V-day report

Per our tradition, W cooked dinner for Valentine's Day. I think this year's meal was my favorite so far: paella and ratatouille. The paella especially was delicious! I think we're going to make it again this weekend for our out-of-town guest. I made the above card last year and gave it to W. I hope everyone had a great V-day!

Edit: I got W a copy of The Hunger Games as well. I read all of the books as they came out but W never did. People at his work are really into it and plan on watching the movie together. He's been hooked all weekend.


What are your Valentine's Day plans? W and I are doing our annual dinner at home where he cooks for me. I saw him looking through the cookbook yesterday so I'm excited to see what he comes up with this year. We'll be celebrating Friday as we have other plans the rest of the week.

I made this card for my mom using watercolors. I had so much fun with it. I can't remember the last time I held a paintbrush!


New abode

My friend Mar blogged about going home today and it reminded me that I wanted to share with you some photos of our new place here in Denver. It reminds me of our old place in Chicago, both in terms of the place itself and the locale. 

The decision to move happened around the holidays so I ended up coming out to Denver by myself for 3 days to apartment hunt. I looked at 20 places all over the city. It was challenging to pick a place in a city that I was unfamiliar with, but after looking at 20 places, I started to get a feel for the different neighborhoods. I found this 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and really liked it.

Originally, we wanted to get a 2 bedroom, because we figured we'd have visitors due to proximity to LA. But then it didn't make sense to pay up for occasional use by visitors. And I really liked the price point, location and feel of the place. You can kind of tell from the first photo, but the bedroom is a triangle shape. Also, we have a window that looks out onto the Rocky Mountains, which I love.

Even our layout resembles how we had our Chicago place set up. The building is a condo where most units are rented out. I like our unit because of the hardwood floors and large counter spaces in the kitchen. It also has a mini washer and dryer, which is nice.

Above is a view from the door. You can't really tell here but there is a view of downtown from our balcony. Another reason I liked our place was because it's only 1.5 miles from W's work. There is a shuttle that runs to downtown from our buildings, so W just takes that to work, which saves on gas and time! As you can see, W got a bike recently. He bought it on Craigslist for $40 and got new tires and a saddle for it. The bike trail, which runs through the city is pretty awesome, and it runs right by our place. I'm looking for a bike too, and I can't wait to ride.

Besides the shuttle, there are some other perks to our building such as a common use computer with scanner, gym, pool, sauna and washer/dryers on each floor at very reasonable prices.

The location has been fantastic. Not only does W have a short and carless commute, but we are close to everything - the art museum, central library and downtown to name a few. I can walk to coffee shops, the dry cleaners, the grocery store and a few bars/restaurants.

It turned out W loves the place just as much as I do. This is his first time not being so dependent on a car and he's been pleasantly surprised by how convenient it is.


Surviving winter

As a native of LA, I've had to adjust to winters in colder climates. Although Denver isn't as cold as Columbus or Chicago, it can feel pretty cold and long for a softy like me. We're in the middle of a snow storm and I thought I'd share some things I do to keep warm and get through the winter.

1. Go out: It's easy to get holed up at home and not want to do anything. Even though it's an effort, once I go out, I'm glad I did. I enjoy taking the shuttle to downtown and walking around.

2. Eat hot foods: This winter it's been all about eating hot foods - they warm me up! Shabu shabu, samgyetang (korean chicken soup with rice), hot stone bibimbap and roasted yams or sweet potatoes are some of my favorites to cook at home.

3. Hot drinks: Along the same lines as #2. I drink something warm throughout the day.

4. Exercise: This is another one that's like pulling teeth for me. When it's cold I don't feel like doing anything. But I've been exercising 3-4 times a week and it's great to warm up the body break out in a sweat regularly. I go to the gym and on weekends take walks with W at Washington Park.

How about you? Any tips for surviving the winter?