About Me

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Minneapolis, MN
Small town raised. Loves the Big City. Loves my husband and my canine kids. Love all things vintage.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Margherita Pizza

I threw together Margherita Pizza tonight.  Traditionally this pizza includes basil, tomato and mozzarella.

Here are my ingredients:

Trader Joe's wheat pizza dough, lite mozzarella, basil and tomatoes.  Not pictured: olive oil and seasonings.  You can also use pitas to make individual pizzas.  Great for lunches on the go!

Roll out dough.  Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the dough.  Sprinkle a light layer of cheese over the dough followed by a bit of garlic (I used garlic salt since I didn't have any fresh - fresh is better though), thinly sliced tomatoes (I used 2) and fresh basil.  Sprinkle with a little more cheese and pepper.  Bake at 350.  I had to do it for 30 min even though the package said 15 - it was still too "doughy" after only 15 min.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Recipe

I tried out a new recipe I found on Pinterest today - Berry Cobbler.  This is a weight watchers recipe totaling 4 points (I'm sure that means something if you're a "points person").  Anyway it calls for 4 ingredients:

2 bags of frozen berries
1 white cake mix
1 can of diet white soda

Pour the berries in a pan sprayed with cooking spray:

Pour dry cake mix and soda over the berries - do not mix.

Bake at 350 for 45-50 min.  Top with cool whip or as Lucas suggested ice cream and serve.  It was pretty delish and easy!

I didn't get a pic of the finished product (its really not that "pretty" anyway) but here's proof it was yummo!

Monday, April 16, 2012

April Birchbox!

I received my first Birchbox shipment.  For those of you who don't know, Birchbox is something you sign up for and for $10 a month you receive samples of products (make up, perfume, lotions, even protein bars sometimes) in the mail each month.  Some of them are full size samples, others are smaller.  I think everyone's Birchbox is a bit different based on a survey you fill out (for instance my sister in law Fiona got one and it seems like she got more "stuff" in hers).

Here are a few pics of my goodies:

I can't for the life of me get this picture turned around so here ya go lol.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Geocaching Fun

We decided to enjoy the one nice day we've had (and looks like we will be having) by going geocaching right by the house.  We leashed up Chuck and 2 hours later we found 2 treasures and failed to find the 3rd.  

The first geocache was pretty easy to find - it was on the edge of the pond in Northwoods Park.  The 2nd one was definitely the most fun to find.  You first had to solve clues to get the coordinates.    Finally after hiking all over and out into the middle of what would normally be a swamp if it wasn't so dry Lucas found it!

The loot:

And then we looked to see in 2008 Lucas' friend Nate found it!

We signed the log and moved on to the 3rd geocache.

We never did find the 3rd one!  We aren't giving up.  We will go back again to see if we can find another day.  ;-)

The Easter Bunny arrived

Sure he is a little late but I told him we were on vacation.  :)

Here is a peek at our goodies:

Pups love their new toys.

All the loot

My fave!

Dog loot

And a pretty scarf.

Thank you Easter Bunny!  We love you!

Friday, April 6, 2012


After our uneventful night at the Stanley (boo) we headed north to Fort Collins to the New Belgium brewery.  New Belgium brews most famously Fat Tire beer.   It was a super interesting tour.  Almost 90 min.  Free tour.  Free samples of beer.  Great tour guide.  I would highly recommend it to anyone!  New Belgium is only about 20 years old started back in the basement of a guy's house.  Until Fort Collins figured out he was selling beer out of his basement (apparently that's illegal? lol) so he had to expand.  20 years later they have quite the operation going.  Very eco friendly.  The use alot of renewable energy including wind and solar.   They are also treat the employees really well - after you work there a year you get a custom New Belgium cruiser bike and after 5 years they send you to Belgium for 10 days (and you get paid for going) to see where the founder first learned about brewing Belgian style beer.  Not sure what they do beyond 5 years but how can you top a trip to Belgium?  The employees also own 41% of the company through profit sharing and they get to drink (responsibly) during work.  :-)

Custom cruisers

Chandeliers made of beer cans.

How do you like the decor?  Discoballs and (recycled) mosaics on the floor. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Stanley Hotel

I've made it to the mecca of ghost hunting.  The Stanley Hotel!  This hotel is in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado, 7500 feet above sea level (yes its hard walking up the stairs sometimes haha).   Let me give you some history on the hotel.

The Stanley was built in 1919 by F.O. Stanley and his wife Flora.  They were school teachers by trade but F.O. was always inventing things - he and his brother invented faster developing film for photography in the late 1800's/early 1900's (their patent bought by Kodak - ch-ching!) and also eventually invented the Stanley Steamer car (right before the Model T was invented).  The brothers were worth over $12 million dollars - back then $12 million dollars was, as our tour guide called it, "Oprah money".  So around the age of 53 F.O started getting sick - he lost weight and started coughing up blood.  Tuberculosis.  A death sentence in those days.  His doctor said to get out west where the air was cleaner.  He and Flora moved out to Estes Park and eventually settled in what was basically a log cabin with a dirt floor.  Not so fancy.  F.O. started feeling better - so much better in fact he started climbing mountains.  And he actually didn't die til the age of 93!  F.O. and Flora got lonely for their East coast pals so they decided to build a hotel for them.  138 rooms and 2 years after construction started the Stanley Hotel stood in Estes Park.   First hotel on this side of the Mississippi to have running water and electricity.  They didn't actually put heat in until the 80's and there still is no AC.  :)

Now nothing violent has ever happened here - no one has died here.  The belief is the ghosts haunt the hotel because it was a happy place for them.  We're staying on the 4th floor - the most active floor.  Our room is directly across the hall from room 401.  Lord Dunraven haunts that room.  He likes the ladies.  Word is he will pat you on the butt or play with your hair.  The closet door opens and closes all night too.  Just as we were going down to dinner tonight we heard some commotion in the hall - when we went out to the hallway the people in from 401 were standing in the hall with their door open just looking inside the room looking flabbergasted.  I said "Ghost stuff already?" and they said "YES".  Apparently their clock wasn't working (like dead not working) and when they came back upstairs from dinner the clock was on and set to the right time.  That freaked them out.   The other thing that happens on the 4th floor is children playing.  Back in the day when the rich peeps stayed here they sent the nannies with the kids to the 4th floor to hang out.  To this day between the hours of 12 and 4 am people report hearing kids running and playing out in the halls.

I downloaded an EVP app on my iPhone.  EVP is electronic voice phenomenon - the belief is ghosts can communicate at a different frequency we can't hear.  While it spits out some random words it did say "Dangerous" while the tour guide was telling us about the original 1909 live wires down in the tunnels.

Ok - enough of my blabbing.  Here are some pictures:

View from our room

A dollhouse rendering of the Stanley with Flat Spinely (our work version of Flat Stanley posing).

 Looking into the main lobby from the staircase - that's a Stanley Steamer car.

The McGregor room - it was used as a dining room when first built.  The stage was added later to be featured in the miniseries The Shining.

Our room - its small - these rooms on the 4th floor were only for kids and their nannies so they basically housed a couple bunk beds.

Room 401 - our neighbors.

This is the dude who haunts it:

Room 217 - the room Stephen King stayed in that inspired The Shining.

Lucas sitting a couch in the hallway of the 4th floor - people leave treats here for the kids.  Today it was a chocolate chip cookie and a peep - tis the season I guess. :)

 We enjoyed some "Shining" beer brewed right here in Estes Park.

And now we're watching The Shining (they play it 24/7 on channel 42) waiting to see if some ghost kids will show up tonight. PS: Did you know the movie The Shining was NOT filmed here at the Stanley.  The director didn't like the location.  But the 1990 something miniseries was filmed here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Road Trip!

Lucas and I are hitting the road before the sun comes up to head to Colorado!  Don't try robbing the house either - I have a house sitter.  :-)

Lucas' aunt lives in Littleton so we'll be saying with her.  We have plans to stay at night at the Stanley Hotel - that's the hotel from The Shining for those of you who don't know.   I'll be ghost hunting Thursday night!  Stay tuned to Facebook and the blog for updates!  One of my friends at work already made me a crucifix to protect me from the paranormal.  :-)

We'll also be hitting up Fort Collins to tour a brewery and drink some Fat Tire beer fresh out of the - what do you keep freshly brewed beer in?  Anyway, that will be awesome.

We're going to meet up with my former coworker Rebecca (aka Boo) for a visit too.  Her fiancee' brews his own beer so I'm looking forward to trying that.   I also plan on hitting up a few vintage thrift shops in Denver too.  Flat Spinely (our company's version of Flat Stanley) is also accompanying us.

Anyone have some road trip tips?  I know Nebraska sucks - I've heard from everyone in the world how sucky that state is (sorry if you're from Nebraska lol).