Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 : Year in Review


2011 was the year I made the best decision of my life.

In 2010, I hoped that that would turn out to be the case and I am lucky that it did. On January 8 of this year, I packed up (understatement) the Jeep, kissed my mom and Sienna goodbye, and hit the road with The Wiz and Gordon as we headed east.

And I've never looked back.

2011 could easily be described as well as the Year of the Mimosa. It started with Mimosa Mondays with the Wiz in Pine. Pep would later admit to me that she was slightly concerned for me but it was the first time in my life that I took a leap of faith and hoped that the net would appear. And while I was waiting for said net, I made the most of my time off from life - and I have to say, I was livin' it up. Tutus and mimosas. Sleeping in until 10, waking up just in time to catch the 4th hour of the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Making chocolate-covered gummy worms. Hanging with Gord. And yes, applying for jobs in between.

Then in February - the homesickness settled in. I was no longer the girl who was always 30 minutes late because I had packed too much in to my day - I couldn't be 30 minutes late because I had no where to go. Linz was back in school, Josh was back at work - and the dogs got tired of me telling them stories from my Vegas days. I started to get cabin fever, living in sweatpants with the closest Starbucks 15 miles down the road. I wasn't finding a job, and the sessions I was going to at agencies had me realize my competition was now that fresh faced 22 year-old that I once was when I landed my job at SK+G. Now I was trying to enter a market where I had no contacts and no experience. But I did have passion.

And then my last grandparent passed away and I headed to Pittsburgh to say goodbye to Beppee and be there for Pep. From there brought my first trip back to Vegas and a quick cure to that homesickness I was feeling. Time with my +more, a trip to Don't Tell Mama and a few tapas in my tummy and I was home. I said I never looked back, but in early March, I guess I actually did - I thought about coming back, with my tail between my legs - to my old job, to my friends, to my downtown. But then the net appeared and I landed an interview at Scream Agency.

8 hours later, I was offered the position. 24 later, I was at my desk.

Come April, I had done it - my downtown dream had come true. I was working in LoDo, living in Capitol Hill - riding my bike to and from work every day. That was, on the days that my dog wasn't accompanying me to work. I lived and worked in a place where it was totally acceptable for him to be under my desk or at the bar. This is what I wanted.

And then, I never looked back.

Come June, I turned 28 and was settled and complete with a cow chair in my living room. Michael told me that 28 was going to be a magical year (in fact, I still have that note hanging on my fridge), and he was right. I was busy being a Coloradan, celebrating my birthday in Aspen, riding my bike everywhere, camping at 10,000 feet.  Celebrating a family reunion in South Carolina, where the week was spent catching up (see : drinking) with the Knochs and sleeping on the beach. And just like that, it was officially summer - and you know what that means....

Matters of the heart....

I'd spent early 2011 with Bear in a long distance relationship - the distance eventually got to us - but never to our friendship and we, once again, threw in the towel. I decided from that point on to be fully committed to my new love - Denver. I wanted to have two feet firmly on the (downtown) ground before I explored Menver.

By July, I was ready to date. I took a different route than the one that had previously gotten me a whole lot of nowhere and ventured into the world of online dating by joining eHarmony. I was overwhelmed at first - not knowing that it was perfectly acceptable to close matches without even giving them a second glance. I learned a lot but the most important lessons I took away from the experience were : Just because you email with someone for weeks, does not guarantee you will have chemistry when you meet in person. It is all about that first five minutes and if you're not feeling it, leave. Guys can truly be clueless, thinking that admitting to being a Peeping Tom is anywhere close to being appropriate.  Just because a guy is a relationship therapist, does not mean he will be competent in his own dating life. Which caused me to live that saying - why do I keep hitting my head against the wall? Because it feels so good when I stop. I also learned that even if he's the nicest guy - and will go to the greatest extremes for you - or at least to take you and your dog to the vet when your pup is sick and you're out of a car - doesn't make him the right one - even if you both deserve it. I learned not to travel to Colorado Springs for a guy you barely know. I learned that sometimes it feels really, really good to tell someone off and that even a man who is only 5'5 can get even shorter in one quick phone call.

And then I learned that you should never dismiss fate. Especially at 30,000 feet. I'd taken the LAS ---> DEN flight two dozen times before but none could compare to the one I took on November 13, 2011.

It's funny, I was just in Vegas for the holidays and I was telling Pep that technically, I was there just six weeks before - but somehow, it felt like a lifetime ago as my life has taken such a dramatic turn since 11.13.11. Yes, I still get drinks with the Wicklers. I still go to the movies. I still hang with Andy. I still have Sunday brunch. I still walk Gordon at Cheesman. I still sit on my couch, watching bad TV and eating Yogurtland. It's just now, on the lucky days - I have Noah by my side, which always puts a smile on my face.

Speaking of love - Gordon at age 3 is loving Denver, loving the snow - loving living in a place where, as mentioned above, he's welcome everywhere. He loves his visits up to Pine the most, where he runs free in a giant yard with the Wicklers' dogs. We call it Camp Wickler. Sienna is finally settled after stressing out so much over the move that she gave herself a UTI. Our place is small but cozy. And it has those exposed brick walls. And that claw foot tub that Sienna still managed to jump in to to do her business. Some things never change....

Short notes...

The Great Kate Escape. PY's leaving Las Vegas note (runaway as fast as you can...).That drive. The First Annual Superbowl Game Face Party (because, yes - there will be more). Mimosas. Snowboarding Winter Park, thinking Andy was trying to kill me on moguls. Mumford and Sons. Discovering Denver. TV nights at the Lackeys. Making my first pot of coffee. +more visit(s). Anticipating Watch the Throne, then not being let down. Dancing with Kristen at Yeasayer (and all around Denver, really). Girl Scout Cookies at My Brother's Bar. Backyard BBQ's. Mimosas. Will and Kate prompting the name change to Kate. Back to Katie. Ultimately ending at callmewhateveryouwant. #hashtags. The Red Onion in Aspen. The Head and the Heart on the beach. Denver Art Museum trips. Botanic Gardens with Kid Sis. Rockies game with Renee. Fresh-cut flower addiction (#theniwentbroke). Meeting Lindsey Jones. M2B. Toms. Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Friend Baby Boom - Welcome Max, Sebastian and Mia! Dog the Bounty Hunter sighting over margaritas at Morrison Inn. Ikea with Anne. Falling over that rock while camping. License plate stacked. Mimosas. Phone calls home to Pep. Denver Cruiser Ride with Linz in clown noses. Lindi Ortega. Meet and Greet and Beer at Le Cirque. Summer OR with Lora. Boyz II Men at Taste of Colorado. Tour de Fat. Holiday Bar. Mimosas. +more gets engaged! Beach Boys with Jennie. Disneyland with Lisa. Becoming BFF's with Sean. Illegal Pete's. X and Tony tie the knot. Flight #784. Dancing with Noah at Herbs. Brunching. Tebow. Being Andy's date to Pinnacle's Christmas party and having my dad call it a dance. Mimosas. Wine and cheese nights with Noah. Booking a flight to Minneapolis for NYE.

My life has been somewhat turbulent (pun intended) - and I remember people telling me that it should just be easy. I had no idea what they were talking about until I had it. 

Here's to clear skies in 2012 for me and for you and yours.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bottomless Trouble

Jonesy's took Sunday Funday to a whole new level yesterday with the board game shelf.

We'd gone to Brunch (note: walked, because it was 60 - today it is snowing - excited to see you this week, Vegas!), and arrived hungry. The bottomless mimosas were only bound to hold me over for so long so I strolled over the game shelf and returned to the table with two options - Yahtzee or Trouble.

Trouble got the vote and the fun started popping off (get it - because you pop the bubble to roll - ok, sorry - it had been years). Before I knew it, I had a man at home and my french toast in front of me.

Thank you, Jonesy's, for supplying endless entertainment - and bottomless mimosas - for our Sunday Funday.



See you next time.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Thirty : Boyfriend.

Just a few weeks ago, I was sitting in LAS waiting to board my plane. In typical KK fashion, I was busy making love to an Auntie Anne's pretzel ensuring that every bite was perfectly dipped in cheese, when I noticed a very handsome gentleman across the way, down the row.

Wow. He is good looking. Hmm. Eat pretzel. Take glance. Eat pretzel. Take glance.

This goes on until sadly, my pretzel has been devoured and it is time to board. As I stand in line (A28, baby!), I take a quick look behind me to try to see if Mr. Good Lookin' is in the same boarding group. I don't see him and, disappointingly, go on my way.

I take a window seat and am getting situated (see: getting out the Ethel M brittle I just purchased for a mid-flight snack, making sure I have that free drink coupon handy and find my place in my book) as I see Mr. Good Lookin' take the aisle seat.

First thought? Holy. Ok. Keep it cool.

Second thought? Put that Ethel M back in your bag.

Two hours later we landed in Denver and two weeks after that, he was my boyfriend. And yes, this is the stuff that Rom Coms are made of.

So, HSCOOC, meet Noah. Who came in to my life and changed it as quickly as that plane took off.

And this girl couldn't be happier about it.

Boyfriend.
Taken at Steuben's
Captured on December 4, 2011


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shots of Cheese: Twenty - nine : Aspen Livin'

The Scream team headed up the mountain on Tuesday. Our destination? The Sky Hotel in Aspen.

When I first landed this gig, I knew that the Sky would be one of those dream clients - the kind that make my job just so easy. The property speaks for itself to the media and the team at the hotel totally get "it" - and by "it", I mean everything.

After a company dinner Tuesday night, we darted straight for the hot tub. Surrounded by snow, I had my first Colorado Bulldog as I thought to myself - "Yeah, I could get used to this....."

Aspen Livin'
Taken at The Sky Hotel
Captured on December 7, 2011


Monday, December 5, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty - eight : Fast Friends

I am so blessed to have the girlfriends that I do, sprinkled all around the country. I grew up as a "girl's girl" - making up for my lack of siblings with the best of friends.

Living in Vegas, I was so spoiled with having the easiest of access to (most of) the amazing women I know. I had SSFS with Eener, countless dinners with Lo, Sunday movies with Benneton, nights downtown with Kid Sis, and trips from the ones who had already spread their wings. 

Then I moved to Denver, reuniting myself with Linzi and by reuniting, I mean moving myself right on in to her house. But, all good things must come to an end and once I was on my feet, I moved to Capitol Hill and unfortunately, 45 miles away from the Wicklers.

So when Andy told me he had a girl for me to meet, Suzy, I was eager to hang out. He told me he knew we'd hit it off - and between her fashion sense, lipstick and love of The Bachelor - he was right.

Fast Friends
Taken at the Tavern Downtown
Captured on December 3, 2011


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty - seven : Cookie Love

I'm lucky enough to work across the alley from the Tattered Cover bookstore downtown which is amazing for a number of reasons.

One, I can go and buy a new book for a trip on my lunch break. Two, they've got a great little coffee shop in there. And three, and perhaps most importantly, they sell the most delicious M&M cookies. They've got to be homemade they're so good.

So good that just a few minutes ago, I was wrapping my cookie back up for saving and heard in my head, "I love you, cookie." 

WHAT. Normal? No.

But true? Definitely.

Cookie Love
Taken at Scream Agency
Captured on December 1, 2011


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty - six : Snow Day

I heard on the news last night, "Coming up - when we're going to go from these mild days to dangerously cold temperatures."

Today here in Denver, it was 61.

Tomorrow, our high is 28 (even with a low of 10, it's hardly dangerous, 9News - calm it down) with a 90% chance for snow. Which would be fine, as long as it is accompanied with one of these.

Snow Day
Taken at the Lackey's Thanksgiving Feast 
Captured on November 24, 2011




Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty - five : Holiday Puppuccino

I'm a crazy person about Starbuck's Caramel Brulee Lattes so when Lora asked me if I wanted to grab a mid-morning pick-up for the office, I happily obliged knowing that my favorite holiday drink was a just a few sips away.

Gordon went with me down to 16th St. and as I was waiting for my drinks to come up, I turned to see him sitting patiently on the patio, staring hard in to the window to see where I was.

As my heart filled with warmth, I thought that good boy deserves a Puppuccino - which he was rewarded with upon our return to the office.

Holiday Puppuccino 
Taken at Scream Agency 
Captured on November 29, 2011


Monday, November 28, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty - four : Snake Cone

If you know me, you know that two of my greatest loves involve ice cream and gold. The softer, the better on the first one and the tackier, the better on the latter.

These two loves collided at Steuben's the other night when Andy and I met Karen and Doug for a little Thanksgiving-Eve dinner. Thanks to my new snake diamond encrusted ring (totally real, obv) and a delicious soft-serve cone for dessert - yet another reason Steuben's is my favorite restaurant here in Denver.

Snake Cone
Taken at Steuben's 
Captured on November 23, 2011


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty-three : Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. 

Love, HSCOOC

Gobble Gobble (aka something KK made in the third grade that is still present at Pep's table every Thanksgiving)
Taken at Pep's House in LV (thanks, Ma! - even though I couldn't be there, glad this guy still made the cut - but not the carve)
Captured on November 24, 2011 



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty-three : Captain Andrew

As we were coming out of Warren Miller the other night, there was the most random little ladder leaning against the wall.

Cousin Andy had his captain hat on. Because why wouldn't he?

The combination of these two things made this photo M2B (meant to be - obv). And it brings me a whole 'lotta joy and so happy that I live out here now and get to hang out with this guy on a regular occasion. #cousinlove

Captain Andrew
Taken in an alley next to the Paramount Theatre in LoDo
Captured on November 18, 2011




Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty-two : Twinkle Toes

If I had taken off my shoes and put my toes next to his (beautifully stylish) hooves, we would have matched.

Twinkle Toes
Taken at 16th Street Mall in LoDo
Captured on November 18, 2011


Monday, November 21, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty-one : Warren Miller

Friday night I went to the Warren Miller experience with cousin Andy.

I had no idea what this was when I was invited but Andy explained to me that it was a ski movie tradition that had been traveling around the U.S. since the 60's. It basically got everyone excited for the upcoming season and was totally Colorado. "Do they have beer?" Yes. I'm in.

This year's film was called "Like There's No Tomorrow" but it certainly made me feel like there was - one that hopefully involves oodles of snow and a number of trips to the Rockies.

See you out there.

Warren Miller
Taken at the Paramount Theatre in LoDo
Captured on November 18, 2011


Friday, November 18, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twenty : Neighborhood

My whole life I've wanted to live in a neighborhood where I could walk around smiling at people who passed me by (and receive a smile back), stop and talk to the guy who walks his dog at the same time I do, visit the local coffee shop, walk my dog around a city park with the most beautiful hanging trees you've ever seen, wander around looking at the houses that have been standing for 100+ years, watch the leaves turn colors come fall and have the ability to walk, bike or cab to everything I need.

I got all that when I moved to Capitol Hill. 

What I didn't expect was the pain of on-street parking (although you should see my parrallel parking skills now), shoes strung over the wire outside of my balcony, and my rent to increase an absurd amount thanks for the demand for such a neighborhood.

But hey, you take the good with the bad. And the good is so worth it.

Neighborhood
Taken in Capitol Hill on Corona St.
Captured on November 2, 2011


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Nineteen : Gosling Protest

I did not take today's photo but it brought so much joy to me today, that I had to use it as my photo of the day.

As some of you may know, Bradley Cooper was selected as People's Sexiest Man Alive for 2011. I, along with thousands of other girls (and boys for that matter), have to disagree with this decision.

Don't get me wrong, Bradley Cooper is one H O T man. But everyone knows this was the year of Gosling - from Blue Valentine to doing the Dirty Dancing lift with Al Roker on The Today Show to Drive to Hey Girl to breaking up NYC street fights....Gosling was every.where. and I had absolutely no complaints. 

Per mentioned above, I am not the only one who feels this way. Hence the protest outside of the People Magazine headquarters today in New York that Gosling was not named Sexiest Man Alive.

If only I could have been there. My sign would have read "When was the last time you saw Bradley Cooper at Disneyland?"

Gosling Protest
Taken at People Magazine's headquarters in NYC
Courtesy of BuzzFeed


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Eighteen : Katie K. + Lisa G.

Our annual trip to Disneyland may be our day, but it is also a day that I get to catch up with Lisa Marie Hille.

Lisa and I met in the 7th grade. In band class. And our friendship has stayed as classic as the beginning of that story for the past 16 years. 

From (stinky) Koston's to her teaching me how to swallow a pill. From high school crushes to grown-up heartbreak. From Vegas to California. From MxPx to Mega Mix #10 to Cat Power. From truck rides to Indian Jones at Disneyland. From Volcom to the Gap. From the beach to Playboy parties (hey, we grew up in Vegas). From the clarinet to car dancing. From trips to Corpus Cristi to York, PA. From laughing so hard to sobbing tears. From potato requests at the In-N-Out drive thru to Yogurtland in her Honda. From 12 to 28. The best of friends.

I love you, Lisa G. Here's to another 16 years. And forever on top of that.

Katie K. + Lisa G.
Taken at Disneyland
Captured on November 10, 2011


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Seventeen : Snowdoodle

I'm not having the best of days so I'm not going to write much.
All I know is that when I'm feeling down, one thing always makes me feel better - and that thing is Gordon.

 Ok, and wine. But wine isn't as cute.

Snowdoodle
Taken on Corona St in Capitol Hill
Captured on November 2, 2011


Monday, November 14, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Sixteen : Garza-Planas

This past week has been an absolute whirlwind.

Between a flight to California, a trip to Disneyland, a drive to Vegas, a wedding, a spa day and a flight back to Denver - I feel like my feet have barely touched the ground.

The wedding I attended on Saturday was for X and Tony, two of my nearest and dearest in Vegas. X is 1/3 of Benneton, writes an amazing column (X = Why) for the RJ, and you may have seen her work here. Tony is also a reporter at the RJ and together, they are absolutely two of my favorite people in the world.

Their wedding, held at the Historic Fifth Street School in Vegas, definitely stood out among the rest. First, their pastor was absolutely hysterical and totally entertaining. Then came their vows - written by two of the most talented writers I know, and delivered from the heart on top of that - there was not a dry eye in the place.

The theme of their wedding was "Old School" so from everything from the venue to the music to the "roll call" for tables - the entire night was full of love, creativity, fun, beauty (see below!) and lots and lots of dancing.

I cannot thank them enough for inviting me to join in on this truly extraordinary day, one that I will remember forever as one of the greatest weddings I have ever been honored to attend. And I look to watching their marriage grow into what I know will be a beautiful lifetime together. Filled with music by Kanye West, of course.

Congratulations to the newlyweds, Xazmin and Tony. With love.

Garza-Planas
Taken at the Historic Fifth Street School, Las Vegas
Captured on November 12, 2011




Saturday, November 12, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Fifteen : Esmeralada

If you recall, part of the annual tradition of Disneyland is me getting my "fortune" read by Esmeralda.

I did a poor job of portraying her beauty that year, so your photo of today is of my psychic. I mean do you really think Disney would hire her if she wasn't legit?

Here is what she had to say this year:

There is very little that I can tell you, because you are so good (editor's note: I like where this is headed). You have a great gentleness, and pure moral principles, a merciful affection and constant heart, slightly melancholy. Inventive genius of mechanical arts, are independent and have little patience with conventional ways of living. Lover of music, very changeable in opinion. After middle age you will inherit a fortune, which you will have to defend in court.

I predict that you will have great success in life, in general, and very small changes in your daily routine are necessary to bring you to the top of the ladder.

One of your lucky numbers is 4.

Drop another coin in slot and I will tell you more (editor's note: nice try, E. See you next year).

Esmeralda 
Taken at Disneyland
Captured on November 10, 2011


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Fourteen : Our Day

Every year since 1990, my mom and I have taken an annual trip to Disneyland. For the majority of the years, the day of this tradition has been one of the happiest of my year(s). There was only that certain age from about 14-17 (when I just hated anything that reeked of joy) when I didn't count down the days to our annual visit.

At age 28, I have grown to appreciate this day not just for an excuse to be 7 again, not just a reason to spend a day outside in Southern California in a tee-shirt and cords in the middle of November and not just a reason to be at the Happiest Place on Earth. I have come to appreciate this day as a true treasure and testament to how lucky I am to have the relationship that I do with my mother.

This year, our tradition stood more true and met more to me than it ever had in the past - which is saying a lot. This year was the first that I lived away from Pep, the first year that I didn't see her twice a week (at the least) - and even though there are states that divide us now, we still talk every day. But nothing can quite compare to our day, spent together, annually, at the Happiest Place on Earth.

I love you, Ma. Thanks for an amazing day. And know that I am already counting down to next year.

Our Day
Taken at Disneyland
Captured on November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Thirteen : Ears

Guess where I'm headed....

Tomorrow at this time, I'll be at the Happiest Place on Earth.

And I couldn't be more excited.

Ears
Taken at home
Captured on November 9, 2011



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twelve : Free Pete's

Today, the best thing happened.

Well, actually - two best things happened. One, Arlene showed me this video of Joseph Gordon Levitt performing R. Kelly's 'Ignition' - you know the one, where it's the freakin' weekend baby and we're just havin' some fun.

Second, well first really, from the joy it brought to my wallet and then to my tummy - my lunch at Illegal Pete's was GIFTED to me. 

Sean and I (sadly?) figured out that it must be because we're in there at least twice a week, ordering the same thing (a potato burrito for him, queso and chips for me - and I'll take a chicken taco on the side, just so I don't feel guilty about just ordering cheese for lunch). We always play the trivia, we always say our please and thank yous and we always tip. 

This, my friends - is what I call good 'ol fashioned karma. In the form of a (free) taco.

Free Pete's 
Taken at Scream Agency after a return trip from Illegal Pete's on 16th St. Mall
Captured on November 8, 2011 



Monday, November 7, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Twelve : Holiday Stars

If you grew up in York, Pennsylvania like I did, you looked forward to the holiday season for many reasons - caroling in Glendale, a white Christmas, the steam whistle playing 'Jingle Bells' and Stauffer's Chocolate Stars.

We may just be past Halloween but the holidays just got a whole lot closer thanks to the arrival of a little care package today from my stepmom.

If you haven't had a chance to try these gems - dark chocolate coated graham cracker stars dusted in white sprinkles - come by my place and we'll get in to the holiday spirit together. 

Holiday Stars
Taken at Scream Agency (I got the package at work and could not possibly wait until I got home to open them up!)
Captured on November 7, 2011


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Eleven : Sunday Funday

Today around 11:30, Josh, Linz and I strolled in to Jonesy's Eatbar.

We were there for two things: food and bottomless mimosas because nothing gets a Sunday Funday started like a full tummy and a bubbly buzz. Add a game of Taboo at the table while we waiting for our brunch and our party growing from three to five when Bill and Cam to meet us - and you have what Sunday Fundays are made of.

Sunday Funday
Taken at Jonesy's Eatbar
Captured on November 6, 2011


Well the above and then coming back to relax in front of the TV while cheering on the Broncos. And then watching them win, which can be rare. Not rare? Sunday Fundays and for that, I am thankful. 


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Ten : Let It Snow

Andy came to pick me up today for some brunch time at Steuben's. After filling ourselves with pancakes and mimosas - we headed the Colorado Ski Expo, where I purchased my first Colorado ski pass

Let it Snow
Taken at the Colorado Convention Center, Ski Expo
Captured on November 5, 2011 


Friday, November 4, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Nine : Martina Navratilova

Last year at this time, my blood, sweat and tears were getting poured in to a little event called the Ethel M Cactus Lighting (or Katie's Crazy Cactus).

This year at this time, my blood, sweat and tears have been poured in to a little event called the Annual Women's Luncheon by The Women's Foundation of Colorado. It's the largest Luncheon in the state - and this year, the keynote speaker was only one of the best tennis players in the world - Martina Navratilova. 

I'm surprised I could spell her name correctly, I'm so sleep deprived. Then again, I've typed it about a thousand times in the past few months so I bet I could do it with my eyes closed.

The Luncheon is almost exactly like the Cactus Lighting - just take all the chocolate and replace it with estrogen. It's a lot of writing, a lot of pitching, a lot of feeling like you need a drink at inappropriate times of the day, a lot of media - and ultimately, very rewarding.


Martina's speech was incredibly inspiring. I am not sure if you would ever have the opportunity to hear her speak but if you do, I highly suggest stopping in for some motivation. And if that doesn't happen, try to live by the words that the WFCO does: Think Big. Be Bold. Stay Focused. And Accomplish More.

How's that for some girl power?



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Eight : Music Night

You know those nights when you walk in to a bar or restaurant and you see a stage getting set-up and you know that it could either make or break your night?

Last night was one of those nights. GB and I went to get some seafood last night in the Highlands. We see the space being set up, and I'm sure the thing the both of us thought immediately was whether or not they would need a harmonica player to join in.

We take a seat at the bar, order a plethora of seafood - and some NZ Souv Blanc for yours truly - and ask who is playing tonight. The bartender starts going on and on about how amazing these guys are. In fact, he tells us, two of them are leaving tonight to go meet Bono to tour with him. If you know me, you know that those four letters hardly act as a selling point. If anything, it made me nervous to know that Bono loved them. Then again, I suppose that's how the Killers got their start so....

Well, kids, Bono may have awful taste in sunglasses, hair styles and attitude in general - but apparently, he knows how to recognize talented musicians because these guys were
A M A Z I N G.

Music Night
Photographed at Highland Pacific
Captured on November 2, 2011


They played everything from reggae to blues to pop and did it all in their own style, with the ability to have me want to get out of my chair and dance the night away.

But I didn't, instead I drank wine and tapped my foot. And took it all in. And wondered how well I could play the tambourine along with Tori Pater and Friends. And maybe, just maybe, hated Bono a little less by the time we left.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Seven : Come Together

Every day on my bike ride home, I ride up 14th in LoDo.

Every day on my bike ride home, this makes me smile.

Come Together
Photographed at 14th and Curtis in Downtown Denver
Captured October 31, 2011


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Six : Tebowing

Speaking of Michael Granquist, he had me in stitches the other night when he pulled out this move.

Tebowing
Photographed at the Allen's Halloween Party
Captured on October 29, 2011


For those of you not familiar - Tebowing is the new Planking and is defined as: (vb) to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.

See here.

You see, it's all the rage. Especially here in Denver where we are home to Tim Tebow.  Although most of us wouldn't admit that after Sunday's slaying.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Five : Happy Halloween

Saturday night we went to a Halloween party held at the Allen's - Linz's cousins. My original plan was to dress as a ballerina this year - for the Ballerina Comeback of 2011 and all - but the ballerinas made such a comeback that even I was over it come October. Then again, I was dressed as a ballerina for the majority of January 2011.

So I was an Indian. It was warm, and I got to wear a feather in my hair without committing myself to a trend that has been stale for the past year.

I can tell that Michael Granquist took this photo because I think this is how I look at Michael 99% of the time - out of love, of course.

Happy Halloween
Photographed at the Allen's in Conifer, CO
Captured on October 29, 2011


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shots of Cheese: Four : Pumpkin Mummy

I look forward to Halloween every year for multiple reasons.

1. I love candy.

2. I love any reason to get dressed up.

3. Pumpkin carving.

Unfortunately, as much as I love my new apartment - it doesn't give me a ton of room to do something like gut and carve a pumpkin. So this year, I went for the un-carved approach.

The result:

Pumpkin Mummy
Photographed October 30, 2011
Captured at home


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shots of Cheese : Three : Sloan's Snow-Capped View

This morning - OK, afternoon - I took Gordon for a walk around Sloan's Lake. As I'm sure you know, it snowed masivally - ok, some, on Wednesday here in Denver.

The result = snow-capped Rockies surrounded by fall colors.

Sloan's Snow-Capped View
Photographed October 29, 2011
Captured at Sloan's Lake


Friday, October 28, 2011

Shots of Cheese: Two: Ms. Pacman

This has got to draw up some nostalgia for some of you, or at least get you in the Halloween spirit. I, personally, was a crazy Pacman player as a whippersnapper so I was G A M E to volunteer to wear the suit for the Scream Scram.

The Scream Scram is a 5k run/walk (if you're in a Pacman suit) that Lora (owner of Scream) started 12 years ago to benefit MS - now goes to Boys and Girls Club who actually run it now, but Scream still adds the creative touch and we are therefore, still heavily involved and supportive (of course).

We wanted to go with the art designed for this year's race so we went as Ms. Pacman and the ghosts. Here is the outcome:

Ms. Pacman and Co.
Photographed on October 21
Captured at the 12th Annual Scream Scram at Wash Park



Thursday, October 27, 2011

30 Shots of Cheese : One : Fall Wonderland

No, I am not talking about PatrĂ³n shots (for once). Or actual shots of Cheddar. Although I wouldn't put it past me.

I am talking about my new challenge. A photo a day for 30 days, inspired by my friend Tiffanie's blog and my lack of challenging myself here on HSCOOC since Pieces of Cheese - which was a year ago!

Plus, I miss you guys. Plus, my photogenic eye has been feeling rather inspired lately. And the next month includes a lot of good old fashioned fun - I mean in one week alone I've got a wedding and Disneyland. My heart is smiling just thinking about it.

Enough reasons there? Good. Well then, I give you....

FALL WONDERLAND. 

Photographed on October 26 - the first day of snow here in the Denver metro area. 
Captured at Cheesman Park at dusk.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

mrs. +more


About a month ago, my +more called me with some news. It's the kind of news that I will always remember where I was when I heard it (walking Gordon, on a Sunday morning during a return trip from Dazbog, down Downing St.). It's the kind of news that as a best friend, you wait for your girlfriend to share with you - even if you two have been guessing when it said news was going to come for months. It's the kind of news that changes a girl's life for eternity, and if you're lucky enough (as Lauren is) - that change is for the better. It's the kind of news that puts a ring on that left finger.

It's the kind of news that makes your girlfriend scream over the phone, while walking down the street..."YOU'RE ENGAGED?!?!?!? YAAAAYAYYYYYY!!!!!!"

So if you haven't heard yet - and couldn't hear that scream all the way from Denver - you have now. Ms. Lauren Bruner is engaged to Mr. Scott Robydek and they are to be wed in the year 2012.


I could not be happier for the two of them. I've had a few family members ask, "Well, do you like the guy?" and I could not be more honest when saying that yes, I love him - Scott is one of the nicest people on the planet and I believe that he will make my +more a very happy woman for the rest of her life.

Lo was out here the weekend before this past one, partly so I could see her ring - partly to talk wedding - and partly to eat and drink a Friday - Sunday away. We did all of the above, sometimes in combination with another - i.e. looking at her ring while toasting blood orange mimosas in celebration, eating while discussing the possibility of venues.


I am truly honored to be a part of her big day - there is a lot of planning to get done, a lot of champagne to be drank and a whole lotta love to look forward to. 

Congratulations, Lauren and Scott - from the bottom of my heart - CHEERS!



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Head and the Heart

 The Head and the Heart were the soundtrack to my summer. I had their self-titled in constant rotation from the beach to Vegas to the mountains - in fact, I cannot tell you how many times I listened to 'Down in the Valley' in the month of June. So when I found out they were performing at The Gothic on October 10 - that date immediately had hearts drawn around it in my moleskin datebook.

I have the tendency to set my expectations too high - this stands true to movies to boys to a few fallen friends to concerts (think Britney's return circa 2009). The Head and the Heart did not disappoint though - in fact, I would go as far to say that they exceeded expectations. That's right - exceeded expectations.


They harmonize in the most heavenly way. And luckily, Kristen and I met Andy and Angela there who totally scored the perfect spot - about third standing row in, with just enough room to sway and close enough to see that yes, they really are that good looking. And Charity (the girl in the group) was so adorably shy every time she was put on the spot to carry the song, that I wanted to just put her in my pocket and promise that she could just sing to me from there forever. Safe keeping and all.


Also, it's rare that I get there for the opening band - mostly just out of typical lateness - however, my new friend Sean, who's music taste I trust 100% got so excited when my response to him asking who was opening was "Umm - Thao and The Get Down - " he jumped in here, "Thao and The Get Down, Stay Down!???" NOOOO! Yes. He promised I would love her/them and so I made sure we arrived by 9 to catch them and wow so glad we did. I have a feeling that if HATH was summer - Thao and her-most-fun-name-for-a-band-ever will be fall.

And don't even get me started on the tambourines. OH THE TAMBOURINES. Just in case I wasn't sold on quitting my job, packing up Gordon in the Fiat (a girl can dream) and hitting the road as a tambourine girl - well, the HATH and Thao sold me on making that dream a reality last night.

So HATH, I hope it's not Rivers and Roads until I reach you again. See you on the road. With my tambourine.




Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs, 1955 - FOREVER


As the girl who bought the first iPhone like a total sucker for $650.

As the girl who believes that Apple makes the sexiest products on the planet.

As the girl who types this on her mac, listening to her iPod.

As the girl who has this blog name engraved in to the back of her iPad.

My heart broke on Wednesday. 

R.I.P., Steve. And thank you. The world is truly a better place because of who you were and what you created.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Foliage


Sunday afternoon, Gord and I took a drive up to Pine, for a little doggie playtime and a little mommy mimosa time.

As we were taking the (long) drive up 285, I can't believe we didn't crash. You see, I've never really lived anywhere to witness the change of the seasons. Sure, I grew up in the Maryland and Pennsylvania area but when I was 7, I think I was way more concerned with jumping in to the leave pile than appreciating the true beauty of them being on the tree before the fall.

Eventually, I pulled over - for Gordon's safety - to take some photos (filter free) to share with you here because you should see this. 





If time (and weather) abides, I would love to get up to Rocky National Park or Aspen, to lie on my back and take in all the colors.

And yes, then jump in to a giant pile of leaves.

Happy fall, my babies.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good Vibrations


I don't know how much more Americana you get then The Beach Boys.

Yes. I may be biased. If you know Carl Knoch, my father, you can understand why. The Beach Boys were my very first concert at Merriweather Pavillions in Columbia, MD. I was 5-years-old and enjoyed the view from my father's shoulders.

Another....my dad, obviously, a huge Beach Boys fan - wouldn't allow us to listen to the Beach Boys on our way to Stone Harbor for the annual Knoch family beach trip - until we could smell the ocean. I remember every year, rolling down the window, sniffing as hard as Gordon - trying to get just one whiff of saltwater in the air so I could tell him, "Dad, it's time."

More? Ok. Depends on who you ask - but my dad and I are convinced that my first official word was Ba-Ba-Ba because of Barbara Ann - you know, the one to take your hand who's got you rockin' and rollin' who made you take a chance when you were lookin' for romance.

Last one. I promise. 'God Only Knows' has been on every single love mix c.d./playlist I've ever made a boyfriend. Did you date me? Then you know it's true. It's one of the greatest love songs ever written (next to 'Escape' - the Pina Colada song) - that and 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' - which, wouldn't you know it - is another song by the Beach Boys.

Obviously - these boys from California have been a huge influence on my life, so you can understand my excitement when I found out that they were performing at Colorado Remembers - a free concert on the 10th Anniversary of September 11th at Civic Center Park (five blocks from my place). I immediately shared on Facebook (I know, shocking) that I was so excited to re-live my first concert at age 28. My new friend, Jennie, responded with a "we're so going!"

Leading up to this date - I watched a ton of September 11th specials. The 'Dateline' with Tom Brokaw - tears - so many tears. We all spent the weekend talking about where we were, who we were with and how we couldn't believe that it had been ten years. By the time the actual date of September 11th rolled around on Sunday - I was ready for a celebration of life. Thankfully, this celebration happened to be led by the Beach Boys.

Jennie and I danced our butts off to Sloop John B, Be True To Your School, Help Me Rhonda, Surfin' USA, I Get Around, Kokomo and, of course, Good Vibrations. And thanks to Mike Love and co. - we were, indeed, feelin' those Good Vibrations on a day that certainly needed a little California sunshine.