knitxmidwest

Two weeks ago (how has it already been that long?) I went to Des Moines to see my favorite knitters. My family linked up and ta-da! It was the best knitxmidwest ever (and also the 2nd annual). heyjenrenee was there and the lovies from hill vintage & knits plus the now internet famous shemakeshats! Here are a bunch of photos of the weekend!

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Chihuly Denver Botanical Gardens

While in Denver, I had a chance to check out an exhibit that everyone has been talking about – the Chihuly glass art exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens. It was so amazing. *i had shorts on – even though it looks like I’m missing my pants.

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Midnight Birthday Tea Party

During my trip in Denver my babes of friends threw me a little birthday tea party. I just still can’t get over how much fun it was and how amazing these girls are to me. We played an awesome game called Munchkin, ate, laughed hysterically, ate more, and just had a damn good time. Plus tea! It was just so thoughtful and wonderful and I’m smiling wide just thinking about it again.

Here are pictures of the decorations, the games, and the amazing desserts. That coconut macaroon! 😍

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Denver April 2014

Home Sweet Home. Well sweet old home. I flew into Denver for a quick visit Friday through Monday and boy was it fun! I got to see my family, go for a wonderful hike, eat some delicious food, finish my fantasy sleeve, hung with my badass super babe crew, visited Allegro Coffee headquarters, and attended a Game of Thrones premiere party! I will do a separate post on the Allegro visit and the Game of Thrones party in the next few days. Let’s roll the footage!

first stop!  The Curve for some effing good green chili.
first stop! The Curve for some effing good green chili.
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it's time to work on something else!
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it’s time to work on something else!
my homie TWINKIELOVE24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo
my homie TWINKIELOVE 24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo

CHECK OUT HER WORK HERE 🙂

the artist known at twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
the artist known as twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
the Allegro Cafe - super amazing there.
the Allegro Cafe – super amazing there.
BEST VISIT EVER.
BEST VISIT EVER.

The Christmas Round-UP

Surprise Surprise I blew the 12 days of Christmas blog challenge. BUT – as soon as I landed in Denver, I hit the ground running. It was the most filled, fun, and best holiday I have had in years! Roll the Photos!

Worst flight out ever.
Worst flight out ever.
Biggest Gingerbread house EVER.
Biggest Gingerbread house EVER.
Filled in that Dragon by Alisha Rice @alisharice
Filled in that Dragon by Alisha Rice @alisharice
MMMMM. Green Chili.
MMMMM. Green Chili.
Moar Gingerbreads.
Moar Gingerbreads.
Even MOAR Gingerbreads.
Even MOAR Gingerbreads.
Dim Sum with ma bhuds.
Dim Sum with ma bhuds.
Afternoon Tea with Dad and Cym
Afternoon Tea with Dad and Cym
Tea Roof.
Tea Roof.
Arizona Ricecakes in the fur and blood. @arizona_ricecakes
Arizona Ricecakes in the fur and blood. @arizona_ricecakes
Krampus Tags.
Krampus Tags.
Blitzkrieg & Me.
Blitzkrieg & Me.
Making mints with Lori.
Making mints with Lori.
Nita's Mass Book.
Nita’s Mass Book.
Look I got my Wish!!!
Look I got my Wish!!!
Fammmmily.
Fammmmily.
Palestinian Eggs.
Palestinian Eggs.
New running swag.
New running swag.
New pics + new LG photo printer.
New pics + new LG photo printer.

BEST HOLIDAY EVER!

XXX
GFK

Blizzards, Tattoos, and Christmas.

Jeez. Let me start by saying sorry that I have been the worst blog owner ever in December. I’ll briefly just mention jet lag, knitting/making holiday gifts, and life as why I’ve been MIA here. I don’t like it. I’m thinking I’ll finish up the November challenge I never finished (because of Thailand) and get back in the daily blogger groove.

Let’s see what’s new? Well I have been knitting like a fool and I have so much to show you all – except it’s all gifts for people who read my blog so…. you’ll have to wait. (*stomps foot*)

I’ll recap the weekend for you a little since I had a wonderful time. Friday afternoon we had our work Holiday party at Maggiano’s Little Italy. The food was alright, the dessert was AMAZING. I decided after the official party to go out with a few co-workers to mingle and be social. It was great getting to talk to some people I don’t get to interact with on a daily basis. Also I really enjoy being sober at social gatherings – I never have that moment of ‘oh shouldn’t have said that’ or ‘wait what???’ I did have a hard time getting home during rush hour on Friday night though – after all that I ended up home at 7:30ish and decided to prep for my BIG DAY on Saturday and knit/cuddle with animals.

My body the animal mattress.
My body the animal mattress.

Saturday: Well a few months ago I scheduled an appointment with Dusty Neal at Black Anvil Tattoo in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Now a few months ago it was not winter, there was no snow, and the mild last winter we had made me forget it even snowed here in Chicago. Fast forward to Saturday December 14th – there is a winter storm warning for my entire drive. Wonderful. I briefly thought about re-scheduling, but I just am stubborn so I pretended like a winter storm was not happening. I left Chicago at 5:30am to moderate flurries/snow fall and proceeded to drive the 208 miles to Ft. Wayne for my 11am appointment. I will say that the snow driving was not ‘that’ bad. However, people in the midwest (forgive me midwest followers) have NO IDEA HOW TO DRIVE IN THE GODFORSAKEN SNOW. Being a Colorado-girl, I guess I was forced to figure out scary snow driving from the start. I also understand my car in the snow and was able to make it to Ft. Wayne only 15 minutes behind schedule. Travel Advised in Case of Emergency? Tattoos by Dusty Neal are emergencies in my life.

Saw this on my phone at 12:30AM as I tossed and turned and knew I had to go to Ft. Wayne Despite the Weather.
Saw this on my phone at 12:30AM as I tossed and turned and knew I had to go to Ft. Wayne Despite the Weather. Copyright @dustyneal

When I got to Black Anvil in Ft. Wayne I can say I was beyond impressed. Dusty Neal is not only an amazing amazing amazing artist and tattooer, but he is a great and inspiring human being. I had a blast being tattooed for about three hours. As time went on more friends of the shop started showing up and the commentary and tom-foolery happening was a hilarious and pleasant distraction. I just can’t say enough wonderful things about Dusty Neal and his shop. The entire experience was professional, relaxed (although I’m hardly intimidated in a shop these days), spacious, clean, gorgeous, and perfect. I will most assuredly go back (in the spring/summer haha).

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Right after finishing.
Right after finishing.
Close up - that eye is INSANE! So gorgeous and so much detail.
Close up – that eye is INSANE! So gorgeous and so much detail.

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For size reference - also a swollen arm lol.
For size reference – also a swollen arm lol.

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I left Ft. Wayne at about 3:30pm and by the time I hit South Bend, Indiana, the roads were no longer wet so the drive home jammed by. Pure stubborn ideals, 6.5 hours of intense snow driving, 3 hours of tattooing and conversation, and one epically beautiful tattoo = the best day.

My lesson this weekend was to value safety and your responsibilities by being prepared, but don’t stop living life because you might have to white knuckle drive for 200+ miles.

Oh and Vladimir helped me Sunday prep to ship gifts to Denver and Friends.

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I’m BAAAAAAAAAACK.

Sorry for the super huge delay/hiatus here on GFK. I had a wonderful wonderful wonderful trip in Thailand. If you haven’t seen, I was able to upload my photos often onto my Flickr account which you can access on the lower right sidebar. I think maybe I’ll talk in more detail about certain things, but honestly I think some of my favorite photos will highlight my best vacation moments. I just want to stress that my little sister was just a wonderful host/tour guide/honorary Thai. We have already agreed on future travels together because we just had such a blast traveling. Sister-win!

I think I’ll do some bullets about general descriptors too:

Shopping – EPIC. I mean Thailand is right next to China, so the amount of ‘stuff’ to buy is just unreal. I ended up with a real leather Tokidoki purse, tons of Hello Kitty merch, a “LV” wallet, loads of awesome tees, some fun knickknacks/trinkets. We went to two giant nice malls. I’m not kidding like 8 stories of shops. We also went to a more ‘bazaar’ shopping place called JJ Market that was phenomenal. That was where I got my “LV” wallet for 450 Thai Baht (around $12).

Food – NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. Obviously Thai food is delectable. However, the whole choosing what to eat made this kind of hard. See – when you think of Thailand as ‘street-food’ wealthy, you must also acknowledge that a lot of that street food is not being how shall I say….. used/rotated out/disposed of. My sister lived in a more ‘residential’ Thai neighborhood (no tourists AT ALL) and I noticed after a few days that the food was not moving. Raw chicken/beef/mystery meat just sat there day after day. MMMMMMMMMM NO. Now at the Krabi Beach Resort the Thai lady could cook some EPIC food. I was obsessed with a chicken, pepper, onion, and cashew dish (drool). Other than dishes like that I ate yogurt from 7/11 and loads and loads of coffee and candy. We did get food poisoning on Thanksgiving from a ‘boil your own’ meal place. I guess we did not boil the wontons right? (BERRRF) Plus the eggs were ‘gamey’ or funky all the time. It was interesting and unfortunately I did not acquire a taste for the funk egg.

Thai peeps – INCREDIBLY NICE. I love Thai people. They are so accommodating and lovely.

Weather – HOT. It was even the ‘nicer’ months, but it was always 90+ degrees and very humid. I wore jeans/yoga pants the entire time and it wasn’t unbearable. I always had a sweaty sheen on me though – it complimented the smell of sunscreen that permeated off my body 24/7.

Sunset in Krabi. Gorgeous.
Sunset in Krabi. Gorgeous.
At the Krabi Beach Resort.
At the Krabi Beach Resort.
Iced Coffee - What makes Thailand Work.
Iced Coffee – What makes Thailand Work.
I LOVE this brand. I'm on a hunt here in the States now.
I LOVE this brand. I’m on a hunt here in the States now.
The Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace.
Gold Leaf Art work at the Grand Palace.
Gold Leaf Art work at the Grand Palace.
MMMM. Mister Donut.
MMMM. Mister Donut.
The Bus. Funny because to get on and off is quite the ordeal. You have to make sure you are standing in the street ready to run!
The Bus. Funny because to get on and off is quite the ordeal. You have to make sure you are standing in the street ready to run!
Gorgeous Dusk Temple.
Gorgeous Dusk Temple.
Ferry ride from one side of river to the other.
Ferry ride from one side of river to the other.
Aran Bpom and I after my tattoo.  He was such a 'G'.
Aran Bpom and I after my tattoo. He was such a ‘G’.

The only ‘downer’ parts of my trip were about 8 hours of food poisoning (it happened at night so it was not a waste of time), the flight to/from Bangkok – I discovered that I definitely have circulation problems in my ankles/legs which was scary when I think of my age/lifestyle.

The verdict. Thailand is amazing. There is something about it that just immediately hooks you. I will most assuredly get back there at some point.