Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Vegas and a very special birthday

Las VegasWe got home from Vegas at midnight on Sunday. I planned to pick up Juliet first thing Monday morning and I could barely sleep I was so excited to see her. I missed her like crazy on this trip. She got sick while we were away and it was tough being away from her knowing she wasn't feeling well. Juliet stayed with my parents and they took great care of her, I am so thankful for them. Las VegasVegas was a great time. We ended up having great weather, with the exception of one day. We went to the strip everyday and walked around from hotel to hotel gambling a bit and eating a lot of great food and many, many drinks.
Las VegasErik and I had a blast with our friends Libby, Biffer, Summier and Willie. Las VegasHere is a list of all the things we did (that I can remember) over the course of 4 days.

Mimosas and a little gambling at the Venetian
Lunch at the Nine Fine Irishmen
Dinner at 35 Steak and Martini
Margaritas on the roof at Margaritaville
Dinner at Top of the World in the Stratosphere
Brunch at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris Hotel (best location to have lunch overlooking the water show at the Bellagio)
Window shopping at the Caesars Palace
Gelato at Venetian
Drinks at Minus 5 degrees Ice Bar in the Monte Carlo Hotel
Hanging out in the Wynn (my favorite hotel! We didn't stay there but I would love to during at next trip)
Going to my oxygen bar in Bally's casino
Checking out the Chandelier at the Cosmopolitan

Las VegasAnd the best part of our trip and the whole reason we were there was my mother-in-law Karen's 60th birthday celebration. Erik planned a huge surprise to have 30 friends and family meet us in Vegas.

Erik thought of every detail and he did such an awesome job with everything. We had a suite at the hotel so it was big enough for 30 people to pack in for the party. He got a crudite platter and a cheese plate catered in as well as a beautiful birthday cake. He had a bunch of alcohol for everyone to enjoy (and whoa people did!). The party began at 5:45pm and people were still going strong late at night.

Karen was very surprised (as you can see in the above photo) when she walked into our room to see that so many people had traveled all over to celebrate with her. I think that was a testament to how loved she is. Happy birthday Karen!

While Vegas was a blast, I am glad to be home. 4 days in Vegas is quite a long time. I was craving fruits and vegetables and well that's be honest, an overall detox diet after the weekend. Erik could stay (and has) in Vegas for a week, but there is no way I ever could.

I had a quiet day with Juliet on Monday which was so needed. She is feeling better (no fever since Sunday) but is still not quite herself. She was sleepy today (um, 3 hour nap!) and didn't have a big appetite. She wasn't even too excited to play toys or read books but preferred to just lounge on the couch with me and snuggle. I was fine with that but I do hope she is feeling 100% tomorrow back at daycare.

Thanks to everyone for the great recommendations in the comments and on Facebook! There weren't enough hours in the day to try everything but I'll definitely hold onto them for our next trip as well.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Date night and a trip to the apple orchard

It probably seems like every Monday I come around and say I just had the best weekend ever. Well, it's because as a working mom, I now LIVE for the weekends.  I can't wait to have hours stretched out before me to spend with my baby girl, without having to worry about making bottles, getting her ready for daycare, etc.  Weekends with my little family are the best.  Always.

And this one was especially awesome because it included a date night with Erik (our first since Juliet was born) and a trip to the apple orchard where my little one took in all the sights with her pretty, wide eyes.

Erik and I woke up on Saturday morning and went grocery shopping.  He carried the girlie in the Becco Gemini while I ran up and down the aisles.  We made a breakfast skillet with potatoes, sausage, onion, green peppers, eggs and cheese and I drank pumpkin spice coffee.  It was an awesome morning.

Erik went golfing in the afternoon while Juliet and I spent time going on a walk, snuggling and lots of playtime and reading.

On Sunday Erik dressed Juliet in her Vikings jersey and the two of them watched some football while I did a few chores.  Then we said goodbye to daddy and took off to meet my family at the apple orchard. Erik is a hard-core Vikes fan, so he doesn't miss a game for anything.
 
Juliet turned 7 months yesterday!  It's the biggest cliche to continue saying this but time really does go by too fast...and you realize it so much more when you have a baby.  I try to take in every second with her and for us breastfeeding (which is going awesome and I never want to quit, ever) gives me lots of quiet, one-on-one time with her. I'll be posting a 7 month update this week.
It was a gorgeous 80 degree day at the orchard and I took advantage of the pretty surroundings to take lots of photos of my girl.My sister, Katie and her husband Drew and my dad with Juliet.Juliet and my mom.  This is also proof that Juliet is NOT a ham for the camera.  She is the opposite.  Most of the time a camera is in her face she studies it inquisitively.  She rarely smiles for photos.  I'm working on this!Juliet and her cousin Chloe were much more interested in the apples than each other.  They are both adorable little girls.  Pair them together and I can hardly stand the cuteness.  After apple-picking we had a snack, I bought vanilla ice and an apple donut. YUM.I just love Juliet's expression here.  There was raspberry picking, too!
Erik and my date night was so fun.  We stopped at Zelo for martinis, then went to Manny's Steakhouse for dinner.  It was delicious and we really enjoyed each other's company.  And surprising, we didn't talk about Juliet the whole time!  Thanks so much to my brother Joel for babysitting.

Like I said, it was the best weekend ever.  I hope you enjoyed yours, as well!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A trip to the {pizza} farm

A couple weekends ago Juliet and I tagged along with my sister and her husband to a trip to a Wisconsin pizza farm. Erik was out of town visiting some buddies so it was just Juliet and I for 5 whole days.  We missed him but enjoyed lots of quality mommy/daughter time.

When my sister asked if we wanted to join them I jumped at the chance.  Katie and Drew are the kind of people who make a list of really fun things they want to do and then actually do them. Like go to a pizza farm.  Drew's friend Dan and his two kids (ages 2 and 1) came along, too.

The farm was about two hours away so we made a whole afternoon/evening of it.  We stopped at the Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery and sampled some wines and ciders.  I bought a really tasty Pinot Grigio.  Oh and also got super buzzed off a half glass of wine.  I don't drink much anymore.  The winery was a great first stop, we hung out for about an hour, sipping wine and enjoying the nice weather while the kids played and ran around.
My sis and a chilled, delicious glass of Pinot Grigio.
Our next stop was the Pickle Factory in Pepin, Wisconsin. The restaurant is right on the river and has pretty views.  I ordered a strawberry smoothie and the table shared a couple orders of fried pickles.  They were awesome.  The Pickle Factory was a fun stop BUT with a baby, a one and two year old at the table, things were a bit chaotic, to say the least.

And then we arrived at the Stone Barn pizza farm.  It was a breathtaking sight.  Lush green for miles and a pretty stone outdoor restaurant with a giant wood-fire oven.




It was close to 90 degrees this day and man did I feel bad for the guy working the oven.

The pizza was delicious and awesome, seriously some of the best I've ever had.  We ordered two (you can do half toppings) so we did a supreme, hawaiian, southwest and margherita.


Katie and Drew post pizza feast.  We were all pretty full at this point.
The view from our table.
Beer sounded really good to go with pizza.  And it was.

I couldn't have asked for my sweet girl to be happier than she was that day.  She loves being outside and got a good nap in on the way, so she was very alert and taking everything in.
It was an awesome trip to the pizza farm. We'll definitely be going back next summer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My weekend

As I mention last week, my weekend plans were to relax and get projects done around the house.  But we mixed all that in with a bit of fun.  

My weekend summarized:

Fun.  Relaxing.  Quality time with my honey. Ridiculously filling brunch with my parents. Happy hour with my siblings. Sushi dinner with some fave colleagues. Oh and a drive-in movie attempt (meaning, we packed a cooler with dinner and beer, went to the drive-in only to find out it was full). Who knew so many people went to the drive-in still?

These are photos from the happy hour with my sibs and Erik at Salut on Grand Ave in St. Paul; great happy hour, awesome patio. $3 small plates, $4 taps, wine and wells. Plus, their fries are some of the best I'ver ever had. And that means a lot coming from a gal who would marry fries if she could.

I also got a chance to wear a new, cute wrap dress that Fresh Produce sent me (being a blogger sometimes means free products, in exchange for a mentions/review on my blog. Hey...if the product is cute and/or actually something I would use, I gladly accept, wouldn't you?)

Amazing fries with bernaise.
Artichoke pizza.

Erik's bacon cheeseburger was a beautiful thing and it deserved two photos.




Fresh Produce is a clothing company that reached out to me and offered to send me a dress and I gladly accepted.  They actually sent me two dresses, both of which were super cute, unfortunately one was a bit small so I'm going to give it to my sis and if she likes it I'll post a picture of her in it at a later time. 

Fresh Produce is an online retailer and the line is also carried at a bunch of stores and retailers nationwide, including Macys.  The dress I'm wearing is the Cafe Wrap dress, in truffle.  I really like it, the material is super comfortable and the dress is fitted but not too much so I can still pig out on fries and still feel (sorta) skinny.  So that's a major plus. 

You can see the dress on the model and then a regular person, aka me (above).  So normal people (aka me) look pretty good in it too.  And don't even get me started on how many photos my husband had to begrudgingly take in order to get one, halfway decent shot of me.  In my front yard.  With neighbors watching.  Yeah...it was kind of weird and now I'm reminded why Eat Drink Pretty is a blog about food and parties and not fashion.

Anyway, check out Fresh Produce, they have a bunch of cute daytime dresses and party dresses.  And if you buy anything, I dare you to try to make your husband take 50 photos of you wearing it and send the best one to me. I can then show my husband and prove to him he is not alone in the crazy things husbands do for their wives. 

Have a great Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dinner club with the gals

Once a month my good friends Melanie, Kristin and I have a "dinner club". This is an official way to describe a night out drinking wine, eating great food, and best of all enjoying each other's company. Each month one of us chooses a restaurant that we've never been to before.

Yesterday Kristin chose Barbary Fig in St. Paul, a Mediterranean restaurant with a sweet patio on Grand Ave. We had a fantastic meal, full of flavor and warm sun. It was a gorgeous day to be outdoors, 70 with blue skies.

We shared an appetizer of spinach and feta wrapped in pastry with tomato chutney and sauteed vegetables. It was so good I wish I had the whole thing all to myself.

Mel and I ordered vegetarian lentils with white beans and chickpeas in a mint and dill sauce. It was drizzled in tahini and yogurt and served over organic cracked wheat. This had amazing flavor with a hint of heat. I would definitely have this again.

Kristin ordered the vegetarian cous cous with five spices, raisins and almonds. She enjoyed it but thought it lacked a bit of flavor. It was a lovely dish, full of color.

I love dinner club, throw a gorgeous day and a patio in the mix and you basically have a evening filled with perfection.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Colorado trip - part 2

Thanks for stopping back for part 2 of my Colorado trip! 

On Monday we headed to Estes Park for a hike and the scenery.  Wow, it was simply beautiful.  We couldn't have asked for bluer skies or a more perfect day. 

We went on a leisurely hike and stopped for many photo opps.  Amy, Melanie, Nick (Lobo), me and Kristin.  PCG baby!  Sorry...that's a highschool thing.
Nick impressed us with his rock-jumping.  Seriously though...this is a cool photo isn't it?
See what I mean about that blue sky?


Nick and his awesome girlfriend Jillian.  We love her.  Don't screw this one up Lobo!  Just kidding, you are both super lucky to have each other.  A perfect pair.
We drove back to Fort Collins and Amy had to leave for the airport.  The rest of us gals had a little happy hour back at Nick and Jillian's loft.  Nothing like a nice glass of Pinot Noir after an active day.

For dinner on Monday we went to Coopersmith's Pub.  Kristin and I shared a great black bean burger.  We are now inspired to recreate it for summer BBQs.  I think it had wild rice in it which gave it a really great texture.  Oh and I may have had one too many vodka soda's this evening...


Melanie left early Tuesday morning and Kristin and I had the entire day to hang out in Fort Collins.  We had breakfast at Little Bird Bake Shop, an adorable cafe that had amazing thyme and potato quiche.  Kristin had baked oatmeal and hot chocolate (yes, that's a homemade marshmallow!).
Pretty Kristin.
Enjoying some green tea and wishing I never had to leave...
After breakfast we went shopping and Kristin spent a bunch of money at this awesome little boutique called White Balcony.  They carry clothes, accessories and home decor.  It was one of our fave shops in Fort Collins (along with Sole Mates, of course!). 
Just when you think we couldn't possibly eat yet another meal we lunched at a Mexican place called Beach House Grill.  They had $2 tacos on Tuesdays and I had an awesome fried grouper taco.  The guacomole was really tasty, as well. 
Kristin and I toasted to a wonderful vacation with a Corona and then headed to the airport (where our flight was delayed!)...we finally made it home around 11pm on Tuesday evening. 

Wow, what a freaking awesome vacation.  Jillian and Nick, I can't thank you enough for your hospitality and total awesomeness. 

Mel, Kristin and Amy...you ladies will always be my besties and I loved every moment we spent together on this trip!  Can't wait to do it all over again next year!