Sunday, March 23, 2014


Where had the time gone?!  Everyone tells you when you have a baby it goes so fast  - you know it - yet you still feel like you blink and months go by and there is no way to slow it down.

For Ian's 2nd B'day (yes, it was on Jan. 11th) we decided to combine a few of his favorite things... football (it was the Bronco's playoff game), pizza (he ALWAYS says he wants pizza if you ask what he wants for dinner), and a little bit of Elmo/Sesame Street.

Nana and Tom came to town for the birthday boy's big day! And then a small group of a few close friends (and of course Aunt Emmy and Uncle Todd) joined us - I mean really at 2 it's just about celebrating family and pseudo family. He enjoyed making pizza and cruising around while everyone hung out to watch the game. It was a good little afternoon and I know I can speak for the whole McG clan when I say that we feel very lucky to have such great family and friends who love our little guy and help make memories like these...


Ian's 2 Year Old Stats:
Weight: 27 lbs - 46th percentile
Height: 37 1/8" - 99th percentile
Head Circumference: 19 1/8" - 48th percentile

Last year on Ian's b'day I wrote him a little note. And I wanted to be sure to keep that tradition alive... 

My little man "E-O"- 

I didn't think you could be anymore loved than when you were born, and then when you turned 1, yet I'm pretty sure I love you more with each passing day. You are so smart and funny and your little giggle and smile will brighten even my worst days. I love picking you up at Barb's and you always coming running all excited yelling "Mommy! Mommy!" That means the world to me. And I love our nightly routine of "mama, read a book" and then "mama, I rock you." It's those moments I don't take for granted, not even for even one second. 

I'm amazed at how how much you already know and say at the ripe old age of 2. You have a rockin' vocab... talk in sentences... and never struggle to tell us what you want. You sing your a,b,c's and  Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Counting to 10 is no problem for you, in fact you can usually throw in a fourteen or seventeen just to impress.  But even more importantly you love your mama and dada and let us know it on a daily basis through your hugs, when you kiss my cheek and then tell me you want to "kiss dee otha one," and when you mimic what we're doing. You make us feel extra special and we hope to make sure you always know how extra special you are too!

Wishing you a year filled with lots of playing tackle with dada, eating pizza for dinner, watching Nemo and Elmo, reading books, riding bikes, playing on the slide,  and getting a little dirty like a good boy should. 

Love you, 
Momma McG 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Making the fireplace HOT

So, this actually happened over Christmas, but it warranted it's own post. I always had plans to tackle the fireplace. In fact, I told the builder save themselves the 12x12 lame-o tile surround and predictable mantle I had coming to me.... if you remember I also had them move the fireplace to be centered between the 2 small yes, me and this fireplace had plans, lots of plans (and we're not done yet, but we're one huge step closer).

My plans started with a big chunk of walnut. Yum, love me some walnut. I knew I didn't want an expected painted white mantle. I wanted to do something that would add some warmth to the room and pick up on my walnut floors but was also clean and modern. A la, CS Woods had just what I was looking for...a beautiful piece of walnut. They were even willing to mill the chunk of wood down to size for me - leaving just the finishing work to me, my dad.

I was also on the hunt to find some kick-butt REAL stone tile - porcelain or ceramic just wasn't going to cut it for this project. I see stuff all day long for my clients which is really good and really bad all at the same time. It's bad because I end up falling in love with what is always the most expensive thing out there,  but the exposure means I'm not going to have something that is a total yawn. I debated and debated what I wanted to do - at first I was all about this Ann Sacks Silver Travertine. Well, it's like $20/SF with my the's a lot of money when you need 80 square feet. So I ruled it out but I had that image stuck in my head.

Well, my my wonderful Daltile rep hooked a sister up. I told her what I wanted and she was able to get me a good designer deal on this BEAUTIFUL Chenille White Travertine. I went for the honed in a 4x36" format. It's awesome if I do say so myself.  It's a bit of a warmer grey which is perfect contract with the cooler toned also pulls out the warmth of the rug and window coverings.

And I must mention that I was able to have the mantle milled to the exact thickness as the tile (4" thick) so visually it holds the same weight as each band of tile. This is one of those details that only designer sweat over and notice, but it makes me happy.

I gave my pops the vision and away he went...working for days before Christmas and wrapping up this hefty job a day after Santa came to town. What a Christmas gift this was!!

*YAWN* I feel so bored.
Do you like the one on right or the left?
And I'm not talking about the boys wrestling on the ground with the ball.
I ultimately landed on the right... the left was just a bit to creamy & vanilla
My wonderful father hard at work. He's pretty awesome. And equally awesome is how it's looking!
It's Christmas Day and dad is still working away. That's just the kind of guy he is.
Gotta love Ian's stocking hanging too.
almost complete... 

Close up shot of the walnut mantle

Feeling pretty and warm

I love, love, LOVE the results! THANK YOU POPS!! 

So, what's next you ask? 

Well notice that space on either side of the fireplace? Someday bookcases/built-ins are going to flank either side.... I already have the whole think drawn up, and now I'm working on convincing my lovely husband.  All in due time. Stay tuned... my dance with the fireplace isn't done yet.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, blah, blah, blah....

Christmas, check.
New Years, check.
Ian sick, check.
Mama sick, check.
Mama goes to NY, check.
Dada sick, check.
Back to work, check.

I'm too tired to write all the details. But here are the highlights via photos....

In our house Christmas isn't complete without Dickens Villages and Waterford China
Ian Opening His presents Christmas Morning.... took him awhile to get warmed up
Stockings, Cookie Making, Bike Riding, and Bloodies + Puzzles for the adults

We went to Station 26 for some early NYE drinks. It was baby Porter's first Brewery

It was not Ian's first Brewery. 
I enjoyed beers in NY  while catching up with my dear friend,  Ashley

Ashley lives like a block from "Carrie Bradshaw's Apt" so I had to be a tourist and take a photo

I said beers... plural.

Yes, instead of Ashley and I taking arms-length selfies,  I documented our stops with photos of what we drank

I felt inspired by the vibe of this place... 

My Friend Mike threw a party at the Soho House - Library Room
Mike & Charles Bradley Breaking it down
Ash and I celebrating the last horrah of "Christmas Break" at Mike's Party

Yeah. Freaking. Right.


Yep, 100% skeptical.

Mama, I'm not amused.
If I've said it once I've said it a million times.... this child is an OLD SOUL...and I just love that. Don't trying pulling one over on him.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chop, Chop.

Thanksgiving was festive and lovely this year and we spent it in Omaha at my parents place. The following weekend we headed down to southern Colorado (near the Springs) to get ourselves a good old fashion Christmas tree - cue Clark Griswold.

Cutting down a Christmas tree is a big family tradition for us that  we started with our pseudo family member "Uncle Bacon" 5 years ago. As a toddler, Ian loved the adventure for about 5 minutes... he ran free through the snow giggling, and then he realized it was hard work and said "mama hold you." I carried that little stinker down the ravine, up the hills, and though the woods - pretty sure it was comparable to a crossfit workout. Despite the physical fitness challenge, we found ourselves a tree and I only had to cut the top off of it 3 times once we got it home to be able to fit the star.

I think what I love most about chopping down our tree (aside from the family made memories) is that they are NOT Christmas lot trees. They aren't perfect and they sometimes need a few extra ornaments to fill in a bare spot, but they are extra special and real as they exist in nature.

The McG's and our tree

My little buddy is precious.
Auntie Em and Uncle Bacon making there way in

Mama and Ian....this is the point that he wouldn't let me put him down

Todd checking out his goods

Eddie LOVING the snow

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Birthday Beer Bash 2.0

Yet another year has come and gone for old Johnny McG. So what did we do to celebrate? Drank beer, of course. Being that John is beyond annoyingly obsessed with beer he loves and I mean LOVES an excuse to crack open his "cellar" and do an annual (which we have decided will likely be bi-annual...get ready to mark your calendars for this summer) beer tasting. His hope is that you are exposed to something you haven't tried before, hopefully you learn something new, but bottom line it's all about having a good time drinkin' beer.

This year's line up had 54 beers to taste.  Naturally, John has a spreadsheet that categorized the evenings' sampling into groupings which he rolled out throughout the night. I wish I could say that after blowing through 54+ bomber bottles that we really freed up some space in the old cellar, but I cannot. Did I also mention that John has a hoarding beer obsession? He is constantly picking bottles up and stashing them for that "right moment" ... that right moment usually includes sharing with friends he knows will also appreciate them.  Point being, feel free to stop by our house at any time for an impromptu tasting. 

Once again, the menu for the evening included all beer infused food...

  • Beer Mac-N-Cheese with Bacon : This went like hotcakes... next year I'll make a vat. The Italian in me still wants to die at the fact that this ran out, but guess that's also a sign that it was good. And I'll have you know that I tripled the recipe. 
  • Beer Cheese Dip : My brother-in-law, Todd, was basically spooning this in his's an EASY winner. And in all honesty you can throw in beer in there. Super simple and tasty.
  • Chili Beer Chicken Wings: Going to be honest...didn't love these wings. WAY too salty (I think it was the soy) and something was just off (maybe it was the fact that the wings I got from the grocery were freaking huge). Wouldn't do it them again.
  • Stout Cupcakes : I used this recipe, but used Fort Collins Brewery Double Chocolate Stout instead of Guiness, and obviously I converted it to cupcakes. Personally, I think these were amazing.
  • Sober up mix: Ok, that's just what I called it... this would be a good thing for any party though. Ya know, step it up from your standard store-bought mix. 
OH! OH! AND I almost forgot the "slow turtle" made it out for the party.... Have you forgotten about him? Here's a refresher.

Pretty sure this is the only appropriate use of the turtle in a non-douche bag way...
Alerting you to SLOW for adult beverages.
Honestly, I'm surprised the Stapleton police weren't called for misuse of the turtle.  

Some of the line up.

Everyone was able to pick up their own tasting glass. Hint, hint I got these puppies from IKEA and then slapped some chalkboard labels on the so everyone could mark their name on them. I still lost my own taster no less than 3 times. 

We also did some voting for people's favorite beer of the night.

Just got stamps to fancy up my disposable sporks... I'm not kidding I really think stamps are great.
I sort of love my discovery of re-usuing beer cans as "holders. " It's as easy as using a can-opener to pop off the top and
TA-DA!!  You now have the perfect vessel to hold utensils OR act as a vase for flowers. 

These plates were a big hit. You can find them at your local Crate and Barrel for like 20 bones.

The crack dip...  (if only I could get this stupid pic to rotate)

Gretchen is having fun with cheese, but please note Todd in the background...what's in his hand? Oh that would be the beer cheese dip.  Woof.

Beer can floral arrangement

Gotta have munchies when everyone is downing big beers

This was likely gone .2 seconds after this photo was taken 
Stout Braised Sliders with Cheddar, Pickled Onions, and Horseradish Cream

Bacon enjoying a chili beer wing

I made up little score cards for everyone to be able to rate the beers they tasted and keep track of what they liked/didn't

In. His. Element.

Cheers folks!! That's a wrap for 2013... join us again later this TBD.  Thanks to all who came.  And a special thanks to all those who came, threw down, and took cabs (you are our favorite people).

The People's Choice Winner was: Tart of Darkness. I personally thought it was ah-maze-ing. It's from The Brewery out of California, and if you haven't gotten a taste of this I recommend you do so. Like it's name it's tart, but for those into sours this doesn't disappoint.