Monday, June 25, 2012

A Summer Colorado Getaway

We've just returned from a fantastic family vacation in Colorado. We chose to visit the Four Corners area of Colorado because Mr.Perfect and I wanted to take Trouble to Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde is a park dedicated to preserving the ruins and cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan people. Trouble has been telling us he wants to be an archeologist when he grows up. Yes, he has seen Indiana Jones one too many times.

While away from home we have enjoyed renting homes instead of staying in hotels. Sure we don't get fresh towels everyday and no one makes the bed for us but we get so much more like tons of space, a full kitchen, a washer & dryer and it's WAY cheaper. I also love the experience of living like a local. For our Mesa Verde vacation I found Casa Cielo through HomeAway, a site that connects homeowners around the world with travelers. Casa Cielo offered us a peaceful and relaxing home base for a fun filled vacation.

Casa Cielo is very close to the Anasazi Heritage Center, an archaeological museum for the Anasazi culture and other Native cultures in the Four Corners region. Trouble loved all the hands on activities and hiking up to the excavated archaeological site overlooking McPhee Reservoir.

We had fun exploring the amazing Mesa Verde National Park, imagining what life was like so long ago for the people of this region.

Riding the historic Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was one of our favorite experiences. Besides offering amazingly beautiful views of Colorado the vintage steam train takes you back in time as it has been in operation for 130 years.

Trouble had the experience of his life paddling through the rapids on our rafting trip down the Animas River in Durango!

We loved every single second of our time in Colorado from Casa Cielo, our home away from home, to each exciting and interesting excursion.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Simple Soy Sauce Tilapia

A while back Bestie made a great fish dish. I think it was called Maple Soy Glazed Salmon or something like that. Anyway it was really good! I was thinking I'd like to make something similar but with tilapia.
What you need:
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 fillets tilapia (I used tenderloin fillets)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
What you do:
Combine first 4 ingredients in a zip lock bag.

Add the fish to the bag and allow to marinade for 30 minutes.

Remove the fish from the marinade and place in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness of fish).

After about 10 minutes of cooking sprinkle fish with sesame seeds and continue cooking.
 Simple!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Painting Class

Not long ago a friend took an acrylic painting class. She raved about how much fun it was and that she thought it was right up my alley. I have no prior painting experience but being that I am an artsy kind of girl and am willing to give just about anything a try, I decided to take the class. Cindy Debold, my painting teacher, is a fantastic local artist. She does the most amazing sculptures and paintings.

Cindy asked us to bring a picture of our favorite painting to our first class. I love Monet's Water Lilies! I saw them on a trip to France in High School and they took my breath away. She also asked us to bring a few photographs of landscapes or pets that we might be interested in painting. I brought this photograph of my Grandmother's cottage and Cindy helped guide me to paint it with a Monet twist.

My painting started out like this...
and slowly transformed into...
THIS!
I could never ever have done this on my own. But with the guidance of a very talented and patient teacher...
miracles are possible. Heck I may even have a new hobby.