Monday, September 29, 2014

Garden of the Gods

This past weekend, we headed down south a little over an hour to Colorado Springs.  Prior to this, the farthest south I'd made it was the outlet mall, but we were excited to cheer on a friend in Tour de Cure. The drive was absolutely gorgeous!
And as one would expect, so were the red rocks once we got to the park! I mean view...
As our friend worked on her long ride, her husband, brother-in-law, and my husband convinced me to attempt to rock climb. Mr. HaHa bought gear at the beginning of summer, but had only used it once prior to this trip; but he did just fine.
Me on the other hand? Well, given that I'm not afraid of heights, but not a huge fan either; I harnessed up. I was thankful that the guys we were with had plenty of experience and knew what they were doing. I took my time trying to contort my body against this huge rock and look for random hand grabs and footings.  I was slow but made my way, until I got stuck and couldn't manage to go any further. I made it up about 40% of the route and my legs wouldn't stop shaking and my arms were exhausted so I went down.  Kind of anticlimactic, but then again, I tried!  I think I could get pretty good with some practice.
The view looking up the route...
...and the rock the route was on!
Back on solid ground, we drove around the park. There are plenty of trails, great for trailing running, but the day was running late and it was extremely hot, so we opted for the car until heading to congratulate our friend!
Garden of the Gods wasn't as big as I'd expected, but it is certainly beautiful!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Look for Less: Camo

Hi there loves! Ya know, this weekend I had my family in town and took a ton of pictures, which made me realize how much I miss blogging and sharing my life and experiences.

So, this post is my If You Give a Mouse a Cookie welcome back.

Over the years I've started to accumulate vests and this year I already have my eyes set on J. Crew Factory's Quilted Puffer Vest in Camo.  Last year I got the herringbone and still wear it all.the.time so I thought the camo would be a fun add and still on trend.

The issue? I am too cheap to pay the full retail $108 after knowing their history of up and down pricing. I've been doing daily price checks for about a month now and haven't seen it drop below $88.  I've been carrying around some remnant gift cards waiting to pounce, but haven't deemed a "sale" worth it yet.

Low and behold, last night I was searching Old Navy and came across the vest! In the little girl's section! Girl's Quilted Barn Vest (Yep, still totally wear girls when I can). Regularly priced at $29.95 and 20% off; it was a no brainer to pop an XL and XXL in my cart.

Update: The XL was a little too short and a little too tight when zipped. The XXL is perfect for fall layering and I like the details and coloring even more than the JCF!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fort Collins: Bike 'n' Beer

One thing we loved about our first Colorado winter (besides being a little over an hour's drive from mountains for snowboarding), was that surprisingly there was much less snow than expected (which wasn't hard to compare to Chicago who had their worst winter on record in 50+ years).
If you're followed me for any time now, you know what beer nerds we are (thanks Ben!).  A CO bucket list item was to do a tour at New Belgium Brewery, an hour from Fort Collins.  Easy enough, right? Not so fast...although the tours are free, they release tickets online typically 60-90 days in advance and they "sell out" like that. So when Ben booked us tickets in November for a tour in January, it wasn't surprising; what was, was that it turned out to be a sunny, 75-degree day!
One of our long time friends moved to Ft Collins a few months after we moved to Denver.  He's a biker and beer junky, so he guided us on a self-led brewery-bike tour around Fort Collins.
First up was Funkwerks. A chill little spot with some amazing potent beer. My fav is the Tropic King IPA.
From there, we scooted over to New Belgium for our tour time, passing Ft Collins Brewery and Odell on the way with our golden tickets.
All New Belgium Brewing (NBB) employees get a Fat Tire cruiser bike after their first anniversary (and after their 5th anniversary, they get a week-paid trip to Belgium; JEALOUS!)
The tour itself is comprehensive (giving some great background not only to the company but to brewing) as well as impressive. Their facility is monsterous!

I won't go all geeked out on you here, but our favorite beers are sours (yes, you read right); which typically age in barrels for a year minimum.  Therefore, this room was by far our fav!
Another great  stop on the tour was the packaging facility, where we were privy to a new canned beer, prior to it's release to the public; Snapshot, a wheat perfectly refreshing for summer.
But, the highlight of the NBB tour is the twirly-slide down into the taproom. We'd been given a heads up on this and were told but to scream, but yours truly couldn't help herself:)

From there we went back down the road to Odell; which has a beautiful facility and huge beer garden. I love their Mycenary IPA (when we can find it; the first time was Duluth!) and their Easy Street Wheat is a very drinkable summer beer.
Next on the bike de beer tour was Pateros Creek Brewery. I opted for a pumpkin beer (not on the menu) and was quite pleased; the boys were quiet pleased to find a game room; including fooseball.
We had a quick stop at Equinox Brewing before deciding we needed food; so where else to go than a craft beer bar, The Mayor of Old Town?
We night-capped with oyster-beer shots at Black Bottle Brewery.  As you can imagine, this was not a sober decision! ;) However, we had a blast throughout the day and can't wait to repeat it!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Radio Silence more.
Hello there my friends.  I've taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging to try to get settled down.  I'm happy to report that I'm at a place that I feel like I can finally stop and take deep breathes without gasping for air in all of the adjustments we've had in life the past couple months.
So, what have I been up to you ask? Well, here's a little recap of the past three months or so...
We closed on our house in February and moved in the first week of March.  Being a homeowner of a 100+ year old brick bungalow is no joke.  We were so happy to find a home we wanted in the location we wanted that has much of what we wanted (how many "wanted"s can I include in one sentence?), but there is ALWAYS something to do; well it's scrape a popcorn ceiling (check), paint trim white (partial check, just the living room and bathroom is done), or laying sod; we're keeping on our toes!
Other than working on the house (which, don't get me wrong, I love, love, love); we've been busy with life in general.
It's been so nice for Oscar to have a neighborhood to walk in again.  The apartment we sublet when we first moved here was downtown, which meant no grass for the poor little fellow.  He also hated the narrow hallways with people and dogs constantly passing by. Now he has a house of his own and Ben working at home to keep him company.
And, we wouldn't be us if we hadn't been keeping up on our love of beer. We recently tallied up how many breweries we've been to in Denver proper; the count is at 22 and growing all the time.
If you follow me on instagram (@justcallmehaha), you could probably guess I've been having a lot of fun (although indecisive) decorating our house. We still have a long way to go, but it feels more and more like home with every addition. #hahashome on IG tracks all of my latest decisions.
We've had both of our families come out for a visit and last weekend we had our first "friend" out. It's been fun to show off the place and 'hood, but also wonderful because my father-in-law is quite the handyman!  My own dad helped us install an outdoor electrical outlet as well as fix up some odds and ends around the house.  My father-in-law was here for a week and installed a microwave, changed our garage door from manual to electric with an opener, changed out sink faucets, and the list goes on!  He's currently working on some built-in shelves for our bedroom that will be installed in August :)
At the end of April I flew home for a cousin's wedding; which was the first time since we moved that we've had my entire immediate family (sans Ben) together.
On the trip, I flew back to Denver out of Chicago and had a brief two hours in the city to meet one of my best friends for coffee.  It felt so surreal to be in a city I called home for years. It was as if I could have hopped on the brown line El train and gone back to the apartment as if everything that had happened in the last six months was a dream.
Of course we haven't been taking living surrounded by mountains for granted. Our weekly routine has become a Sunday hike.  These are the times when we climb to a summit, look out, and wonder why anyone would live anywhere else.
Yep, overall life is pretty grand right now.  We love our house,
 I love my job, and we're happy with this little life we've building together.
(PS- I finally found my DSLR battery charger; I can't wait to get out and use my real camera)

Monday, March 31, 2014


Hello loves. We're been homeowners for over a month now, and as you can tell, the blog has suffered.  It's a terrible thing because I have so much I want to share, from exploring our neighborhood, to snowboarding feats and then on to several home projects that have already taken place (mainly lots of painting: trim, ceiling, cabinets and even tile!).

I promise I'll be back to share all of the stores; but in the meantime, you can see what I'm up to on my instagram (@justcallmehaha) and figure out what I'm planning next by checking out my Pinterest!

Miss you lots!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hello There.

Give me a little more time and I'll finally have some more time to dedicate to you (and a real space to use for the computer instead of our little bistro table, yeesh!).  Yep, tomorrow is closing day. As you can imagine, we are thrilled, although it still seems unfathomable that tomorrow we officially become home owners.  All of our searching and budgeting has paid off. We found an amazing house AND will still have a comfortable savings after tomorrow's hefty check is handed over.

We lucked out and have a week overlap of owning the house (ah!) and our apartment lease; which means this weekend we'll be rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. The first major projects to tackle are the scraping of our living/dining room popcorn ceiling (after much debate about paying someone, we decided we'll take a whack at it first) and painting our woodwork trim white (I know, I know, some people, my mother-in-law included, think it's a sin. But it's our house and we'll do what we want). Wish us luck!
In the meantime, I'll live vicariously through you. Go out and shop these deals, will ya?
  • Banana Republic: 40% off in stores and online with code BRTUNEIN through 3/2 (2% back via
  • Gap:
    • 20% off women's and men's online purchases and 10% donation to your choice non-profit online with code DOGOOD
    • Semi-annual kids and baby sale; up to 40% off in store and online
    • 2% back via
  • H&M: $4.95 sweatshirt today

  • Old Navy: 25% off women's styles online with code ONSAVENOW and up to 75% off clearance sale in stores (2% back via
  • Nike: Extra 20% off clearance items with code BESTINGAME through 3/6 (6% back via
  • Piperlime: Extra 40% off final sale items today with code FINAL (2% back via
  • Shutterfly: 50% off 10"x10" or larger photobooks with code BOOKSMART through 3/5
  • Starbucks: Now through 3/4, receive a bonus star for every purchase with your Starbucks card (that's 6 purchases for a free item!)
  • West Elm: Up to 70% off newly added clearance items

Monday, February 17, 2014

President's Day Deals and Steals

Good morning.  Happy President's Day! I figured with all of the sales, today is a good day to get back to my ole' deals and steals posts.  Happy shopping!
  • Barnes and Noble: 15% off one item with coupon today
  • Bloomingdales: Big Brown Bag sale ends today (3% back via
  • CB2: Free shipping today
  • Francescas: $25 denim and 25% off booties and bags (in store and online)
  • Kohls: 20% off with Kohls' card and code HEART20 (6% back via
  • H&M: 50% off select styles today
  • JCPenney: 20% off with JCP card or 15% off without; THANKS15 (6% back via
  • J. Crew: extra 50% off final sale items with code EXTRA50 (3% back via
  • J. Crew Factory: Up to 60% off (prices marked) and free shipping today with code HAPPYDAY (1.5% back via
  • Macy's: Extra 20% off with code PRES (6% back via
  • Old Navy: In store only: 50% off women's dresses; 30% off entire purchase or 35% off with store card
  • Puma: Extra 25% off sale items and free shipping (4.5% back via
  • Sports Authority: 15% off entire online purchase (3% back via
  • Victoria's Secret: 20% off a single item with code ITEM20 (2% back via
  • Ulta: 20% off one item through 2/22 (exclusions apply)
  • West Elm: Extra 15% off markdowns and free shipping (exclusion apply) with code FREE15 today

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