B Bar Ranch [Get outdoors for MOSS]

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Right now, in Bozeman, ski season is long over, but this is the first of a few skiing posts that I will eventually get up here.  Last year I came across a fundraiser for Montana Outdoor Science School (MOSS) that was a day of cross country skiing and lunch and all proceeds go to the school. I wanted to go, but for some reason it didn’t. This year when I came across it, I sent out a message to some friends and signed us up. 

None of us had heard of B Bar Ranch, but we had heard that Tom Miner Canyon, where it is located at the southern end of Paradise Valley, was gorgeous. As we were driving out, there was very little snow on the ground in the valley. Meanwhile, Bozeman had a bit of a storm the night before and we saw several wrecks on the way over the pass’ and there was plenty of snow in Gallatin Valley. Once we turned off into the canyon we started climbing up and by the time we got to the ranch you wouldn’t believe there was no snow five miles north. 
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The area is definitely beautiful and we all want to go back for either hiking or skiing in the future. The ranch is several miles in and is a retreat of sorts in the summer for larger groups. In the winter, you can ski their groomed trails for $10. There are three locations that you can ski into and stay the night. That is next on the list, especially since it’s only two to three miles in on easy trails.
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We did a four to five mile loop before grabbing lunch in the Nordic tent. It is an old canvass tent with a wood stove in the center. One of the “cabin” you can hike/ski into is also an old tent. It was super cozy and lovely to hang out in. We talked about going out for another short run, but after resting realized we were a bit more sore than we thought, it was our first time out this season after all.
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MOSS was doing guided tours for those interested, but we had more fun out on our own and definitely plan to go back next year if it works out. Hopefully we get out there doe more than just the fundraiser.
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Sunday Afternoon Coffee [sixty-one]

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If we were having coffee or maybe tea this afternoon, we would talk about the awesome spring weather that we have been having, that is, until  it decided to rain all weekend. Last weekend the Sexy Master Electrician and I went to the Natural Bridge via the back roads. It was a perfect day for a little hiking, a little dirt road adventures and a drink on a patio.
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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about Skeeball League. We were ‘Bitches Be Craskee’. I think we ended up dead last, but it was still really fun. Every week we played four or five games. Each game we had to throw in different ways, like behind our backs, granny style, or on our knees.  Until next season.
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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about the awesome time we had playing old school Pictionary and not old school Heads Up. Apparently, when I draw Texas, I draw it backwards and fictional characters are my jam. Even TSME played, it was that fun.
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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you to go see 45 Years. It was a wonderfully done film. I went with a few friends who were also at the party above and when I got there, we spent forever talking about it. Even though the two guys didn’t like it, they still enjoyed discussing it.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about the Meeting in the Mountains. Christopher Sharples from SHoP Architects presented  so many projects in New York, I can’t wait to go back. I forgot how many awesome projects they have done. It was also a chance to catch up with some friends over chicken and waffles and watch my coworkers sing karaoke.
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If we were having coffee, I would show you all the places I’ve looked at in Bozeman. The rental market here is about as bad as New York. Hopefully we find something soon. I’m over it. And yet I’m back to craigslist…

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [sixty]

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that it was so great to see two of my old collage friends, C & S this weekend. C stayed with me and we got to see S’s little baby boy. I have not seen either of these two since 2008, maybe 2009, but it’s wonderful how easy it is to hang out with good old friends like you see them all the time.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that yesterday was a beautiful day for the annual Run to the Pub. This was my 3rd year running and it was by far the fastest I think I have run anything. Not that it was actually that fast. I heard people complaining they were not running sub eight minute miles. I was pretty happy with my sub nine minute miles. I ran with C and we definitely pushed each other. We managed to not walk at any point, which we both said we would have if the other had. Victory. Also a reminder that I do not care one bit to run more than a 10K.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you how proud I am to be a part of the Open Architecture Collaborative. After Architecture for Humanity went bankrupt, the local chapters still existed and persevered with the guidance of Garrett Jacobs at the helm to create a new non-profit. I have been helping as a core collaborator and will hopefully be able to contribute more in the future. We are so excited to launch the new organization and get to work helping under-served communities.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would show you the sweet pint glass that C and I received for being one of the first people to go to
Heyday after running. It’s a list of the peaks in the Bridgers. We also got to be instagram famous.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I am very excited to head to Nashville next weekend for Melissa’s bachelorette party. We are going to a Rihanna concert and checking out all that the town has to offer in food, drinks, sightseeing and of course music.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would also tell you that I am very excited about my new shoes. I would probably be wearing them. Yay!

 

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [fifty-nine]

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If we were having coffee, it would be along time coming. I have been so busy. Doing what? I’m not entirely sure. I seem to go to bed earlier and earlier and there have been a lot of weekend adventures. A lot of cross country skiing to tell you about. A lot of work to not bore you with. And a lot of other random stuff. My mom was checking facebook to make sure I was still alive because I had not called home in so long. So let’s catch up a bit and enjoy a huge cup of coffee.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about the Cat- Griz basketball game. I was skiing earlier in the day, otherwise I would have wanted to go see the women’s game in the afternoon. We made it back for the men’s game in the evening. I don’t think I have been to a game since I was a freshman in college, and I’m not sure I even went to one then. It was a pretty good game up until the last quarter when they let the Griz win. At least I have cool friends to watch the game with.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you to read this quick, funny story about bouncing back forth between New York and Los Angeles. I too imploded somewhere in the middle.

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And speaking of New York, The Sexy Master Electrician got me a great book for Valentine’s Day. I have been following the instagram feed for a while now. I found pink Himalayan Sea Salt shot glasses for his tequila.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you that I finally saw Michael Keaton. Apparently he is around town rather frequently, though I now know I wouldn’t have been to pick him out if I had bumped right into him. I went to a Bozeman Film Society film, (one of my favorite things), to see Spotlight. He introduced the film. I didn’t even know he was in it. It is an amazing film. It made me want to go back and read the articles. I was a silly high school senior at the time, I only vaguely remember it happening. I highly recommend it. Your head will be spinning.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I have some friends who are on a cornhole league. On Tuesdays, all the teams meet in a “ballroom” above the Eagles Bar and play a few games of corn hole each on the 10 courts. One of them was gone a couple weeks ago, so a couple of us subbed for her. It was pretty entertaining to watch people take so seriously. And I proved that I suck at tossing beanbags.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I am also not hot at bowling. But I had some great tights on while I was doing it. Dusty set up a bowling night on Galactic Bowling night. He had seen my crazy tights I was given for Christmas and the night was themed the 80’s. My tights did not carry my game, but my first bowl was a strike. It went down hill from there. At least I did better than TSME.

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If were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you I need to get used new glasses. For the last five years, I’ve had the same pair with little rectangular lenses. I really only wear them in the morning or at night, but these are much, much, larger, in true hipster fashion. I probably could have gotten them when I got my first pair of glasses back when I was 6 or 7. I do like how they look, just need to get used to them being so large.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would talk about School of Architecture’s Advisory Council meetings last week. I am on the Graduate Council part of it. We meet to discuss ways we can help the school, go to studio crits, do speed interviews and a host of other things to engage the students. We also get to tour new buildings under construction. This time was the new Yellowstone Building, which is a dorm. I was in North Hedges as a freshman, built in the 60’s or something like that. And then I was in the “New Buildings.” They didn’t have names yet and were the cool dorm to get into at the time that only sophomores and older could apply to be in. This puts the to shame so badly.Untitled
At least the views are the same amazing mountains. They can’t make that better!
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And speaking of architecture, Earth Elements had an open house to celebrate a new plumbing fixture line they started carrying. I fell in love with this piece of granite:
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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would show you my haul from the Bozeman Public Library Book Sale. I woke up, sent my friend Erin a message that said, “The book sale starts in 6 minutes!” To which she said,  the one where all the books are $2?!  Yup, getting dressed. Pick you up?  Yes please.  I walked out with 15 books. Three of which are for the TSME for his trip to Cabo that he left for this morning. I will be reading in bed and he on the beach. I do love books!
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Cookies, Candies and Cocktails 2015! [Seventh Annual Party]

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I realize that I am bit behind on getting some of these post up, but whatever, I’m going to assume it doesn’t really matter. I mean in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t, right? Anyway, on with the post!

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I cannot believe I have hosted this party for seven years now. This was the first time outside of Brooklyn, I missed a couple years while I was in transition. But now it is back and just as awesome as it was all those years before with an entirely different crew. Not to say that the old group was not missed or on my mind that day, (I do love all my New York friends! Thank you for starting this party with me!), but we had a great time. I named it “The Three C’s Party,” for Cookies, Candies, and Cocktails. It was later brought to my attentions that it should have been “The three C’s and No Seamen Party.” Next year.

I didn’t do anything crazy for appetizers this year, just chips and salsa and cheese and crackers, but I did have some awesome cookies prepared. The weekend before over Thanksgiving, we made candy cane cookies at home that I shared and I made angeletti cookies too. Now that I have the secret recipe, (EC, I PROMISE TO NEVER SHARE IT!!), I can share my favorite little cookies with my friends in Montana.

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I did spend some time making a couple awesome drinks for us. The first was a Spiked Chai Latte  and second was Caramel Hot Chocolate. I’ll share the Chai Latte below. The hot chocolate drink is just that with caramel vodka. Peppermint schnapps is also great to mix in your hot chocolate. I didn’t mix the alcohol in the drinks to start so people could mix them as they wished. MK brought over a strawberry champagne drink for us too. We were set on drinks.

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There were a lot of different things made this year. I went with my traditional chocolate cover peanut butter balls, peanut butter sandwiches  and oreos balls. One friend made some adorable snowmen on a stick with oreos, there were sugar cookies, chocolate cookies and fruit cookies/shortbreads. Everyone did awesome. My favorite was these frosted peppermint brownie cookies that I will be making in the future. They were not too sweet and perfectly pepperminty.
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After the party, most of us headed downtown to the annual Christmas Stroll. We packaged up the extra treats and shared them with the boys that have yet to be invited to the party. I can’t wait to see what people come up with next year!
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Spiked Chai Lattes (via)
Makes 8 servings

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups bourbon (I used Bulleit)
  • 3 cups chai tea
  • 3 cups milk (I had almond and whole milk on hand)
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • ice
  1. Make honey syrup: Combine honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature. (Cover and keep extra refrigerated for up to 2 weeks)
  2. In a glass with ice mix 2 oz bourbon, 1 oz honey syrup, with 3 oz each chai tea and milk. Stir with a cinnamon stick.

Enjoy!

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [fifty-eight]

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, it would probably be tea. I have been nursing another silly cold. A constant runny nose is getting old, but I think I am on the mend. Fingers crossed it’s the last one this season.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that last weekend was spent in Livingston. The Sexy Master Electrician had to do some work over there on Saturday and Sunday so we just stayed over. I worked on random projects in a coffee shop while he was working. We had another amazing dinner at the Second Street Bistro and a drink at the Murray before crashing for the night.  The next morning we grab some breakfast at the Beanery and watched a huge train pull in with a plane on it. It was a perfect weekend out of town.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you to watch this video. It’s a great reminder of what design is, what people make it to be. Design is inherently neutral, something we should remember.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you I was sad to see Clemson loose to Alabama in the National Championship. At least it was a good game to watch.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about the game called “Pandemic.” It was interesting because there is no winner, you all work together to eradicate the world of four different deadly viruses spreading across the world. We defeated the game, but we played it on the easiest level. It was fun to play, and I would like to try it again now that we have an idea how to play.

 

Pick Your Decade Prom

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Just before Thanksgiving, a friend invited me to be her “date” to her friend’s house warming party that was prom themed. You got to pick your decade and group of us decided to go all out. By all out I mean we borrowed dresses from our mothers or found our old 1990’s early 2000’s prom dresses, bought corsages, took a photo on the stairs and booked a limo. It was a blast and I am really sharing this because I think it was a brilliant idea that I will one day steal.

I borrowed an old 70’s dress from my mom. I think it was actually a bridesmaid dress, but it works just the same. MK ordered us corsages from a local flower store, requesting them to be as guady as possible. We would have liked them to be a bit more ridiculous, but at least they were full of carnations as requested.
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Another friend found us a limo for the ride to the party.
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We all met at his house and filled the car with fireball and prosecco and proceeded downtown to take a couple shots at different bars and bewilder the clientele.
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Our host had spiked punch and a lovely food platter set out, just like you might find a prom. And he added a real bar as you might find at an adult party. There was a disco ball and sparkly things every where. In the back a photo wall was set up.
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It really was a wonderful party idea. Everyone had a great time and was happy we had DD’s to take us home when it was over. Now how long do I have to wait before I can host my own version…?