We Got the FUNK: May 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hard Rock June World Burger Tour #ThisIsHardRock

Disclosure:  We were provided with a fantastic evening for free, however, I would pay cold hard cash for this experience and you should too. 

Date Night.  A couple with two demanding but amazing children's favorite two words.  Last week Hard Rock Denver hosted the husband and I for the amazing preview of June's World Burger Tour.

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We absolutely love this event!  It is a wonderful evening always and the staff at Hard Rock Denver is fantastic.  When we arrived the hostess was super smiley and very welcoming, she walked us to our table and showed us the menus.  After that our waitress arrived and made some recommendations and talked to us about the menu.  She also invited us to take a peek around.  I decided to take some updated pictures of the memorabilia and restaurant.

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Did you know that Hard Rock rotates its memorabilia frequently so there is always new items to take a look at.  I really enjoyed looking at the items around the grand staircase.  The records are a favorite of mine and are stunning in person. 

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I moved towards the bar, always in a bit of awe with how pretty the bar area is.  It is also very spacious.  This picture does not do it justice.  The bar area glistens and not just because of the shiny bottles behind the counter. 

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Speaking of the bar, I definitely ordered some deliciousness from that glistening area.  I went with the Melonpalooza and it was scrumptious.  This drink was the perfect mix of sweet and a bit sour and went down far too easily.  It really was my little slice of paradise.  The husband tried a couple different options.  He tried the All Jacked Up which he really enjoyed.  This is a mix of Jack Daniel's Whiskey with some spiced rum, pineapple and lime.  He also tried the Sweet & Fiery, which was a bit too sweet for him.  I thought it tasted like bubble gum and was good, he thought it needed more fire.  

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It was time to start the tour and oh my, were we in for a fantastic treat!  The first burger out was the Tango Salsa Burger from Argentina.  This was by far my husbands favorite burger.  Complete with a fried egg, salsa criolla, andouille sausage, garlic aioli, Monterey jack cheese and fresh arugula this burger was light and full of flavor.  The mix of ingredients blended well and my husband ate every ounce of his burger.  We still had 3 to go!

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My favorite was the Greek Burger from Greece.  This has a fantastic mixture of feta cheese, capers, olive, red onion and peppers, with Tzatziki sauce.  I am a lover of greek food and could eat this burger every single day.  It was so flavorful and creamy.  I truly enjoyed this burger and was very impressed with the Tzatziki sauce for our french fries as well.  So scrumptious. 

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Our amazing chef brought out the next two burgers and we were all eager to try them.  The first two were fantastic.  The next burger was the Atomic! burger.  As Ryan (our chef) described the burger we all got a bit nervous.  Fried onions, jalapeƱos, pepper jack cheese, Sriracha mayo, with an angus patty saturated in spices straight out of Las Vegas.  We cut this burger in quarters and shared it with our chef as we were the very first people to try this burger.  I jumped right in a took a bite and then waited for it to bite back.  It bit, but not as hard as I expected.  Surprisingly this burger was actually full of juicy flavors that blended well and although there was a kick it was actually perfect.  We all enjoyed this burger.

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Last was the Aloha Burger.  This burger with Spam, guacamole, pineapple, pico de gallo and a sweet soy glaze was surprisingly good.  I am not a fan of sweet meat or flavors but honestly, I ate every single bite of this burger and wanted more.  The sweet flavor of the pineapple and soy glaze was evened out with the guacamole and pico de gallo.  This burger was juicy and dripping with goodness.

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At this point, the husband I were incredibly full.  We were laughing and enjoying the company of the manager, our waitress and the chef.  They were a lot of fun and really took the time to talk with us, answer questions and make some fun jokes.  Just the perfect atmosphere we have come to expect and love.  Our waitress offered up dessert and I decided to just go for it.  I went with the hot fudge brownie and well, it was huge and hot and chocolatey and did I mention huge?

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I tried valiantly to eat this entire thing, I think I managed 8 bites before I had to throw in the towel and sulk in my failure.  It was so incredibly tasty that I was actually sad that I could not eat all of it. 

Hard Rock Denver and the World Burger Tour was perfection and the June burgers roll out tomorrow. Make sure to check them out  on their websiteFacebookTwitter & Instagram.  They love to give their followers attention and deals!

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Monday, May 30, 2016

School's OUT!

On Friday, I drove to work, enjoyed a wonderful breakfast with some amazing co-workers, won a duck, turned in my school keys, and came home to a quiet, clean house.  Summer.


Many people have asked me about the duck.  You see in our staff center we have about 30 teachers. Each of us has a little desk space and we all decorate our spaces and make them workable for us. My space has pictures of my kids all over it and is very organized and clean.  One of my retiring colleagues has had his taxidermy ducks in this office for 20+ years.  Last week he cleaned out his desk space and with that went the ducks.  Something about those ducks made our staff center feel like home.  So I started a rather loud and boisterous appeal to return the ducks.  I walked out of work on Thursday with the retiree who harbored the ducks and made one last plea for the ducks.  Friday I walked in to work and rushed to our student center where we were meeting for breakfast only to hear people talking of the duck!  When I returned to the staff center one of the ducks was flying high above my desk!  It was pretty much the best win ever!

On the topic of Friday, it was probably the last time my house will be super clean all summer.  That is fine with me.  We are home, we will keep it picked up but we will be spending more time laughing, playing, decluttering and enjoying this summer and less time in the car driving to and from work at early hours and late nights.



This summer feels different than last.  Last summer I was bogged down with my masters program work and 3 very demanding courses.  I was busy with my sisters wedding planning and had so much going on that it really did not feel like summer.  It felt like an extension of a rough year.  This summer, I have just one goal; REJUVENATE!

Yes, that means that I am spending time with my kids.  Spending time building my blog because this is my happy space.  We will be taking a wonderful trip and plan to camp and fish and boat as much as possible.  We will declutter this house of all the things and help others.  We will live with no schedule.

I contemplated bringing back the summer theme weeks this year, but I just can't.  I want to fly by the seat of our pants and enjoy our time, doing whatever we feel like doing.  If we happen to land at the zoo or the museum or in the water then that is awesome.  If all we do is spend the day in our PJ's eating junk food and watching cartoons that is great too.


Do you have any big summer plans?

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Childhood, Feel Good Memories with Cheerios™ #GiveABox [ad]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GiveABox #CollectiveBias

In just a couple weeks our family will be celebrating a wonderful woman.  My mother has been the cornerstone and true matriarch of our family and soon she will be a few years over 50!  She still looks stunning as ever and to pay homage to this lady I thought I would share some stories, a couple recipes and most of all love.

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I did not necessarily have a normal childhood.  In fact, explaining to people that your parents own and ran a successful roller skating rink, which we also lived in (yes literally), while at the same time talking about how your parents were true to life, hard core bikers (Son's of Anarchy was my childhood) and also the best parents ever, would often earn some extra odd looks.  However, my parents were all those things and more.  I grew up in a fantastic environment and although my childhood was FAR from normal, my mom and dad did their very best to make it as normal as possible.

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I always felt lucky that I could call on my parents any time of day and they would be there.  My sister and I got to go to work with my parents every single day.  My mom in particular made every effort to attend anything possible at school and to this day does the same for my kids.  This woman would do anything for her family and I lean on her a lot for support, advice, help and friendship. 


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When my mother-in-law passed away and we found out we were pregnant, my mom said that she would just work extra hard to make sure our children knew what a wonderful woman she was and she would be a super grandma to them.  She has never faltered on this.  If I need a break my mom is there to help, if I need to vent, she is there, if I am rushing one of my children to the doctors or hospital she is speeding behind me.  She has spent countless days and nights helping our family to be successful and does so with little complaint.   

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My kids adore their grandma and I adore my mom.  This woman is fantastic at anything she sets her mind to.  She is very artistic, loving and one heck of a cook.  I wanted to do something a little special for my mom as we approach her birthday.  I remembered back when we were younger that my mom rarely bought name brand cereal.  In fact to this day she tells us that she would purchase the off brand because she wasn't paying an arm and a leg for a box with a picture and toy.  However, one brand my mother always had on hand was Cheerios™.  You could count on our pantry having a stock of Honey Nut Cheerios™ (my favorite) and original Cheerios™. 

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So while I was shopping in Walmart this week and I saw the buy a box, give a box message to share with someone I love, my immediate thought was to send my mom a couple boxes of the cereal she has always preferred.  I purchased two boxes an several other items because I had something special in mind.  The first thing I did was come home and jumped online to redeem my coupon codes. 

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I sent my mom two boxes!  You can choose to send the coupons (redeemable at Walmart) in the mail or through email with an E-card.  My mom is not a big email fan so I sent her coupons to her via the mail with a special message!  I cannot wait until she receives the coupons for the boxes and the special message that I sent.  They should arrive around her birthday. 

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Now I still had my own boxes to create some memories with so I decided that I would create some special breakfast treats for our last week of school.  You see my mom has been helping us out all week with childcare.  Our babysitters oldest son graduates from high school and she has been busy with the party plans.  My mom stepped in as always to give our babysitter a much needed break. Mornings are early, fast and furious around here.  Our typical breakfast is a granola bar or a donut. Anything we can grab and run out the door with.  I wanted to make some breakfast options that were still grab and go but also easy to make and really tasty!

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The first option I went with was a Cheerios™ Fruit Parfait.  This was very simple to make and only took a couple minutes to prep.  

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Ingredients (makes 5-6 cups):

  • 5-6 medium strawberries, sliced.
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 2 cups of Cheerios™
  • 2 cups of Vanilla yogurt. 
Directions:
  • Place some strawberry slices and a few blueberries in the bottom of the plastic cup (I found these at the dollar store). 
  • Add 2-3 TBS of vanilla yogurt on top of the fruit
  • add 1/8th cup of Cheerios™ on top of the yogurt layer
  • Layer another 2-3 TBS on top of the Cheerios™
  • Top with strawberries, blueberries and Cheerios™

For easy storage, cover them in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
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It has been great to have these awesome parfaits in the house and I know my mom appreciated how easy it was to grab some easy breakfast and get out the door in a rush this week.  I am so excited for my mom to get her boxes in the mail too!

Tell me who you would share a box with?


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Alice Through the Looking Glass In Theaters TODAY!

Tuesday was date night and we met up with some awesome friends to catch a preview of Alice Through the Looking Glass.  It was everything!

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I have been waiting on pins and needles for this movie.  Alice has been one of my favorite books and movies for as long as I can remember.  Pair the story I love with actors I adore and waiting for the premier was nearly killing me.

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The movie stars Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as the white queen, Helena Bonham Carter as the red queen, Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Sacha Baron Cohen as Time.  It tells the story behind the feud of the red and white queens.

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There were tons of emotions in this movie.  I laughed a lot, however, there was some moments of sadness.  One particular moment was when Alan Rickman's voice came through the screen.  All the feels!

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The cinematography, costumes and effects in the movie were really good too.  The movie opens with an amazing, ship scene in which the viewer feels very much a part of the action.  The action does not stop there.  Alice Through the Looking Glass is so very good!

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So blast P!NK's new song "Just Like Fire" and prepare for a fantastic ride Through the Looking Glass!  You will not be disappointed.


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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's Finally Finals! #Teacher #SummerBreak

Today and tomorrow I administer the final exams for the classes that I teach.  It has been a long, arduous year and although I have learned a lot and accomplished a lot, I am very much feeling the struggle.  I figured many teachers are feeling the same way, so I decided to put together some funny memes for every teacher out their struggling to get through!

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I have personally had a countdown going on since we returned from spring break in April.  I set one on my phone and each day I have checked it.  For some reason in teaching a countdown is motivation.

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About a month ago, our budgets were closed out for the year and we hit our copying budget as well. This meme about sums up my current situation.

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http://www.mrsdscorner.com/

As I am writing this I have 32 little science souls taking a final that I KNOW they will do well on. However, I have caught my fair share of these fun spirits making this exact face today.  It cracks me up every single time.

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In two short days the reward for all our hard work will be here.  Time to recharge to relax to re-center. Summer vacation is our reward for not just surviving May, but for surviving the year.  We did it!

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Now when my stay at home mom friends or family ask me what I am doing next week, they might get this reaction!

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Here is to another amazing, successful year teaching tomorrows future, within the walls of a fantastic public school.  I am so proud of my students, I am so proud of my colleagues and I am so happy that this year is over. 

Share this with a teacher you know!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Field Day!

Field day has changed a lot since I was a kid.  For us we would travel to our local high school and actually compete in track and field events.  The 800m, long jump, hurdles, you name it we would compete for those darn ribbons!  I am sure that if I went through boxes at my moms house I would find a ribbon or two...that is it because I am awful at most sports that involve running. 


Enough about my history with field day, lets jump into how fun it was to watch my little guy compete in his field day.  The day started out with class awards and then some relays.  The kinder's competed against 1st grade for bragging rights in about 5 different relays.  I am not entirely sure who won but it was super fun watching the kids crab walk, push a ball with their nose and work in teams to move a ball to the end of the field and back!




Once we finished the relays section of field day we headed inside for the free swimming portion.  It was so fun to watch all the littles swimming around.  I did not take any pictures because it was so humid in the pool and I was trying to keep a close eye on a several littles to help the teachers out. 


Next up was some gym activities.  The kids played with hula hoops, basketball, football, volleyball and even the parachute!  You all remember the parachute! My little guy preferred to stay at the hula hoop throwing station and played catch.  


We ended the day with popsicles and hugs with our teacher.  She is not returning to the school next year and we are super bummed, I did not post her on here because I did not get her permission, but she is fantastic and we are so entirely lucky to have had her teach our little guy.


Happy End of the School year!  Here is to field days, sunscreen, and all the fun!

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass Preview!

Hey Denver readers have the opportunity for you to see a special advance screening of Disney’s ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS in 3D!!!

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In Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with “Alice in Wonderland,” the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll and produced by Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd and Tim Burton with John G. Scotti serving as executive producer. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. We are also introduced to several new characters: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock. 
 
Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland and her friends the White Rabbit (Sheen), Absolem (Rickman), the Cheshire Cat (Fry) and the Mad Hatter (Depp), who is not himself. The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she comes across friends – and enemies – at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out. Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.
 
Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/DisneyAlice 
Follow us on
Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneystudios
Instagram: https://instagram.com/DisneyAlice
 
To download tickets to see Disney’s ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:00pm, please visit SeeItFirst.net and enter the special code 702080 or click here: http://www.seeitfirst.net/pin/702080. Remember to arrive early as seating is first come, first seated.



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Friday, May 20, 2016

Bacon Garlic Rump Roast and Creamy Dill Potatoes #Recipe

Monday was extremely busy in this household.  I went to work, rushed to get the kids from our babysitters and then hurried home to make dinner and get our son to his first school program.  I really wanted to make something quick but tasty and have enough left overs for lunch so I decided on a rump roast and potatoes.


My search for a rump roast was super easy.  Normally we purchase a quarter to a half a cow locally and freeze it.  Unfortunately, we have not had a chance to and our beef choices are limited.  I like to keep our meat as free range and limited on hormones and steroids.  I found Jones Creek Beef at Walmart and right on the label you can see that it is 100% free range, grass fed with no added hormones or steroids.  I was sold. 


I had never cooked a rump roast without the slow cooker before so this was new to me.  I found some basic directions and began by searing each side of the roast in a pan until brown.  While doing this I preheated the oven to 400 degrees.


Once browned, I used salt and pepper as well as Italian seasoning, garlic salt, bacon chunks and diced garlic to season each side of the rump roast and I placed it in a casserole dish. I then cut up a full stick of butter to help with the toughness of this cut of beef and placed it under and on top of the roast.


I placed this in the oven for about an hour and fifteen minutes and when it came out of the oven it smelled divine and looked tasty.  I had read that it was important to let the roast sit for about 20 minutes before serving.  

While waiting, I boiled some little red potatoes until soft.  I wanted to make my creamy dill potatoes. These are so easy and are a family favorite!


Next, I cut the potatoes into quarters and placed them in a medium bowl.


Finally I added about 4 TBS of sour cream, 1 tsp of garlic salt and 2 tsp of dill seasoning to the potatoes.  Using a spoon, I mixed the sour cream and seasoning mixture into the potatoes until each was covered generously.


Once the roast had set and the potatoes were done, I used a large knife and cut the roast into inch thick sections.  It looked really great and I was so excited to eat!


I plated the creamy dill potatoes, bacon garlic rump roast and some green beans and got ready to dig in.  Everything looked and smelled so incredible and my hopes were high.


We dove right in.  The potatoes were just as I expected, perfectly cooked and so creamy!  I cut the Jones Creek rump roast into smaller pieces and took a bite.  The flavor was very good. Just the right texture and perfectly seasoned.  Dinner and lunch the following days was wonderful!  I do recommend cooking the rump roast a bit longer and I prefer it in the slow cooker but I was still very happy with how this turned out.  The Jones Creek Beef website has cooking preparation directions for every cut of meat and is sold at Walmart.  They have a good selection and all their beef is raised grass-fed, on a pasture with no added steroids or hormones.  

Make sure to check Jones Creek Beef out on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest

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