty darn close.

So when the alarm went off for us to go watch the launch, there was no way 😦

a few hours later when we were ready to check out, we did get these pics from our balcony

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I felt badly that we didn’t go down there, but I think it;s good that we didn’t because It gave me a chance to rest my head.

( btw, this had nothing to do with the margaritas, this was a whole ‘nother beast entirely)

So we headed out through Aspen, stopping for coffee for him and tea for me, then we drove home through Independence pass, part of the ‘ top of the Rockies roadway’.

We stopped at a ghost town

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the pictures do not do this justice.. the whole area was simply breathtaking

IMG_6280this is an actual archealogical site, so there was all sorts of old glass and nails around with signs that warned against touching… but pictures were ok 🙂

we slowly made our way home, and it felt nice to curl up and watch ( well, Scott watch, me try to understand) the football game.

Sorry this post was so long, I like to share things like this for our family members who are so far away, so that they feel a little closer to us 🙂

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Tonight I’m headed to a quilting guild. I still haven’t met a soul here, and that is getting a little disheartening.. more on that later.

I’ve been adjusting to cooking for 2, thus the lack of food posts, but they will be back, I promise. I’ve been spending lots of time walking ( strengthening leg, entertaining Fenway) and quilting.

I’d love to show you what I’m making, but it’s for someone who is reading, so I want to surprise. As soon as it’s received, I’ll post it.

pinky promise

meanwhile, I’m sending tons of prayers to all those affected by the recent floods. The Denver Post called it a Biblical storm.  It’s just been crazy.  If this had been snow it would have been 80 inches!  So many people have lost so much. I just cannot imagine.

until next time…

xoxoxoxox

story time

yes, I’ve been MIA… It’s been a crazy, whirlwind 3 weeks

I flew from Denver to Boston , moved my youngest, Ali into Freshman year of college in Providence, spent time with friends and family on Cape Cod., picked up 2 of my boys from Boston, drove back to Providence, then flew to Oregon to move Ryan into Sophomore year of college, then finally, back to Denver.

Which is where I am now sitting in my quiet house and realize that I should write something. anything.

So I’m sharing a story today. I’m sharing it because when I had a ‘date night’ conversation with my sister last night, I told her this story and realized that I never shared this with her.

which makes me wonder who else I have or haven’t shared.

so here goes…

10,0000  years ago, when Scott got his very first job out of college, one of my clients at the hair salon that I worked for told me that we should buy a nice bottle of wine and save it for his retirement.

We lived on 30 bucks a week. if wine didn’t come in a box, or a giant jug, we didn’t drink it.

fast forward. Last year. After we  moved Ryan into college.. Scott and I had a day that Ryan had freshman activities , so we wandered into the beautiful Willamette Valley to explore some wineries.

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this one is for my little sister… she loves this pic of me 🙂

Scott and I just loved it there.. and of course we bought some bottles to bring back with us… but not just any bottles..

we bought 4 bottles, one for each year of Ryan’s college, to be enjoyed after each year that he completes.  The Bottles ranged in price from not very expensive for freshman year, up to his graduation wine which is a special reserve vintage. ( more expensive than we would normally spend)

If you are friends with me on facebook, then you might remember this picture that i posted, promising a story ..

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I just didn’t think it would take me this long to share 😉

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yup. we didn’t have furniture, but we did have a special bottle of wine to celebrate Ryan’s first year complete.

So knowing that Ali was going to school in Rhode Island, and that we had a winery there that we enjoy more on that  HERE!… we factored a trip to the Vineyard to purchase 4 more bottles, this time in preparation of Ali’s upcoming accomplishments…

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interestingly enough, the latitude of the South Cost of Rhode Island is the same as the Willamette Valley and Southern France, which is why all 3 areas produce fabulous wines!

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her graduation wine 🙂  The label was designed by a graduate of RISD.. I love how they keep it local.

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so that’s my story. and a brief wrap up of how we became empty-nesters so soon….

we are both so proud of all of our kids ❤

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Our Oldest, Jason, is halfway through his bachelors’ degree and our Daughter-in-law, Amanda Sue is in nursing school, both in Florida.

hmm…. I think that a trip to St. Augustine Winery may be in order 😉

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reliving the good ol days

reliving the good ol days

 

click here for link

 

xoox

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