Friday, March 21, 2014

The Nun Can Sing

I know I have been MIA lately. I am sorry. I have lame excuses like "I am buried at work" and "I am moving houses" and "I love napping."

As I can imagine, I am sure all four of my readers have missed my semi-coherent ramblings, the occasional recipe and the latest blind date escapade. I promise to do better although I am not about to turn down a body double to do my more menial tasks like paying bills and exercising.

Anyone? Bueller?

In the meantime, I leave you with this. This nun makes me happy down to my toes. And I love the expression of the judges. It is worth the watch. I promise

Happy Spring!

Happy Birthday (if it is your birthday)!

And Happy Friday!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shake the Shadow's Big Night

As you all are probably very aware, Saturday night was Treehouse Sanctum's big night!
All of my obnoxious marketing and unashamed plugs finally paid off.
Oh, and their hard work, countless hours, crazy talent and blood, sweat and tears did too.
It was an amazing night!


It's not everyday you see your band's name on a sign. Nope.

And all those people you see? They were waiting in line for pizza because this past weekend just happened to be Denver's St. Patrick's Day weekend celebration. And these people had been partying hard since 9:00 am and nothing screams "I am already hungover and need my second wind" like pizza.

You guys, it was a constant stream of crazy outside. Men were running around like grown toddlers, doing anything for attention, and women were wobbling around in high heels looking like drunk giraffes who desperately needed a shower and the Bible.

And when you add the occasional fight, argument, tantrum, face-plant and overall lack of coordination, the night was ripe for entertainment and poor choices.

However, there was a lot happening inside!

For instance, these two: the heart, soul and drive behind Treehouse Sanctum. This was their big night!
And you can't forget the moms. Here is one of them with her firstborn. She sold t-shirts and handed out CDs like only a mom could do.
And here I am with half of the band. I admit, I was proud.


 My home girl Tara and I. We ate pizza and talked about selling t-shirts with the best of them.

Here is my favorite trumpet player. He was home just for the concert and layed down some sweet notes for a few of the songs. Double proud.

And here is 4/7 of our family.
After two great opening bands, Treehouse Sanctum hit the stage. And let me tell you, they were in it to win it. They played and sang their hearts out. And as the night went on, the crowds kept growing.

A blurry father/son shot.

Jam session.
Dancing crowds.

And this? Well, it could be one of my most favorite pictures ever. Play on, Daddio!

By 11:00, Treehouse Sanctum called it a night and the last band went on to close the show. Hundreds of people came, hundreds of dollars were raised for the Denver Rescue Mission and one very hard-working band got to usher in a new phase in their musical career.

It was music magic.

A huge special thanks to those who came far and wide to attend: Nadine, Mike, Bev, Mandy, Robyn, Gretchen, Chrystal, Tara, Alethea, Doug, Colleen, Ryan, Loren and Denise. You are pretty groovy.

And don't worry, I'll keep posting updates about Treehouse Sanctum. They deserve the shout-outs.

Besides, Treehouse Sanctum may need to open for me when I have my own cooking/talent/variety show. Hey, it could happen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Freedom - It May or May Not Be My Favorite Song

Hello people of the Internet!

Here is one of Treehouse Sanctum's radically great songs from their album. It is called "Freedom" and is hot off the CD presses...or whatever they are called.

This could be my favorite. But don't hold me to it. I may change my mind. I don't know.

And speaking of albums, it is TOTALLY READY!

You should come and celebrate with them next week because you are still invited to their album release concert on March 15 at the Marquis Theater in downtown DENVER.

It will be epic!!

And super fun!!

And you can even buy a t-shirt!!

And I may even bring cupcakes.

What is not to love, people?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Recipe Round-Up: Brussels Sprout Hash with Bacon

I am a fan of the Brussels sprout.

This funky, miniature, cabbage-looking vegetable is super healthy, crazy delicious and goes perfectly with bacon.

I mean, of course it does. Because BACON.

This hash is simple to throw together and only takes about 15 minutes. I eat it as a meal, sometimes with a fried egg on top. Claire has also perfected it as a Thanksgiving side dish. Either way, you cannot go wrong.

It is savory, tangy, comforting, with just a hint of sweetness from the honey. Total win.

So, shall we do this?
First, cut off the ends and peel off the first layer or two, just like you would a cabbage.

Rinse them under cold water. Those suckers like to store dirt and sand in the leafy layers so work them over real good.

Next, slice them very thinly.

Then cut the slices in half.

Until you have a huge mound of sliced, diced Brussels sprouts.


Now, cut up a yellow or white onion and a clove of garlic.

In the meantime, fry some bacon.
Add your onions and garlic. And sauté for a minute or two.
Then add your Brussels sprouts.

Meanwhile, combine apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk and pour over Brussels sprouts.

That's right, just like that.

Stir. And now eat.

Seriously. So good.
And really good for you. It's gluten-free, low-carb, heart-healthy, vitamin-rich deliciousness with bacon.

Brussels Sprout Hash with Bacon:
1 lb Brussels sprouts
4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1/2 medium yellow or white onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
salt and pepper to taste

Clean Brussels sprouts by cutting off ends and peeling away outer leaf layers. Wash under cold water, removing all dirt and sand. Once cleaned, slice thinly and then cut slices in half. Repeat for all sprouts. Dice onion and garlic. Meanwhile, fry diced bacon in a large pan until crisp. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add Brussels sprouts. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until bright green and tender.
Combine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over sprouts and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add additional honey, salt and pepper to taste. And for extra protein, serve with a fried egg!
Dig in!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lip Sync Off - Jimmy Fallon and Paul Rudd

I love everything about this. Paul Rudd's last performance almost made me fall out of my chair.

Here's to falling out of your chair today.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Shady Cupcake Dealings

I have been making a few cupcakes lately.

As in billions. I have been making billions of cupcakes lately.

And I cannot tell you how much I love it.

My darling friends, who know how much I love my Kitchen Aid mixer and who whole-heartily support my love of cream cheese frosting, have become excellent customers. Some are even repeat buyers. And last night, two of them showed up at my door shoving wads of cash into my hands in exchange for their sugar fix.

I dig it.

I am happy to be their supplier. It could be my new calling.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Album Release Concert of Awesomeness

You guys. It is here. The big bash, the big night, the big concert to celebrate their album release: "Shake the Shadow."

And I could not be more excited for Treehouse Sanctum.

And can I tell you something? I have heard an early release copy of their album and it is freaking great.


I'm not making that up. You guys know that they pay me in high-fives to promote them. Their album is beautiful and soulful and fun and creative and amazing. There's even been some buzz:

“Shake the Shadow is Colorado proud . . . Steady guitar work and soulful lyrics dominate the music and leave a pleasant taste in the ear of the listener.” Tim Wenger, Colorado Music Buzz Magazine

“The art of the song is not lost on Treehouse Sanctum, who seem to explore new and interesting ways to harness the beautifully rich vocal palette of Rymer and Prado, with each subsequent track they produce.” Markus Greybeard, Literati Records

“That girls voice is kickin’.” Trevor O’Connor, Trevor Rocks Denver

I guess they are totally legit now.

And now here is the fun part: you are invited to the party!

YES YOU ARE! You are invited to the big, honking party that will rock downtown Denver for one glorious night on March 15. You do not want to miss this.

Who: Treehouse Sanctum with awesome guests
When: March 15
Where: Marquis Theater (2009 Larimer Street, Denver)
Time: 7:00 pm
Cover: $8
**All proceeds from the Shake the Shadow album will be donated to the Denver Rescue Mission.

I will be there. Treehouse Sanctum will be there. My dad will be there. Others will be there. You should totally be there.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Spring Fashion Fever

I don't know about you, but I am craving spring. CRAVING. I think it has something to do with the fact that it snowed again last night and the wind has been blowing so hard you would think I still live in Oklahoma.

I am tired of my sweaters. My coat is dead to me. And I am pretty sure that I have a legitimate back injury from shoveling snow.

Dramatic much?

Yes. I am dramatic much because cold weather is the opposite of everything I love. Except when it snows on Christmas. That is awesome. I love that.


As I think about the warmer months ahead, I have found myself gravitating towards a handful of fashion trends. This year seems to be all about feminine prints, flowy details and really colorful jewelry.

And do you know what I say to that? Step aside, turtleneck, your days are numbered.

Here are my current faves:

Maxis: Maxis are the equivalent of the ever-popular muumuu with one key difference: they actually look good. I could wear one everyday. And I adore all the patterns, styles and colors.

Pastels: Gone are the days of thinking that pastels make you look like walking Easter eggs. These colors have been re-invented to be more vibrant and sophisticated. And there is a color for every skin tone. Bust these out.

Prints: Gotta love them. And they are everywhere right now. I somehow always gravitate towards blue tones but I wouldn't mind a printed dress in every color. Anthropologie is loaded with amazing prints right now. Uh-mazing!

Now, if I only could get someone to donate to my wardrobe fund I may be able to shop there...

Jewelry: I am nuts for accessories. One piece can totally make an outfit. My favorite places to shop for jewelry are Charming Charlie, Francesca's, Target and Banana Republic. Oh, and my sister's jewelry box.

White: classic, feminine, strong and it makes even an Irish girl look tan. Find the shade that looks best on you and you can't go wrong.


Isn't that hat killer?
So, are you craving spring like me? Are you tired of your wool socks and mittens? Or do you secretly wish you lived in the Arctic? I promise I won't judge.
March is only nine days away, and even though it is Colorado's snowiest month (sigh), it is also the arrival of spring. My heart, mind and wardrobe are so ready.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Like Stretchy Pants

I spent this past weekend in Oklahoma, the land of my birth, the home of my soul, the source of my twang.

This trip was fast but filled to the brim of everything I love. We ate a lot, we talked even more and we sat around looking at each other, soaking up all that we had missed and everything we had experienced together.

Our discussions included (but were not limited to): pizza, nude beaches, Alamosa, cupcakes, OU football, the 4th of July, my grandpa, hair, gray hair, ping pong, cheating at board games, children, church, chips and queso, sleep apnea, Sonic milkshakes, colonoscopies, chickens and pregnant cows.

You know, typical.

Oh, and we also talked about my dating life, which is always awesome.

I may even say this was my favorite trip, and that's saying a lot, especially since we have had some epic talent shows, golf tournaments and Velveeta dips. This mini-reunion was like wearing your favorite pair of stretchy pants: comforting, familiar and forgiving.

Long live stretchy pants. And long live my family.