26 January 2012

Winter Wonderland

I know I just posted pictures of 80 degree weather at the beach so let's shake things up around here! A few weeks ago when my younger brother and sister were in town, we all went snowshoeing in the Rockies! What an adventure! It was my first time snowshoeing and for some reason I had some serious concerns. Mainly being chased by a bear and not being able to get away fast enough. When I found out that if you come in contact with a bear you aren't supposed to run - just stand tall and if they attack, play dead- my fears were calmed. Who knew- it's like bear school.

Here's a few snapshots:
My sister, Lindsay, ready to attack in case we did have to fight for our lives.


I got a hydration pack as a Christmas gift which came in handy! Don't I look totally geared in?!? Mountain woman!!!! Rachael looks like she has long, white, mountain woman braided pigtails.

Let's do this!!!



Gorgeous view of the mountain. The snow looked majestic floating up in the air like that.


Colorful Colorado


Rachael and Dad. Don't you love his furry hat? I got him that for Christmas!



I made a little friend. He was eating a nut!!


This frozen waterfall was so freakin' cool! I felt like an explorer :)



My brother David decided to wander off and climb a mountain without telling anyone. That was like the #1 thing the park rangers were telling us NOT to do but he's a teenager so of course he HAD to do it. I got this shot of him when he finally decided to make his way back down the mountain and re-join his family. We all thought he was a goner.


Oh and Christopher Walken was there too. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

25 January 2012

Mexico

I just got back from beautiful Cancun, Mexico! Wow, I feel so rested and rejuvenated! Hanging out on the beach and reading all day was just the thing to get me out of the freezing winter blues. I worked a lot while most of the other people at my office were on Christmas break to save up some time off for this trip. Totally. Worth. It.

I'm the kind of person that likes adventures more than I like things so this was kind of a Christmas present for my boyfriend Danny and I. When we were planning a trip, we originally had our sites set on New York City but when we realized how icy cold it is in January, we started thinking of warm, sandy beaches. We ended up finding our resort through a Living Social deal which I would highly recommend- we had no problems at all.

I was also hearing a lot of horror stories about Mexico before I left so I was starting to get really scared! I had a list of things to be aware of (being kidnapped and forced to be a drug mule, drinking the water, eating the food, having a vital organ stolen from me and sold on the black market, Montezuma's revenge, and murder among other things). Thankfully, none of those things happened and everyone in Mexico was very nice and accommodating. Also, there is a lot of bottled water and beer.

Here's a few snapshots:


This was the view from the room. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach at night was like a lullaby.



Hey-yo! Beach time baby! This is where I spent the majority of my time. And just in case you were wondering, I wore SPF 45 the whole time and didn't burn. HUGE accomplishment for me.






This handsome guy is my boyfriend, Danny :)




EXTREME close up! 


The pool had these cool cabanas which we didn't sit at even once! I liked being by the ocean more and putting my feet in the sand.



Yep. I took a picture of him while he was eating breakfast. It was our last meal and they had delicious omelettes so I had to document it. Speaking of food, it was pretty decent at the resort. There were a lot of things that we were able to have there that are kind of out of season here (like avacados!). There were about three different restaurants to choose from for dinner and we just had to leave a tip. It sucks coming back home and having to pay for things. Towards the end though, I just wanted a real home-cooked meal! I was burnt out on restaurant food.


On the swing in the lobby!


The drinks were included as well and oh my did I drink a lot of these babies! Mojitos! They were SO good! Our favorite guy that worked at the resort was Vanilly. He came down to the beach and brought us drinks all the time- he always had a Mojito for me :)



We didn't really buy any souvenirs but this is what we ended up with by the end of our stay: 1 Sol bottle filled with sand from the beach, 7 seashells, 1 ceramic Mayan calendar that the resort gave us when we checked in, and 1 tiny paper rose that our server for dinner one night, Jose, made for me. The Mayan calendar broke in the suitcase on the way back which I think could be a sign of good luck but I guess we won't know until the end of 2012... 


I'm sorry but I just had to document this. The artwork above the toilet in our room. Am I the only person who finds this hilarious?



Of course we got in a few last drinks with some friends from Oklahoma that we met at the resort. Unfortunately, I had the waitress take it and forgot to set my camera to automatic. It turned out too blurry :(

Cheers!



Back home again...


17 January 2012

Akward Family Photos


My family is so sweet. They offered to help me improve my photo skills over the holidays.

1. Photo-bombing:

2. Red Carpet:


3. Classic:


4. Engagement:





5. Maternity:


6. "Partners":


That is all.

16 January 2012

Pomp and Circumstance

My little sister Rachael graduated from college! So proud of her! It was a busy weekend full of food and family. Here's a few photos: 


Waiting for graduation to begin. My sister Lindsay, my step mom Janet, and Dad:


Rachael's boyfriend Dave there to cheer her on!


So proud of you little sister!



Rachael and Mom :)


Our sister Lindsay came out all the way from New Hampshire! She's the best- she even ran down the halls of the convention center with me when I realized I needed to more time on my parking. We actually RAN. And we barely made it too. The scary meter maid was like 10 cars down from mine writing some other poor soul a ticket.


We made a ridiculous amount of food for the party but by the time I got there a lot of it had already been consumed! We feasted! Rachael and I planned out the menu months in advance and she was busy preparing food and studying for finals even! I wish I had more pictures but for the recipes, check out my board on Pintrest. I did make a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting- my favorite!



My grandma brought these pictures of little Rachael through the years, so sweet! She's always thinking of stuff like that. My absolute favorite picture of Rachael is the one of her in the blue sweater on top. I think she was about 3. How freakin' cute is that?


And if you're wondering, she did just land a new job as an admissions counselor for a college here in Denver! The girl got some education and it paid off! Congratulations Rachael! 

15 January 2012

New Landscapes

 Okay, these pictures are from Thanksgiving but I don't care! I still wanted to post them!

I was so lucky this year to spend Thanksgiving in Arizona with my mom's side of the family. My Aunt Maureen and Uncle Bill had their hands full with 11 guests and 4 dogs. Amazing! We did a lot of hanging out around the house and just spending time together. It is not very often that we're in one place on the holidays.

Here is my beautiful little sister, Olivia:



And Grandpa with his apple pie skillz..


We went for a little hike/walk around the neighborhood- totally different from Colorado! My little brother Jimmy wanted to find some "specimens" to take home, hence the plastic glove. You never know what you're gonna find out there:







My awesome Aunt Maureen! She is the hostess with the most-ess and an amazing cook!


Aunt Sarah came all the way from Minnesota to hang out with us! Love her!


Oh and did I mention there was a pool? Definitely not used to going swimming on Thanksgiving but I'll take it! This is where we spent the majority of our time.





Sitting around the table with family is the best. Jimmy came up with these crazy games every night at dinner. The first night, we did eenie meenie minie moe around the table and if Jimmy landed on us, that meant we got to put a napkin on our head- signifying that we would not be going to hell (idk). My sister Rachael was the one who ended up without the napkin on her head- very sad.

On Thanksgiving, we all got a little show when each of the kids sat on Uncle Bill's lap as he acted as a ventriloquist and the kids were the puppets. I broke out some black eye-liner for the occasion. Jimmy even wrote the scripts: 






Oh, and Bill and Maureen have Yorkies! Meet Dixie! Stella's cousin :)



Thanks Olivia :)