Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reminder: The Mitten State T-Shirts Show off What's Best About Michigan


Michigan native? Maybe just a fan of the Great Lakes State? We wanted to remind you of a great website that lets you represent what I argue is the greatest state in the U.S.

It's called the Mitten State and if you click the link to their site from our blog — either using the sidebar ad to the right or by clicking here — and order something (and you should order something), we receive a kickback from the company. I totally forgot about the site's affiliation program that we joined until we received an email this past week telling us how much we made from referrals in the past six months. (We're not millionaires yet)

So go on over to the Mitten State and order some great Michigan vintage T-shirts.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Home Office and Freelancing


Erin and I are only four months away from living in our Denver condo for an entire year, but it still feels like we're never quite finished with little additions to our home. One thing we're close on — possible even finished with — is  our home office. We're still contemplating trading in our $10 Ikea chair for something a bit more comfortable, but for now, it'll do.

A little "office" area in our cozy place has been well used, as I've picked up a large amount of freelance work to keep me busy before and after the hours of my normal job at Exclusive Resorts. If you want to help me pick up some page traffic and have an interest in Apple products, head on over to my work at Blorge.com and TapScape.com, where I blog a few posts daily.

What do you think of the office setup?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Mountain Weekend in Beaver Creek


Last weekend, Erin and I headed west for a mountain vacation in Vail and Beaver Creek. Unlike the winter when the resorts are packed with skiers, the mountains in the summer are quite relaxing and offer the perfect opportunity to unwind.

The weekend also gave me an opportunity to dust off my camera and capture some nice shots. Wondering how we took so many photos together without a third person? We used this — and the camera's self timer.

(Also wondering how we created our photo collage at the top? It's an app that's available in the Mac App Store, as well as in the iOS App Store, called PicFrame. It's really easy to use and makes great photo collages.)
That's right — It's now July and you can still ice skate at night in Beaver Creek Village.
We hiked from the bottom all the way to the top!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Meet Franklin: A Cute Kitten and a Little Terror


Don't let that cute face fool you.

Meet Franklin, the newest addition to the Dodson family. It's now been almost a month to the day, when Erin and I went to the animal shelter in Golden, Colo. just to look at the cats. Of course, when you see a face like his, you can't say no.

It took Franklin about two weeks to become fully comfortable with downtown Denver living. He has it a little bit better at our downtown condo as compared to the cage he shared with six other kittens at the shelter (although Erin and I sometimes feel like we're in a cage, as our condo is pretty tiny!).

Like any kitten, he enjoys playing with his many toys, he likes scratching things (including our bed... we need a scratching post desperately!) and chowing down on wet cat food.

Of course, he's not perfect.

Franklin is typically pretty good at night, sleeping next to us all night. Well, until 5 a.m. that is. For some reason, he's on an automatic wake up time between 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. At that point, he'll start pouncing at us, begging one of us to wake up and feed him.

After we give him his can of wet food for the day, he jumps back into bed and gets right into our face, licking his chops and spreading his gross cat food breath.

He's not perfect by any means... but we love him.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Much Needed Update


I think the last time we actually blogged regularly, we made a promise to be more on top of things and provide regular updates. By no means do we think people are sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to hear from us and what we're up to — but we have heard from a few family members that live far away about how they love knowing what we're up to. It makes them feel a little bit closer to us, and we really appreciate that.

So on to this update. Let this post serve as a summary and we'll elaborate throughout the week on what's going on in our lives.

• The biggest update: We have a new member of our family! Say hello to our kitten Franklin! Three weeks ago we were driving by Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, Colo. and decided to stop in and look around. Sure enough they had a group of kittens!

We saw little Franklin-to-be sitting quietly as some other rambunctious kittens plowed him over and spilled cat food on him. We started to fall in love. The shelter workers brought Franklin (his original name was Munster... we figured he's young — a little name change won't hurt) and us into a private room so we could play with him a little bit. It didn't take long for us to make up our mind and we adopted him! He's been a great little kitten full of energy. More stories to come!

• Our apartment has received some wonderful updates. We officially have a patio on our eight floor balcony — thank you Ikea. This weekend our brand new grill arrived, which took me (Andrew) all Saturday afternoon to build. Hamburgers are for dinner tonight!

• Work-wise, Erin's busy season has officially come to an end, but CPA studying season is in full swing. Welcome back to school. I'm still working at Exclusive Resorts, where we recently launched a new website. I've also taken on a good amount of freelance work for some different blogs around the web.

• Over Memorial Day weekend, we were able to fly back to Michigan and have a post-wedding celebration with the family members who were unable to make it to Denver for our wedding in December. It was so great to get away from the big city, see family and friends and reflect on our marriage, which is going more than six months strong!

Hopefully this blog doesn't turn into a crazy cat blog filled with Franklin photos... but no promises.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday Brunch Makes for a Perfect Day


A good night's sleep, Sunday morning church and a great Sunday morning brunch makes for the perfect end to a weekend.

This weekend, Erin and I, while heading to church, were blocked off by the Colfax Marathon - Denver's main marathon. By the time we got to the part of the road that was blocked off and figured out our next route, we knew we couldn't make it nearly on time, so we said a quick prayer and headed to Sunday Brunch.

For the fine people of Denver: Head to Venue in the highlands. It's a quaint little restaurant that offers the perfect size breakfast, a great mimosa and bloody mary and excellent French-pressed coffee. We highly recommend it!

We Instagrammed the photo above and used the app PicFrame to frame it accordingly. It's a great 99-cent app that you should download.

We'll have many new stories in the coming week! We head back to Michigan (I've been away from home for nearly 7 months! The longest amount of time ever) for a wedding celebration with some of my family and friends that couldn't make it to Denver for our December wedding. We are absolutely excited for a vacation!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The art of the stay-cation

Why waste time in a plane, train or automobile? Sometimes the best vacation is in your backyard.

Last Friday Erin and I celebrated the end of her accounting busy season with our very own stay-cation! Here's the story:

On Cinco de Mayo, Erin and I went over to Golden, Colo. (home of Coors brewery!) to enjoy some refreshments at our friend Derek's brewery — Golden City Brewery — which is actually the second largest brewery in the town! The original plan was to have a beer or two and head back to the city early that night and find some Cinco de Mayo adventures in Denver.

Well, that didn't quite work out thanks to Derek's generosity and constant-giving of tasty brews. We ended up eating dinner in downtown Golden and ended up staying for a street party which was a ton of fun. It reminded me of being back in the smaller towns in Michigan, like Bay City and Frankenmuth, where everyone knows each other. Everyone was really friendly.

They had a raffle at the party that we all entered and to make a long story short, I heard my name called! I ended up winning a night in the downtown Denver Courtyard Marriott hotel and dinner for two at Rialto, a great little restaurant located inside the hotel. Needless to say, it made for the perfect stay-cation!

After work last Friday, we packed our bag and went on down to the hotel, popped some celebratory bubbly, then headed to dinner.

That week Erin also purchased a great Travel Zoo deal for discounted deserts and cocktails at this chic little desert bar in Denver called Crave. We met the (very flamboyant) owner and had a wonderful time! They had the old Willy Wonka moving playing off a projector screen, which was a bit creepy, but the deserts were excellent!

After checking out, we didn't let our vacation end. We enjoyed an afternoon movie date to see the Avengers which motivated us to become super heroes.

That evening, Erin, her sister and a couple of co-workers braved the cold rainy weather to see the Fray play outside at Redrocks — one of Colorado's best concert venues. I was able to stay inside, nice and toasty warm, and watch the NBA playoffs.

So, need plans for this weekend? Try a stay-cation! You won't regret it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When Cooking Goes Wrong

Busy seasons for accountants -- especially recently-married accountants -- is tough on everyone. Of course the long hours and time away from home is the worst part (not to mention the countless pages of numbers and spreadsheets that must be carefully analyzed), but there is one positive. I've learned to cook more!

Erin's a great cook, but I'm getting there. In no way am I Emeril Lagasse -- in fact, I think I'm just getting to that normal competency phase in the kitchen. It's all about baby steps though.

Erin's in Fort Collins for half the week and I'm left to fend for myself in the kitchen. Last night was a humbling experience.

It was a rainy and cold day here in Colorado, so tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich seemed to be the perfect dinner. Erin emails me a recipe, I start dicing up garlic and tomatoes, it starts simmering on the pot -- I'm following the directions that she sent me.

Now it's time to put the (very hot) soup in the blender to puree it. Well, common sense was lacking (and Erin didn't mention the dangers of hot soup in a blender in her email). I pour the soup in, put the top on and even hold down the top with some force. All of this to no avail. The pressure was TOO MUCH.

The lid shot up the instant I hit the 'go' button, and hot soup flung everywhere. The walls, the dangling wine glasses, my iPad that was showing me the recipe, my undershirt. It was a complete mess.

Lesson learned.

It was the first time I had to use a soapy sponge on our kitchen walls. I guess there is a first time for everything.

Monday, May 7, 2012

We're Baaaack!


When we first decided to start this blog, one of our primary stipulations was that if we were going to do it, we were going to do it well. After all, the first rule of blogging is regularity, right? We'll be the first to admit that we've been a little neglectful on the blog front lately because, well, life got in the way! Erin's been busy working and staying up in Fort Collins during the work week for the past few weeks, and Andrew's picked up several freelancing positions. Between that and the final push through the last few weeks of busy season, blogging fell to the wayside. But we're back and doing our best to be regular about posting. Because our lives are just oh-so-fascinating and we know that you all are sitting anxiously on the edge of your seats to know what we've been up to! So to keep you satisfied for now, here is a brief little summary in pictures of what we've been up to over the past few weeks. Trust us, nothing too exciting, but we hope you'll enjoy the pictures nonetheless. (We apologize in advance that the quality is not the best- they were all taken with our iphones). 

So without further ado, here's what we've been up to:


A little spontaneous Sunday afternoon Rockies game with our friends Colleen and Melissa...



Visiting our friend Derek at Golden City Brewery (and reaping the benefits of having a friend that's a manager at a brewery)...




Hanging out with the most interesting man in the world (and the Dos Equis guy too)...



Visiting my parent's new brown miniature poodle puppy, Joey. He is the sweetest little thing in the entire world (and kind of looks like a baby brown bear cub in pictures)...



Andrew loves Joey too...



Playing around in downtown Golden, CO...



Modeling...



Getting iPhone covers that look like gameboys...



 More playing with puppy Joey...



Cooking healthy and delicious homemade meals (while Fort Collins has a TON of great restaurants, eating out for every meal all week is highly overrated). When I'm home on the weekends, I crave homemade, healthy, simple meals. Below is an amazing broccolini salad.



Spending quality sister time with Carly while up in Fort Collins...



Exploring Uptown (the neighborhood that we live in) a little further. Drinks at Caveau Wine Bar...



Live (hipster) music at a Cinco de Mayo party at Table Mesa Inn in downtown Golden, CO... 



Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with (large) margaritas...



Strolling along Clear Creek in Golden...



Taking vintagey looking pictures of the Coors factory...



Being cute while enjoying beers at Golden City Brewery...



Gazing out at downtown Denver at night...



Watching the colorful Colorado sunsets...



More Cinco de Mayo in downtown Golden...



Weekend brunches...



More cooking homemade meals! (Apron credit: Kelly and Kerry Frost)...



Enjoying the BEAUTIFUL Colorado spring weather (Where's Waldo Erin?!)...



More Cinco de Mayo celebrating...



Putting "Great Lakes Proud" stickers on almost everything we own. (Sidenote: Andrew's friend from college started this awesome company, Great Lakes Proud, that sells these stickers to help support and maintain the beauty of the Great Lakes! Andrew has been helping out by contributing posts to the tumblr. Check it out!)



Testing out adventure cars for our outdoorsy summer adventures...



More Joey. Can't get enough...






FINALLY registering the car in Colorado. We said goodbye to the Michigan plates, but kept a little reminder...



Enjoying lazy movie afternoons with Prosecco...



Stumbling upon neighborhood Friday evening BBQs at the local market in Uptown...



Shoveling Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yogurt into our mouths...



Enjoying the fresh Spring showers...



Rockies game...



And still loving being able to look out at this from our bed...



Happy Monday, friends!