Sunday, October 21, 2012

It's a boy!!!

So Amanda reminded us a while back that we had not let the blogging world know about our big news, which is that Julie and I are having a little baby boy!!  He is due in February, and we couldn't be more excited (or nervous for that matter!).  

To catch you up, here are some of the first baby pictures.  The first one here is from our first ultrasound back in August, and the second are from the other ultrasound we had on our anniversary!!  That is the one where we found it was a boy!  Ever since then we have been doing all kinds of stuff to try to get ready for his arrival. 

One of our first pictures of him, a tiny little fella

The nurse showed his spine a few times during the exam

We think he looks like his cousin Breckin in this picture

Part of that prep has been trying to figure out baby furniture, clothes, how to feed it, and most importantly how often our parents want to take him for us!  We went to Ikea last weekend and got a dresser for him, hopefully it lasts long enough for him to take to college or into his first apartment.  We have to figure out the crib situation, and just about everything else too.  But we have the dresser thing covered! 

Julie also got some cute fabric from Ikea...and a stuffed hedgehog

We have been wanting to paint some of the rooms for a little while, because the house is all one color.  While this isn't a bad thing at all, a little variety is nice.  So we are testing out paint colors for the baby's room, and we just have to figure out which one to choose. 

I am sure that we'll have more to post about the baby, and we'll eventually finish our West Coast trip blogs too!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TWD: Baking with Julia - Bagels

Today's recipe was Bagels!  And seeing how I love bagels, I was not going to miss baking up this recipe.  Mikey and I decided we would bake them up over the weekend so that we could have them for breakfast all week.  I am sure glad we did, it took five minutes to mix up the dough, but then the dough had to rise for a hour and then it had to be refrigerated for four hours.  And then you got to the cooking part.  It took a while!  If you want to check out the whole recipe, the host of this week's recipe is from Heather's Bytes.

We decided we wanted to try to make chocolate chip bagels because it sounded really easy to just mix in some chocolate chips!  We forgot on the first five, so we made two cinnamon-sugar, two sea salt, and one sesame seed one.  We experimented with all the options!  It made the last five a lot easier, since they were all chocolate chip!

Mikey helped me a lot, he took pictures, he stirred the dough, he enjoyed helping me form the dough into bagels, he helped boil them, he poured the ice into the oven (I was a little scared) and he helped top the first batch!  Thanks for helping honey!

Here is the dough, Mikey forming a bagel, the boiling of one little bagel, the topping action, and the finished products!  I think we will be making these again!

While the dough was rising Mikey noticed our neighbor's yard had some visitors!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


These last few weeks saw fall come into Colorado and make it quite beautiful here, with the leaves turning colors and the days getting chilly.  Our anniversary always happens right when the leaves are turning up in the mountains, so Julie and I typically make our way up there.  This year we went to Vail once again to check out their leaves.  We decided to head up on a Thursday and Friday instead of a weekend this year, just to change things up a little bit, and it was a great idea!

Because the hotel we stayed at didn't have very many people staying at the hotel, they upgraded us to one of their super fancy pants suites, which has three directions of views of Vail!  It had the giant bathtub with a big bathroom, a sitting area next to the fireplace, and it was right above the ice cream shop!  Yay!

Our lovely room!
An outside shot of our room

Despite how cool our room was, we wanted to check out the town, so we took a hike up some of the ski areas to take pictures and Julie used her big lens to take pictures of the Gore range.  We also took full advantage of Vail Restaurant Month to sample some fine dining up there.  Most notably, we watched a movie called Trouble with the Curve, starring Justin Timberlake at a place which serves you a good dinner and snacks like a restaurant.  Totally worth it!

The Gore Range in yellow glory!

We had a lovely time, but I had stuff to do in the Springs, so we left after our two nights there.  But Fall also means baking and cooking all sorts of stuff, so that is what we did the next weekend!  We made an awesome chuck roast (still from the cow we bought a while back) stew, then made malted milk chocolate chip cookies from the Pioneer Woman.  Ours didn't turn out nearly as well as hers did, but we are going to blame the altitude and try them again with some modifications...once our hearts recover from the 2 sticks of butter in them!!!!

Everything was going so well!

Action shot of the Ikea flour sifter

Once you add ice cream it is all the same...

We'll be picking up leaves and shoveling snow before we know it, but Fall is wonderful!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ok... playing big time catch up - Napa Valley!

We left the redwoods and drove to Napa!  We planned to head to our first wine tasting on our way down through the valley to our bed and breakfast.  The first winery we wanted to visit was the Sterling Vineyards.  You get to ride a tram to the top of the vineyard, then once you get to the top you take a walking tour and sample wines along the way.  It was about 95 degrees out when we got there, so we didn't take too long walking around, we got our tastings and went to the tasting room to finish trying three other wines.  It was very pretty and the wine was very tasty!

Holding Julie's glass while she takes pictures

The view from the outside tasting area
Enjoying some bread in the inside tasting room

It only took us about an hour to do the tasting so we decided to head across the street and try another tasting at the Castello Di Amorosa.  The castle was very fun to walk around and explore in and then they had their tasting in the wine cellar!  The wine was good, but not the best.  After exploring we headed down the road to check into the Bed and Breakfast.

One of the "ancient" castles in Napa, opened in 2007!
The courtyard of the castle

We stayed at the Candlelight Inn, and it was very nice.  Our room was a little hot, but seeing how Napa was 90 something degrees, I guess it is understandable.  We were pretty excited to sleep in a bed and use a private bathroom after four days of camping and sleeping on the ground!  We showered and headed out to dinner in downtown Napa.  It was a cute little town and I can't really remember where we went, it wasn't anything that great.

The next day we made a reservation to go enjoy a couple's mud bath!  We decided it would be something fun and different to try so we headed up the road.  We were a little early for our appointment so we stopped by a farmer's market and bought some delicious cherries to snack on.  Then we embraced the mud!  It was pretty stinky mud because they used sulfur water from the hot springs, and we even floated in the mud!  After floating in mud for about fifteen minutes, we had a hot towel wrap and then we showered on were on our way for more wine! 

We first stopped at the Domain Chandon, which is a wonderful place for sparkling wines.  They had a bachelorette party or something going on in there plus it was on the tour bus route, so it was pretty loud.  But we found our way outside and enjoyed the lovely day with a little bit of quiet!  We next hit up Dean and Deluca for lunch, where we ate sandwiches and cookies on a little patch of grass with a lovely view.  Earlier at the B+B we made reservations for a small winery called Elyse, which almost no one goes too.  This was probably the best of all the wineries we went to over the weekend, it was small, the people were happy to tell us all about it, and of course we met people from Colorado while there! 

The view from our impromptu picnic
Enjoying the wine at Chandon
The best winery we got to go to, we ended up with a few bottles from this one!

After Napa, we made our way down the highway and found Aunt Carol's house near San Fran!!  We'll complete our catching up with our tales there!