Phrases on Canvas

Hey!

So I went to the Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5 concert at Fiddlers Amphitheater the other night. SO AMAZING! I’m not normally a huge fan of this venue because the general admission is in the grass on a hill and you have to get there early enough to nab some seats. And stay in constant fear of someone falling on you as they slide down the grass. Jk. Kind of. Well this summer I totally changed my opinion. Fiddlers is great! This was the second concert I went to there this summer, and while it’s no Red Rocks, it’s hard to compete with a beautiful outdoor venue in beautiful Colorado. I mean honestly, look at this:

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Kelly did amazing! (We’re on a first name basis). She has such fantastic stage presence and was vocally great live!

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Maroon 5 was a ton of fun also! Apparently everyone is in love with Adam Levine…? Including the drunk hot messes falling all over themselves nice older women. Who knew I was getting two shows that night?! 😉

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CRAFT TIME!

What You Need:

  • Canvas- any size you want- Mine were 16″ x 20″ I believe
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Elmer’s glue (mixed with some water – follow directions on bottle) or Mod Podge
  • Magazine, newspaper, book pages, or music sheets
  • Stick on letters (if you don’t want to spend the money, like I didn’t, you will need one of the following sets of items: contact paper, exacto knife and printer, or a pack of chipboard letters. See step 3 for more directions*)

Instructions:

Step 1: First decide which paper you want showing underneath. I did magazine scraps on two, and music sheets on one. If you’re doing music sheets you can just adhere the whole sheet, but if you’re doing any of the other paper forms, I would rip out lots of little sections. Preferably in colors that you won’t be using for your background color. I recommend ripping them instead of cutting them, but whatever works best for you is fine.

Step 2: Using either Mod Podge or the Elmer’s Glue and water mix, start covering your whole canvas with the paper scraps. Be sure to cover the bottom of every scrap so it sticks, and then paint over it with some glue around the edges to make sure they don’t curl up.

Step 3: If you bought stick on letters, pick your phrase or word and stick them on. If you don’t have enough of one letter for the whole phrase, you can do the phrase in two parts so that you can pull off the letters on top once you paint over them, and then stick them on the second half of the phrase before you paint over that. Be sure you measure so that each line is spaced out and will fit.

*- If you do not want to pay for stick on letters, here are your two options. First, you can print out the phrase with a very big bold boxy font. Cover that with contact paper and then cut it out with an exacto knife. The contact paper should peel right off the printer paper. It’s definitely a little tedious so be prepared.. And by a little, I mean a lot. So skip that option if you don’t have much patience or already have high blood pressure. The second option is to buy a pack of chipboard letters. You simply set them on top of the paper scraps you’ve glued down, and you will hold each letter in place while you paint over/around them. This option was my favorite out of those two. You also get to keep the chipboard letter to use again if you do multiple of these paintings.

Step 4: Once you have your phrase laid down on the canvas, paint over it. I used a large paint brush and was just very gentle around the letters. On the two below I liked the transparency of one coat:

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However, on the last one I did multiple coats to decrease the transparency, but keep the texture:

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Step 5: Peel off letters. All done!

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The painting below has a phrase that is probably a little too long for this project, but I loved the verse and wanted to use it anyway!

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Share on Pinterest!

phrases show through

EDGE Restaurant

Hello!

How’s life!? Mine has been good, can’t complain! I did however just make an appointment for the dentist…not sure how “good” that is, but it’s got to be done at some point. I actually was reminded of a funny story after I got off the phone with them. It was about a year ago, and I needed to order new contacts. Seems easy enough? Well it would’ve been, if I didn’t accidentally call my dentist to order my contacts. They were just as confused as I was.

Tom and I just celebrated our 2 year anniversary on Sunday and went to a restaurant called EDGE. This restaurant had been one I’ve been wanting to go to for some time, and this was the perfect occasion.

Edge describes itself as “a progress American steakhouse.” It is in downtown Denver at the Four Seasons Hotel. Similar to the last restaurant review I did, you do not need to be a guest at the hotel to dine there. And let me tell you, YOU WANT TO DINE THERE!

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When you first arrive, Edge offers complimentary valet to it’s guests. You bring the valet ticket to the hostess and she will validate it for you. If you are just stopping in to visit the bar, you receive 50% off valet parking. The valet workers are very professional and friendly and can direct you to the restaurant entrance. They even have an adorable umbrella rack outside for it’s guests in case it’s raining.

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The ambiance of the restaurant is very cozy with dim lighting, and a very elegant feel. Be sure you dress up if you’re going here! They have a large and comfortable bar scene, which is the area you walk through to get to the main restaurant. They have unique decorations, lighting fixtures and furniture in the bar area to create a sleek and intimate feel. One of the decorations that stands out is their glassed in wine cellar, complete with exclusive and rare wine racks.

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The smell inside is so amazing; it smells like the best steak you’ve ever had. It wasn’t a strong or overwhelming smell, but it was enough to make your taste buds water. The picture below shows the sleek and modern look of the inside. Unfortunately the flash detracted from the dim lighting, but I think I was mostly focusing on those really neat slanted pitchers I wanted!!

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They even had a beautiful modern marble duel fireplace, pictured behind us.

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First was bread and butter. But not just any bread and butter. The bread was designed in this neat sectional pattern, so you don’t have to fight it to get a piece off. Just twist and each node came off smoothly. The butter had wine infused sea salt sprinkled on top.

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Next was the most important meal yet. The main course. They do have a bunch of apps and starters, but we thought that might be too much food. We each ordered 2 sea scallops, a filet mignon, accompanying sauce, a side, and a dessert. The presentation at Edge adds so much to the experience. You sort of feel like you don’t want to touch it because it looks so sleek and nice… But you quickly get over that because by this point you’re salivating. They cook your food to order so it takes about 25 minutes for it to be made and cooked fresh. The first thing Tom said was, “Oh my gosh, this is the best steak I have ever had in my entire life. We’re coming here every night!”

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The scallops were cooked perfectly, with a slightly grilled lemon to top off your food with. I ordered the Béarnaise sauce with a side of Sautéed Forest Mushrooms.  Underneath the side dishes they even insert clippings of the menu to add decor to the presentation.

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Tom ordered the “Edge” steak sauce and a side of Not Your Mama’s Twice Baked Potato. Admittedly, it really is unlike any twice baked potato you’ve ever had. It almost tastes like mac & cheese in a potato version. I continued to be impressed at how they could make even a twice baked potato look fancy.

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The brush streak next to the scallops was a raspberry jelly sauce, and the swirl near the steak was a balsamic vinaigrette. While these were mostly for decoration they tasted good too.

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Before we skip over it too fast, did you notice that nice little red pepper? Well our very sweet and attentive waitress let us know that those peppers are a little spicy, which was enough to deter Tom and I from trying it. Until the end. When we had eaten every last crumb off our plate. And it was just sitting there, staring at us. Judging us even, for being wimps. So we each cut off a tiny little bit off the end. Mmm. Good and not spicy! What was the waitress talking about? Cut off even more, no problems. So Tom and I cut off about a third of the pepper and pop it in our mouths. I go, “I don’t know why they even warn you about these, they probably end up wasting a lot of them because of tha—-ahhh.” Hot! Hot! Hot! Need more water. Can I order milk here? Why didn’t I even save a drop of my Béarnaise sauce to put on my tongue right now?! Don’t make a scene! Just breathe in.

Lastly, once our tongues recovered from the hot pepper trauma, we each ordered our dessert. Tom got the Mascarpone Cream Doughnut, which is topped with a Lemon Glaze, Berry Jam sauce and Colorado Honey Ice Cream. I think he was sold on this because of the Colorado Honey Ice Cream. We’ve talked a lot recently about how honey bees are becoming extinct. Quite sad.

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I ordered the Molten Carrot Cake. This included Pineapple Ginger Carpaccio, Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Ginger Rum Sauce and crisps on top. By the end of my meal, I couldn’t take another bite. So full and satisfied.

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Edge definitely falls into the $$$ range. I would say you would be hard pressed to get out of there without spending $60/ person. They are most known for their steak, but feature their seafood as well. This is a great place to go for a special occasion, or if you are wanting to splurge a little and treat yourself to a very decadent and memorable meal! Tom and I love it here! We will definitely be keeping it in mind in the future, and would be more than happy to return! Overall, I think that the best way to describe this place is exquisite food with a very edgy feel. Ah so punny.

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Headed home through beautiful Larimer Street.

Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta

Hello!!

Can I tell you about my night the other night? Guess you don’t really have a choice because I’m going to. If you live in Colorado then you know that two nights ago it was a downpour. I’m not talking the usual raining for five minutes and that being enough to cause all the drivers to panic and drive like they just got their licenses. No, I’m talking buckets and buckets causing it to look a little white outside from all the water coming down.

So I’m in my room, crafting away (you may know that I have a tendency to do that), and I periodically would look out my window because I love the rain so much! I always want to really seize the moment when it rains that hard in Colorado because it rarely does, but I can never actually think of anything that would be so riveting and satisfying to go do by myself in the rain. So I settled with just looking out my window at it.

Well, hours go by and no one else was home so I kind of got in the zone. I reached a point where I needed some wire cutters, and I tried to post pone having to go “all the way downstairs,” but I could delay no longer. So I head for the downstairs. At about the 2nd step down I hear the worst noise ever. It’s not a bad noise on it’s own, but in the context of the situation I knew that I was about to want to start crying. It was the lovely sound of a fountain. Well we don’t have a fountain. From past experiences, I immediately knew that water was pouring down from a light in our kitchen. And it sure had been for the last few hours. Which was evident by the two inches of water all over the counters and the floors, and everything (including the tv in there) was completely soaked. So naturally, I stayed calm…………by sprinting to grab towels, no my phone, I have to call someone, no get a bowl on the counter, no call someone first, no get towels. So as I proceeded to run back in forth through my house, I grabbed a pasta bowl and called my neighbor to come help me! He’s Mr. Fix-It so it was either him or 911, and I had the sense to know that 911 would have said, “yeah, and what do you want us to do?” So he comes over and finds that our gutters are completely full. So there isn’t actually any water going out the spout…because it’s traveling upward through the shingles into our lovely kitchen. How wonderful. Well long story short, I spent the next hour cleaning everything up in the kitchen and a mini lake upstairs because someone left a window open. How convenient for everyone to be gone that day. This might be one of the days where my family got lemonade and I got lemons 🙂

Speaking of lemons, today’s recipe is one of Tom and I’s all time favorites! Its Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta, and it’s from PaleOMG. I featured another one of her recipes in the past on my Steak & Eggs post, and I know you will love this one too. It’s healthy and delicious! There aren’t even any processed carbs.

What You Need:

  • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 12-15 artichoke hearts, cut in half (jarred)
  • ⅓ cup walnuts
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-5 cups of spinach

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 405 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, and after scrapping out the seeds, bake on a cookie sheet for 35-40 min. You will know that it’s done if you push a fork in the skin and it goes through with ease.

2. On medium heat add a little olive oil (or butter) and add a minced garlic clove. After about a minute add the artichoke hearts and some salt and pepper. Leave these on burner til they are browned. Admittedly this wasn’t the most attractive meal to photograph, but it tastes amazing so give it a chance!

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3. Once the artichokes become browned, add them to a food processor (or blender if you don’t have a food processor) along with the walnuts, olive oil, vegetable broth, and second garlic clove. Puree til it has a smooth consistency. Let sit in food processor/blender til you start the chicken. I’m pretty sure our blender is on it’s last leg. It’s from decades ago. But it wasn’t quite the disaster that we faced making chocolate mousse at Tom’s house. That’s a story for another day.

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4. Cube the chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook on medium high in the same pan you cooked the artichokes. Cook til chicken becomes browned on all sides.

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5. While chicken is browning, add parsley, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to food processor/blender. Puree til it has a smooth consistency. Parsley and basil are rough estimates but you don’t have to pack them down.

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It’s not as green as you’d think, it will look something like this:

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6. Once your chicken is done, add spinach and 1/4 a cup of pesto to chicken pan. Mix well, cover, and let cook til spinach is wilted. Then remove from heat. That red and black bowl is actually the bowl I grabbed to catch water when my kitchen was leaking. I washed it before I used it for food of course.

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7. Once spaghetti squash is done, scrape out the “strings/threads” of spaghetti with a fork and add to the chicken and spinach mix. Pour the rest of the pesto sauce from the food processor/blender into the bowl and mix well.

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8. Serve and fall in love!!

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Patterned Wine Bottle

Hey Everyone!

Did you have a good week? It’s almost over if not! And then you can return to weekending…the real reason people deal with M-F 😉

So for labor day weekend my parents headed up to Vail and I was stuck on plant watering duty so all her flowers didn’t die whilst they were away. This led me to some positive and negative feelings. Let’s start with the negative. Get the bad out of the way. First, it made me relate when a few years ago Tom said, “if the plants can’t stay alive for a couple days without being watered what futile things they are.” I fully intend to have some sort of sprinkler system installed in my future that waters all my flowers automatically because I can’t be bothered doing this everyday. Secondly, I’m pretty sure I’ve been watering weeds. There are these tall grasslike plants growing in this one section of the garden area and I’m pretty sure they are weeds. But how am I supposed to know?! So now not only have I wasted water (in our drought I might add), but I also just stood there looking like an idiot watering weeds.

Ready for the positives? I think flowers reflect what a beautiful world God created. Have you taken time to look at how detailed flowers are and how vibrant and many kinds there are? One of my favorite flowers is the sunflower with the yellow center! I just love them and can’t wait to grow them! I’ll have to figure out the logistics of growing them, but hopefully one day you’ll see them popping over the top of my fence! Furthermore (haven’t used that word since I was writing essays for school), that wedding I told you about from a couple days ago, well they sent out plantable invitations. SO, I’ve been dying to see what grows! I think you were supposed to plant it when you got it, but of course I planted it like 4 days before the wedding. Did you catch that part of the last sentence, I planted it! …So I was actually a little unsure that it would grow because it said bury in 1/8″ of soil and I was sure I put it too far down, not to mention I kind of created its home in a pot where some other flowers were growing and wasn’t sure there was enough room. But alas, I saw lots of little plants growing this weekend where I planted the invitation!! They haven’t budded yet, they’re still babies, but I will definitely post a picture once they do! SUCCESS!! No casualties in our yard this weekend.

CRAFT TIME! Today is a patterned vase, inexpensive as ever.

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What You Need:

  • Wine Bottle
  • Acrylic glass paint in white
  • Acrylic paint (doesn’t have to be glass paint)
  • Big paint brush
  • Little bity paint brush
  • Puffy paint in 1 color
  • Scrubber with edge on brush for scraping (optional)

Instructions:

1. Soak the wine bottle in hot soapy water in the sink for 10min. Then if you have a scrubber brush with the edge, scrap the label and glue off. If you don’t have a brush with an edge, get the label off by rubbing it with your fingers, and see what you have around the house to gently scrape off the glue from the label. Dry bottle thoroughly.

2. Using the big paint brush, paint the bottle white with the acrylic glass paint. Careful not to go over the same spot too many times or it will sometimes pull the paint off. Let this coat dry and repeat a second white coat. Let paint completely dry.

3. Using the little thin paint brush, dip into the color of paint you want your lines to be. This should be the same color of puffy paint you have. I did black. Paint off random sections all over the bottle. There isn’t any order to this, it should just be random and all over the place, but make sure you don’t leave any sections too big, otherwise the design in that section will overwhelm the others.

4. From here on out the paint you use does not need to be glass paint unless you want to use that, since we already painted a base coat on the glass with the glass paint. Paint each section a solid color. Try and be aware of the surrounding solid colored sections so you don’t end up with several of the same colored areas right next to each other. Let dry completely.

5. Paint each section a different design. They can be totally random or have some sort of sense to the madness. You might have a hard time coming up with designs to fill each section, so I posted pictures below of each side of my bottle so you can get some ideas!

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6. After your bottle is completely dry, go over all your section lines with the puffy paint.

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7. Add flowers and use as a vase, or display as decoration on it’s own!

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Like these flowers? Well come visit me in the future because I will be doing several posts on a bunch of different paper flower how-to’s!

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Second Home

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Doing anything fun?? I’m actually headed to a wedding, but I have had a lot of fun recently, and am looking forward to laying low after that. Tom and I recently went to the show Peter and the Starcatcher, and before I even get into that, please look at Tom’s face in the picture below. If you know him then this will make you laugh because you can see written all over his face, exactly how he feels about our friend struggling with the camera to take the pictures. Not even pretending to humor anybody, haha. I just love him!

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We did get a nice one too! I can’t decide which one is my favorite out of them though!

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Since I’m doing a restaurant review, I thought I might say a quick sentence or two about this play. Peter and the Starcatcher was definitely a great show! It was very innovative for a lower budget show and completely full of humor! It wasn’t a musical at all, which I wasn’t expecting, but it was a unique take on the pre-peter pan story.

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The actual review I wanted to highlight in this post was of a restaurant called Second Home. Second Home is a neat little place inside the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek. The JW is a beautiful hotel, definitely a pricey nightly rate, but you can pop in to Second Home to eat or have drinks without booking a stay.

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Inside is a very modern, urban and classy decoration scheme. They have an entire wall doubling as a wine rack. You can see it in the background here, behind my adorable grandparents! My grandpa is going on 92, and still sharp as a nail!

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Second Home also has unique fixtures, such as these lights pictured below. The kitchen is open so you can see inside it from the restaurant. That actually made the place feel a little more cozy and “second home-ish.” Still a high level of service and professionalism.

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They have a BEAUTIFUL patio. Did you notice that amazing fire pit?? How much would you love to come to a happy hour here, and hang out on the deck on a lovely Colorado evening?!? All the furniture is clean and comfy, and as you can tell, it’s spacious!

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The second course of this review is the food! You may start to notice a trend that I can’t help but order the most unhealthy thing on the menu….because it always sounds sooooo good! I ordered the Graceland Pancakes. There is no need to sugarcoat (pun intended) them, I’m going to tell you exactly what’s in it, and why I had lost this health battle before it even begun. The Graceland Pancakes are banana pancakes, peanut butter whipped cream, side of bacon, drizzled with maple syrup, all for $10. Yes, please! Bring it on cardiac arrest.

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My mom got the Bread Pudding French Toast, also a heart attack in the making. For $12 you got this french toast with Nutella maple syrup and crème anglaise. These weren’t quite up our alley as much though. The bread pudding was a little overwhelming, and it sort of crossed into the category of more dessert less breakfast. I will add that their presentation of meals demonstrates that they treat food as an art and you can see their experience and passion showing through.

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Second Home has a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. There are items of all different styles and lots of options that don’t come with just sugar and calories. We were just selective when ordering obviously 😉 I was actually not expecting to see such an extensive menu for this restaurant but was pleasantly surprised. This is a great place for a date, nice dinner, or happy hour. I definitely recommend giving it a try! I’ll be going back!

I would say that Second Home is in the $$ price range ($10-$20/per person-dinner rising to $15-$25). Keep in mind the portions are huge! Overall, I would give it a 3.9 – 4.1 out of 5 stars…I guess those would average to be 4 out of 5. Thank goodness for all those years of math in school, they’re finally paying off……!