monthly recap: December

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December was an insanely busy month for me. I really didn’t even want to think about it until I looked back on my December photos and remembered a few pleasant things that happened last month.

First of December, packages started arriving in the mail…I didn’t have time to put on shoes! Present!
package waiting to be snatched upbare foot prints in snow

I bought my first pair of snow boots. Anytime I came across snow before, I had to barrow someone’s old, worn in, straight out of the 70s boots with odd length shoes laces. And trust me, the length of shoes laces matter. Size matters.
first pair of real snow boots

What was the first thing I do in these boots? I shoveled snow for the first time. Sweating in 20 degree weather doesn’t feel right.
snowy, snowy pathshoveled path

Ryan let me open my Christmas present early. I know my finger isn’t on the shutter button this is THE moment it came out of the box. Pre-instructions knowledge.
christmas present - lomo camera

I walked to the park with my new shiny camera and took pictures. Although this was a quick shot with my phone. You can check out pictures I took with this camera here and here.
washinginton park in Denver

Instead of a tree, we had a Christmas nook.
Christmas nook

I am happy to announce that I got a job!! I work at Ryan’s office; his boss offered me an assistant/office manager position. I like that we have a lot of lunches together and go visit him whenever want. It’s lovely. And we carpool, which is amazing because we currently only have one car. Here is the view from my room.
view from Denver office

For the first Christmas ever, I mailed out holiday cards. I bought them from Wit & Whistle. It was cute with an Owl on a tree and said “hoo hoo hoo”. Anyway…they were a hit.
Christmas cards

Right before I left, I visited the salon. I love my hairstylist and salon. No after pictures, but hey, you know what I look like.
at the salon

I packed the best rolly of my life. I fit so much crap into my new pretty carry on! I wanted to take to make a list but found time didn’t allow. But it would have won awards.
packed rolly

The morning of my flight, I woke up at 4am, to walk into a fresh 8 inches of snow to the bus stop.
tracks in 8 inches of snow to bus stop

Later that day, I flew in a 13 row plane to Missoula Montana where I sat in a window seat with a piece of garbage window. It made for a shitty picture. Exhibit A:
view from tiny plane

When I arrived, my aunt made fresh almost roca and I got to devour the crumbs. Best part of my trip.
home made almond roca crumbs

Lastly, I enjoyed my charismatic nephew playing (sort of) the piano.
nephew playing

steph

monthly recap: October/November

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At the beginning of October, we went to the King Fantastic show at City Hall (not related to the government). These guys are great. Also, their first album is free if you don’t mind giving up your email – it’s located in the right sidebar on their website.

jason siegel photography

Image courtesy of Jason Siegel

We also saw Matt Nathanson live. He puts on such an amazing show.

I finally put our office area together. It’s technically the Dining Room but we also have a table area in the kitchen so who needs two tables to eat on anyway?

First thing in November, Ryan’s mom visited us for almost a week and it was great! Ryan couldn’t get any days off so I showed her around town. I took her to Fancy Tiger (she’s loves fabric), the 16th Street Mall, and our favorite eating spots. She also bought us kitchen curtains (much needed), moved around the furniture in the guest bedroom (soooo much better), and hung our framed art on the walls. It’s so much homier now. She’s good at that kinda think. Me? Not so much.

With slight coercion from my dad, I’m going to Montana this year for Christmas. It’s been at least 10 years since my last MT-XMAS so I’m over due. I’m a little bummed about the cost of plane tickets but I know it’ll be worth it when I’m there with my family. Disappointingly, Ryan will not be experiencing it with me. He has a friend that’s going to come here to keep him company. My family is quite large and somewhat overwhelming to people with small families (like Ryan, for example), so I get that it may not be as fun for him. More excitedly, my uncle designed (he’s an architect) this mansion on the ski slopes a few years back and the owner is letting him and his family stay there for the holiday. I’m told that I can hop right out of the back door and be on the slopes. So cool. I’m determined to take a million pictures.

Otherwise, it’s been a slow couple of months. I’ve put off actively searching for a job until after the holidays. I don’t want to have that awkward talk of I know I’ve only been working here a week but I need to request off Christmas and all the days around it, too. KThx. That might not go so well… Unrelated, I’ve been trying super hard to exercise everyday – Monday thru Friday at least. I have a pilates routine that I like and it takes me less than an hour. Maybe I’ll post up it up sometime.

Movies: [Feel free to follow me on Letterboxd]
Funny Face – The lovely Audrey Hepburn makes a convincing rags-to-riches character in this 1957 movie. Very cute and entertaining.
DisneyNature African Cats – A great film following two lion prides and a small family of cheetahs. Amazing story and beautiful cinematography. And so many adorable kittens!
Crazy Stupid Love – This movie has everything the trailer promises and more. I am also a huge fan of romantic comedies and this movie is the epitome of the genre.
Bad Teacher – This movie was a let down. There were a few laughs but not until at least 30 minutes or more into the movie. My favorite character was Lynn and I laughed at her lines more than anyone else’s in the movie.
Super 8 – I like this movie because despite it being an alien movie, it didn’t feel like one.
Larry Crowne – This movie isn’t my cup of tea, but it has a nice story with developing characters. And I like that.
Fast Five – These Fast and Furious movies are the only sequels that don’t get super terrible with every one. In my opinion.
Hanna – This movie was hyped up pretty big when it first released but now that that has drizzled down my expectations weren’t outrageous and I can say this movie was great! There were a couple spots that made me think, Hm..that’s improbable… But otherwise, I loved it. And that little actress is RAD. Not to mention the clever juxtaposition of the first and last scenes.
The Hangover Part II – This is what everyone expected it to be: not great. I only laughed out loud twice while the first movie had me laughing the whole time. Meh.
Super – This is a weird and fucked up tail of two superheros. I can’t say that I’ll watch it again, ever. I normally love Ellen Paige but she was really annoying in this movie.
The Change Up – This was a huge waste of of my life. All of the (mildly) funny parts are in the trailer.

TV Shows:
Fringe – This show may have gone off the deep end but I’m willing to stick with it to see where it goes. I know this show started last month but we didn’t get to it until now.
Dexter – I am so happy this show is back. If you haven’t seen it, you must start at the beginning and be prepared to do nothing else until you’ve caught up.
Whitney – The show’s format reminds of how Friends used to do things. Simple, funny jokes about relationships. I love it.
Once Upon a Time (premier) – I was hooked on this show from episode 1. The line in the sand between “real life” and fairy tales has become blurred and it has an unexpected woman coping. I am only concerned where this should will lead after only one season.
Grimm (premier) – This show is based on fairy tales as well, but it’s not as good as Once Upon a Time, but I’m still watching it.
Homeland (premier) – This may be the best new show this year. We didn’t get wind of it until the 6th or 7th episode and we watched as many as we could back to back and again the next day. The lead actor is from another TV show I loved, Life, and I’m still bummed it got canceled. The wife is the queen alien from V and also Firefly. Aaaand not to mention the universally loved Claire Danes. Love.This.Show.

steph

monthly recap: September

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September was a long month for me.

I have yet to find a job therefore I’ve spent a lot of time home alone. I am lucky to have made a friend that takes me out to lunch once a week and I am starting to go to a yoga class with her on Thursday nights. Regarding the job thing, I’ve probably submitted about 50 cover letters and resumes. One week, I submitted 3-5 everyday. I am lucky to be receiving unemployment but I’d rather be earning the money. And more of it, of course.

I set goals that didn’t happen. I gave in to buying new furniture so we took a trip to Ikea and bought a shelf for the bathroom and a new TV stand because the old one didn’t fit all of Ryan’s toys (the old one is now our coffee table). We actually got a ton of other stuff too but I think that was all the furniture. We still have boxes to unpack but most of them are in the spare bedroom so at least I don’t have to look at them. The “shy” goal isn’t a total failure and have befriended 3 new Denver people. Yay!

30 Days of Lists

I didn’t finish my 30 Days of Lists. I realized that it’s a lot of information most people wouldn’t care about, including myself, which is why I slowed down and then quite altogether. I’m excited for you to get to know be better but learning something new every day for a whole month is quite a lot.

And I’ve listened to more TED talks than any one person ever should (although I have learned a lot!).

Movies:
X-Men: First Class – I really enjoyed this movie. I’m am already a fan of the X-Men cartoons, movies and I’ve read a few of the comics. But this movie was clever to pull from past U.S. history and that was my favorite part of this movie.

TV Shows:
There were many that premiered in September so I’m sorry the list is long.
New this season:
The Secret Circle – This show is brand new this season so I’m not sure what I think of it yet.
Charlies Angels – I wasn’t sure about this one but I just loved Minka Kelly in Friday Night Lights and she’s one of the “angels” so I’m intrigued.
Ringer – I’m still unsure if I will watch this show all season because it has an unusual storyline, too unusual for me.
Unforgettable – This show takes a different angle from the normal “cop show” with a main character that remembers everything.
Revenge – Ryan’s mom said she couldn’t watch it because it’s too soap opera-y but I like the main actress and the drama is right up my alley.
Returning:
Parenthood – I’m so happy this show is back. Every episode tugs at my heart strings.
Castle – I think this show is so much fun and I have a weakness for Nathan Fillion.
Glee – What can I say? It’s a silly little show that makes me smile when I watch it.
Modern Family – This could possibly be one of my all time favorite shows. The family dynamic is the funniest I’ve ever seen on TV.
Harry’s Law – All of the characters are completely different but have to work together to make for interesting dialogue.
The Big Bang Theory – I feel like this show might be losing its charm due to the lack luster story lines but I’ve watched it since day one. I still really enjoy all of the quirky, nerdy characters and Penny.
Community – Another very, very funny show that I can’t get enough of. Must see!
Nikita – I like a woman who kicks butt and Nikita does just that. Love it.
America’s Next Top Model – This is my dirty little secret. When someone asks me what shows I’m watching, I never say this one.

monthly recap: August

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We are still in Florida staying with Ryan’s parents. And boy! do I just love it here! I’m bummed we are leaving in a couple of days although I’m pretty darn excited about decorating our new place in Denver and discovering amazing restaurants!!

August began tragically for me. My best guy friend from California, Kyle, died at the young age of 24. I took an unexpected trip back to Los Angeles for the funeral. Kyle was such a loving friend and beautiful person. It’s hard to believe he’s gone. At the funeral, I turned to his amazing boyfriend, Marcus, and said “This is the closest we’ll ever be to him again.” He turned to me and very optimistically said “Only physically.” That’s the truth because he will always be in my heart.

steph and kyle at LA Zoo[Here is Kyle and I at the LA Zoo at the end of May.]

On the other hand, it was wonderful spending time with Marcus, Gina, Morgan and Kelly while I was there.

steph and marcus

I spent many, many hours last month searching for places to rent and jobs in Denver. We did find an amazing place and I am eager to unpack all of my stuff.

I have discovered some delicious and questionable foods.

key lime mustardblueberry crumble breadstrawberry and original fluffpopeye spinachIHOP Stuffed French ToastBioled Peanuts

To be real honest, we did a lot of lounging around. And it was nice.

steph and family making bracelets[Linda and I making bracelets.]

It was interesting and funny to watch Alice get acquainted with Simba and Maia.

We went antiquing in Riverside and found this wonderful jewelry designer. The only thing “antique” item I bought was this super cute deer pin.

antique deer pin

SeaWorld was a dream! Here is some video I took on my phone during the Shamu show. (Turn the volume way down for this video.)

Last but certainly not least, I haven’t seen one of my all-time favorite sodas – Mello Yello – on tap for at least 10 years. I took advantage at every opportunity.

Mello Yello on tap

I am very sad to leave this wonderful safe haven of family and relaxation but eager and anxious to explore Denver and make it my new home.

Movies I watched:
Something Borrowed – This movie is cute and funny, and has one of my fave actresses, Kate Hudson, it in. Also, this is the only movie where it was okay that the ending wasn’t necessarily happily ever after.
Rio – I am a sucker for birds and animated movies so watching this guy made me pretty happy.
Get Low – This movie had an unusual story line and was slow in some spots, but overall, I enjoyed this movie quite a bit.
Water for Elephants – I read the book and gave it a rating of “it was okay” – 2 stars. The book was better than the movie.
The Help – I have to admit: this movie was better than the trailer led me to believe. p.s. I love Emma Stone.

TV Shows:
Battlestar Galactica – This show premiered in 2004 but we’re just now getting to it. The 2 part premier was awesome and could have been a movie with all of the excitement. Very excited about seeing the rest of the series.