Friday, October 31, 2008

¡Ob├ímanos!

Last Saturday, Nikki and I met up with 100,000 of our closest friends to watch (the future) President Barack Obama give a speech in downtown Denver. Okay, we only went with about 10 friends; we don't know the other 100,000+ people. Given that his two previous rallies in Kansas City and St. Louis drew 75,000 and 100,000 people, respectively, we figured it would be a great atmosphere to see him live and he didn't disappoint. It was a beautiful autumn day and as Marco put it, "You could smell the change in the air!" Reports after the event declared it as the largest rally to-date. Very cool!

I just dropped off our mail-in ballots a few minutes ago and it feels great to be part of the political process. I really wish more young voters would take part; perhaps many of them don't realize the impact they can have. However, it does seem like the voter turnout for young voters has been increasing in the last few elections. I'll wear my "I voted" sticker with pride!

Here is a picture I saw online from the rally. Truly incredible!

Denver Obama Rally

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

a pumpkin-rific day

Found my pumpkin

What could be more fun than spending a beautiful, sun-filled afternoon outside picking strawberries, raspberries, and pumpkins? The answer is… NOTHING! So this past Saturday, that's just what we did.

Shauna threw the best pumpkin party ever. We started our day with pumpkin cream cheese pumpkins… healthy – no, but delicious – yes. We washed them down with some yummy hot apple cider. To further indulge in our kid-like day, we dressed ourselves up in some Halloween garb. We sported Halloween tattoos, headbands, ties, socks, and witches'' hats. We thought we were pretty cool until we arrived at Berry Patch Farm and found that we, in our late 20's, were more dressed up and festive than the kids. Well, I think we still thought we were pretty cool :)


Halloween dress-up

Berry pickin'

Berry Patch Farm was so cute. We took a hay ride out to the field for some pumpkin pickin', and then walked back to the farm picking and eating berries the whole way.

Despite our constant munching at the farm, we arrived back at Shauna's famished. Lucky for us Shauna was prepared and we stuffed ourselves silly. Kudos to Shauna and Champa for serving us up the best potato soup and chili Colorado has to offer! Although our food coma bodies were desperate for some couch time, we mustered up the energy and began our pumpkin carving. Twenty minutes later all the boys had successfully managed to clean and carve their pumpkins, how is that? Twenty minutes in I was still scraping the guts of my pumpkin out! I guess when you are creating beauty, it just takes time ;) So, an hour and half later us girls put the final touches on our pumpkin masterpieces, and they looked pretty darn sweet!

Pumpkin show

We ended our fabulous day with a scary movie… Prom Night. Okay, so maybe not that scary, but there was still a whole lot of screaming going on! And yes, I admit, a good bit of the screaming was coming from yours truly. I'm such a scaredy cat.

Pumpkin Party Pictures

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

let the festivities begin!

Penelope in the cauldron

Even Penelope gets in on the fun!

Ahh... Fall. I love it. I'm not sure what I love best - could be my birthday, which is the first day of Fall, could be the cool, crisp weather that makes you want to bundle up on the couch and read a good book, maybe it's the leaves changing colors, or perhaps it's that Fall brings us Halloween, which, quite possibly, could be my favorite holiday? Who knows? All I can say is I am so happy and excited - let the Fall festivities begin!

Matt and I decided to usher us into the season with a little party. It was a great excuse for me to make all my favorite Halloween recipes and decorate the house. We munched our way through the night and through the super cute movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas.


Spider web dip
Cheese brain
Dirt dessert
Witch cupcakes

Up next... Shauna's pumpkin party. A whole day devoted to child-like fun - hay rides, corn mazes, hot apple cider, toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin picking, and pumpkin carving - can't wait!

Halloween party photos...

birthday wishes

Birthday hat
I recently celebrated my 28th birthday... YIKES, I'm getting old! I could not have wished for a more wonderful day. My sweetie pie friend, Tasha, worked her magic and surprised me with a fabulously fun day with friends.


My girlfriends picked me up and we all went for mani-pedi's. We relaxed our morning away being pampered and enjoying some much needed girl talk. Afterwards, we headed to Starbucks for our caffeine fix, and then we were off to Boulder. Our next stop was the beautiful Dushanbe Teahouse where we enjoyed a yummy brunch and mimosas.

The rest of our afternoon was spent shopping. The most fun was had at the hat stand on Pearl Street. I bet we spent a good half hour trying on every hat that stand had to offer, but it was the best silly fun!

We wear many hats

Fiesty crab leg
The boys caught up with us for a delicious seafood dinner at Pappadeaux's. After dinner we headed over to Tasha and Jacob's for dessert... ladies and gentleman, this presented the best surprise of the day - my birthday cake. Tasha dreamed up a pretty daisy cake for me - white petals with a pink center - it would be just lovely. A trip to the grocery store provided her with a bundt cake pan, kind of looks like a flower she thought, then all she would need to do is fill up the center and her flower would be complete. Fast forward a bit... cake is iced, but those pretty bundt cake lines are now gone, covered up with white frosting. The center, a little higher than the cake itself, but iced in pretty pink frosting. Having a hard time visualizing this masterpiece, well trouble yourself no longer...


Boob cake Part 1
Boob cake Part 2

Confused? Are you thinking, hmm... this reminds me of something, but I'm not sure it's a flower. It looks a little more like a.... boob? Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Tasha Belle made me a boob cake! And let me tell you, it was the best damn boob cake I have ever had!

And just when I thought this birthday can't get any better, my hubby surprised me with a murder-mystery dinner train ride through the Royal Gorge. I'm a lucky lady!

More b-day pics...

Friday, October 17, 2008

it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

We recently spent a beautiful afternoon at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It was a perfect day to stroll through the gardens and snap pictures of all the pretty flowers and plants.

Yellow Flower
Pink and Yellow Flower

Flower in the sun
Red Flower

More pictures from the Botanic Gardens

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

pretty pillows

I just bought new pillows for our living room and I am super duper excited about them. I know what you're thinking... Nikki, they are just pillows, but that's just because you haven't seen them yet! I have been thinking about sprucing up our living room for a while now, but have just been waiting for the perfect item to come my way. And then, while casually flipping through a Crate and Barrel catalog I spotted them, and it was love at first sight :) So, I lured Matt to the mall with me and we snatched up four pretty pillows.

Pillows Closeup
Both Pillows

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

tee time and the dnc

As I'm sure you all know, Denver hosted the Democratic National Convention this year. We were really excited to be a part of all the festivities, so we hopped on our bikes and headed downtown to experience Obama-mania first hand. It was a truly unique experience. Downtown Denver was movin' and groovin'. There were literally thousands of people lining the streets, and you could feel the energy and enthusiasm flowing in the air.

Feeling a little inspired from our night at the DNC, we decided to get crafty and make some Obama t-shirts. It was so much fun! Tyson made a really cool stencil of Barack Obama which read, "B.A. Barack U.S. - I Pity The Fool Who Don't VOTE OBAMA". For all you Mr. T fans, you get the reference. A few of us bought iron-ons and created our own fun slogans. Mine read, "Obama Baracks My World", and let me tell ya, he does!

Matt's Obama T-shirt
Nikki's Obama T-shirt

Check out our crafty creations...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

St. Mary's Glacier

This past Labor Day weekend, Nikki and I went hiking at St. Mary's Glacier with Tyson, Hannah, Tasha, Sean, Brian, and Kat. We had a great time, perfect weather, and amazing views. Okay, so it's technically considered a "permanent snow field" and not a glacier, but it was fun to go out and slide around on the snow. There were some people who brought their skis and poles, but that's much more work than I'd want to do. I prefer lush snow and chair lifts! :)

Click here for more pictures

The gang at St. Mary's Glacier

Monday, September 8, 2008

i see london, i see france...

Matt & Nikki at Eiffel TowerMatt and I took an amazing trip to Europe this summer. Our three week adventure took us to London, England; Munich, Germany; Interlaken, Switzerland; Paris, France; and Barcelona and Madrid, Spain. We have wanted to travel to Europe for a long time now, but what a lot of work it is! I can say though, that it was all worth it. Believe me, we were pretty worn out by the time we got back to the states, but we wouldn't trade our experience for anything. We had such a wonderful time and we were exposed to so many beautiful things - it was great! Okay, so there is so much that we want to share, but I warn you we got a bit lengthy! So if you have some time read on, and if not, skip to the end and check out our pictures.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

she's devilishly cute

Penelope is one lucky lady! Grandma and Grandpa Parrish sent her the cutest devil costume. She wasn't exactly happy about having to wear the costume; in fact, she just stood in the middle of the living room looking at up us with big, sad eyes. We think she thought we were punishing her :) No worries though, she was rewarded with a tasty treat for all her trauma!

Miss Penelope

Monday, August 25, 2008

cruisin'... mad max style

Tough Girls

I am quickly discovering that Colorado has so many wonderfully fun things to offer, but I just might have discovered my favorite thing to date... the Boulder Cruiser Bike Ride. The cruiser ride happens every Thursday night in Boulder and it brings hundreds of people out for a night of fun. Every week is a different theme. So, imagine a little bike riding, a little costume wearing, a little dancin' in the park, and an amazingly fun night with friends – kick ass, I know!

The theme of this ride was Mad Max (an apocalyptic 80's Mel Gibson flick). Tyson, Tasha, Brian, Shauna, and I headed to Boulder attempting to look as dark, dirty, and hard as possible. Not sure we accomplished our goal, but we had fun trying!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

4th of july road trip

The group

Just in time for the 4th of July, we took a patriotic road trip to Mount Rushmore. Tyson, Sean, Tasha, Jacob, Shauna, Matt, and I did a 3 state tour of the west – Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

GIrls at Mount Rushmore
Guys as Presidents

Our first stop was in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where we visited Scottsbluff National Monument and enjoyed some beautiful views. We encountered a prairie rattlesnake when we first drove into the park, which was sweet and scary all wrapped into one! Penelope actually walked the park with us, well at least most of it. We were pretty proud of our short-legged pup for keeping up with us.

We spent the 4th in Hot Springs, South Dakota. We caught a fireworks show there -- unfortunately we missed out on Mount Rushmore's fireworks. Apparently, Mount Rushmore has an amazing show, but they do theirs on the 3rd.

While in South Dakota we visited Wind Cave National Park. Wind Cave is very similar to the caves we all visited on school field trips when we were kids. The cave was formed by wind, hence its name. It is always a cool 58 degrees and the passage ways total an impressive 130 miles long.

The highlight of our trip to South Dakota was of course seeing Mount Rushmore. It is one of those places you see in text books, but never expect to see in person. The drive to Mount Rushmore National Memorial takes you through winding roads and at one spot there is a break in the trees and through them you can see the Presidents. The park allows you to get pretty up close and personal with the Presidents – it is so cool that something so large in scale could be created by carving rock.

Our last night we spent camping at Glendo State Park in Wyoming. It was a nice ending to our weekend. We sat around the campfire and made smores. I've discovered that I make a mean smore, not bragging, just sayin' :)


Click here to view more pictures from the trip on Flickr

girls just want to have fun

Cyndi Lauper knows what she's talking about!  Some of my girlfriends and I decided we were long overdue for a night on the town.  So we got all dolled up and treated ourselves to a ridiculous amount of tapas and wine.  After we were feeling good and giggly we went out for a little dancing.  And believe me, we danced until we could dance no more!

The Girls

See us in all our fabulousness :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mount Sanitas

Last Saturday, Nikki and I went hiking with Tyson, Sean and Tasha.  We were in Boulder, CO again, but this time we hiked the Mount Sanitas trail.  It was a tiring day because Sean, Tyson and I had hockey lessons earlier that morning and were playing hockey later that evening.  So we ended up coming back down before reaching the top.  But we made it pretty far, nonetheless.  It was a gorgeous day; hardly a cloud in the sky and the temperature was great.

[More pictures from the hike on Flickr](http://www.flickr.com/photos/mparrish/sets/72157604640449894/)

Mount Sanitas

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Royal Arch - Chautauqua Park

We recently went hiking at Chautauqua Park in Boulder.  The park is beautiful and offers a lot of hiking trails.  We decided to hike to Royal Arch, which is a cool rock formation shaped like... wait for it... an arch!  The trail was about a mile long.  The weather was great, the sun was shining and the air was crisp.

≈Royal Arch

Friends at Royal Arch

The higher we climbed, the cooler it got, and with just a little bit more to go before we got to the arch we encountered some icy trails.  This definitely made our hike just a little more interesting.  I was pretty much on my hands and knees crawling up the trail.  Going down was a lot of fun.  We squatted and used our shoes like skis and just slid down the trail.

We ended up hiking for about three hours - we were so tired!  With all those calories burned we figured we had earned ourselves a big dinner.  We stuffed ourselves with pizza and chocolate mousse from Pizza Colore in Boulder - so, sooo yummy!  Tyson has a grand plan of us all hiking a different place each weekend this summer - we'll see how that goes! :)

For more Chautauqua Park pictures click here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lights Out

On Saturday, March 29th we participated in Earth Hour, an event started in Sydney, Australia in 2007.  The idea for Earth Hour comes from a desire to spread awareness about global warming, specifically the effects of coal-fired electricity.  For one hour, residents and businesses across Sydney turned off their lights resulting in a 10.2% decrease in energy usage in the city.  Not only was it a unique experiment, but it had an impact, and the idea spread across the world.  This year 24 cities participated in Earth Hour.




Several friends gathered at our place and from 8pm-9pm we turned off our lights.  We lit candles, ate brownies and played board games.  It was so easy and fun.  One hour a year is such a small amount of time to commit to, we hope to celebrate Earth Hour many times throughout the year.



The Big Three-Oh

On March 20th, my handsome hubby turned 30!  To celebrate this momentous occasion we went to dinner with a group of friends.  We went to a restaurant called Casa Bonita.




Matt turns 30




Casa Bonita is one of the most interesting restaurants we have ever been to.  While we didn't know exactly what to expect going into the evening, we had heard that the experience of eating there far surpassed the experience of eating their food.  Casa Bonita lived up to its expectations.




Throughout the evening we were entertained by flame jugglers, a dancing gorilla and entertainers cliff diving.  Light sabers were brought to our table for purchase, while we stuffed ourselves with an endless supply of sopapillas.  After dinner we wandered through Black Bart's cave and took a pony and donkey ride(on kiddie rides, not real ones!).




All in all, it was a great night.  We were all hurting a bit the next day from the food, but it was well worth it!




Check out more pictures from Matt's birthday here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Rocky Mountain Hi

Hi Everyone!  Well, as I'm sure you all know we made it to Denver safe and sound.  Our drive out here went well - nothing too exciting to report.  We opted not to stop and see the world's largest ball of twine, but we did catch a glimpse of the world's largest easel.  Fun times! :)




Welcome to Colorado
Once we arrived in Denver things got a little crazy.  We had made arrangements to see the home we were going to be renting on the Friday we got into Denver.  Driving through the neighborhood leading up to our house did not give us a lot of hope for what we were about to see.  Unfortunately, our concerns were warranted.  The neighborhood was a little scary looking.  The house was older, kind of dingy, and it ended up being smaller and just not as nice as we had expected.  Walking out from our tour, we were pretty doubtful that this was a place we would want to call home, but I think what sealed the deal for us was a comment made by the women who owns the home.  She said, and I quote, "The neighborhood may look kind of sketchy, but it's not actually sketchy.  There's no gang-bang violence or anything."  That did it for us.  While we were glad there was no "gang-bang violence" going on, the mere mention of it told us this place just wasn't for us.




Bright and early Saturday morning we began our search for our new home.  A friend of ours, Kat (Brian Grimes' girlfriend), recommended an area called Stapleton.  The area used to be the location of the Stapleton International Airport (fun fact: the movie "Airport" was filmed there).  It is an up and coming neighborhood being built with a focus on sustainability.  They have recycled parts of the old airport by using them in the construction of the new neighborhood.  The community hosts a grocery store, gas station, skate park, schools, playgrounds, and several restaurants - all within walking distance.  A 10 minute drive gets us to several of our friends, downtown, a Super Target, and a mall.  We like our apartment.  It is no Buggyworks Loft, but we are truly happy and settling into our new home.




Love and Hugs,
m&n




p.s. Pictures on Flickr