Monthly Archives: February 2011

Two years and growing- Perfect Moment Monday

Two years ago at 8:37pm, Nisha (Nisha’s Birth Story by Pam) was born.  What a ride it has been since! I was not sure when I had her how I could love two kids.  After all, I had just gotten used to loving one.  My older daughter was a mere 21 months old when Nisha was born.  Of course, she has made loving her quite easy.  Initially, it was a rough few months and along the way we have had our trials and tribulations.  Today, two years later, my two daughters play together nicely and have fun.  Simply put, they can’t live without each other. 

This past weekend, we kept her birthday party- a low key mall play area get together with our close friends.  We cut her cake and she was so excited!  I just thought this was the perfect moment and am so glad it was captured on digital media:  My older daughter feeding my younger one cake – absolutely priceless!  In life, there are so many moments you want to freeze.  This was one of them. 

As I think back today, 2 years ago, at right about this time, I was 1 hour away from pushing my 2nd daughter out.  We did not know the gender of either of our kids when we had them.  So, it was quite the surprise both times.  It has been an amazing journey with both our daughters and as they grow, we find ourselves growing too!  Happy Birthday, Nisha- you are and continue to be one of my most perfect moments!

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Namiko’s Japanese Restaurant- Arvada, Colorado

We heard a rumor that Namiko’s in Arvada was very good Japanese so we decided to try it out.  We were not disappointed.  It was very good.  From the ambiance and the amazing service to the food- it was a great dinner start to finish! 

photo credit Namiko's Sushi - find and like Namiko's on Facebook

Walking into Namiko’s, you are immediately transformed into a dive.  I am not kidding.  There are large fish tanks on just about every wall and in the middle of the restaurant.  The kids, if they weren’t convinced before, are definitely hooked now.  The restaurant is very clean and the ambiance is fun!  You can find the menu on-line and there are different menus for dinner and lunch.  The sushi menu is available there in person and you mark it up with a pencil.  The sushi, my husband stated, was very good.  I ordered edamame and rice for the girls and they did not leave much for the fish… it was all gone!  The girls also ate our soups.   The entrees (depending on what you get) come with soup, salad, and rice (some noodle dishes only come with soup and salad).  Their miso soup is good and egg drop is slightly thicker than the Chinese restaurants but quite flavorful.  I had vegetarian yaki soba and it was delish!  I even had enough for lunch the next day.  The salad dressing is this sesame ginger and it is quite tasty.  My husband had chicken teriyaki for his meal and even he could not get enough.  Great food, all while the service was amazing!  

Located off of Wadsworth Blvd near I-70, Namiko’s is a hidden treasure that I am glad we found!

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Mardi Gras King Cakes for Katrina- Rheinlander Bakery in Arvada, Colorado

For years since I have moved to the Denver metro area, I have searched high and low for a proper Mardi Gras King Cake but right under my nose, Rheinlander bakery has been selling King Cakes.  They call their mission, “King Cakes for Katrina.”  Proceeds go to support the Katrina disaster relief which is still ongoing believe it or not.  What a great cause and a tasty one at that!

For $18.99 you get a king cake (choice of cinnamon or cream cheese filled only), with a gift pack of beads, and a doubloon with a plastic baby Jesus and a pamphlet on the history of Mardi Gras and the Mardi Gras King Cake.  Having lived in New Orleans for 17 years and growing up there, I was suspect but decided to try one out anyway.  The first two or three bites immediately transform you back to the Big Easy, celebrating Mardi Gras and enjoying the festivities.  The Rheinlander Mardi Gras King Cakes resemble more of the modern king cake – the cinnamon one is covered with an icing and then three colored sugars: yellow, purple and green (the Mardi Gras colors).  Here comes the part where I think Rheinlander can improve on their cakes, being a connoisseur myself: I would recommend less of the colored sugar and more of something like the Haydel’srecipe- a cinnamon twisted bread in an oval, glazed with white icing (lightly), and then on that layer of white icing, another layer of LIGHT sugar topping in the Mardi Gras colors.  This allows everyone to taste the bread and the cinnamony goodness underneath all that sugary stuff.  I really think less sugar and more just bread and icing would really help the flavor because as I bit along, it just got too sweet and too overwhelming.  

But that one suggestion aside, I have to say, this is the closest taste of home I have had in some time.  I have tried imitation beignets but no one comes close to Cafe Du Monde.  I have tried red beans and rice but again, no one comes close to what I used to eat on Mondays in my hometown affectionately called the Big Easy.  Ahhh… the flavors of New Orleans and now, Rheinlander bakery has brought it very close to home for me.  I am excited about my purchase and plan on going back for more.  If you want your very own taste of New Orleans without ordering on-line and spending upwards of $30, come check out Rheinlander Bakery in Olde Town Arvada, and get your own Mardi Gras King Cake and a taste of the BIG EASY.


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The King’s Speech- my Academy Award Pick

courtesy of wikipedia kingsspeech.com- all rights reserved

What an amazingly simple movie and yet surprisingly, perfect!  I really enjoyed watching The King’s Speech on the big screen.  It was a well made movie and very well-acted by all- Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, and Helena Carter Bonham.  All actors played their roles well and their acting was superb.  Colin Firth plays the role of George VI, who amidst a physical disability and uncertain times (WWII looming), attempts to overcome the odds.  Not only is this movie one that the history buffs will enjoy, it is just a good movie overall.  The concept is not made-up or new- but rather based on a true story, and the acting couldn’t be better- Colin Firth is amazing as King George VI and Geoffrey Rush’s acting is brilliant as always.  Helena Carter Bonham really acts well as the QUEEN MOTHER.  I only wish this movie were longer.  I really enjoyed The King’s Speech and apparently so did the audience around me.  There was clapping at the end.  With all the contenders this year at the Academy Awards, I sure hope the “Academy” selects The King’s Speech.

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Disney Live! Mickey’s Magic Show in Denver

photo copyright Disney, Feld Entertainment courtesy of: Examiner.com

For the first time since we have had kids (our oldest is almost 4), we went to a show- not just any show- the Disney Live!  Mickey’s Magic show  What fun!  

Other than all the logistics of getting there— the horrible drive in downtown Denver traffic at peak rush hour, the parking garage that seemed to never end, the lines at the pay meter, and then the elevator line to get to the Wells Fargo Theater, we really had fun once mom was able to relax at the show. It is a 90-minute show including a brief intermission for comfort and snacks.  And for us, this was perfect!  After all, we have a 2-year old and an almost 4-year old.  Attention spans are not all there, and they were getting ansy after even 30 minutes.  Because it was the Friday night show, and we were in Row 5 (yes, Row 5), our row was pretty much empty.  We could spread out and the girls could walk around and stretch out so that helped especially the little one who is constantly moving around.  The show was fun and there were lights, magic, and plenty of Disney characters to keep the kids enthralled.  My little one loved all the music, lights, and clapping.  The music kept them on their toes and dancing.  We did not buy the $22.00 light maker souvenir, the $12 lemonade in a Disney souvenir cup, the $10.00 popcorn, or $20 cotton candy with the collector’s Sorcerer’s hat but we did get from Feld Entertainment, free Mickey dolls for the girls, as part of their promotion that came with the free tickets.   Where we were sitting the tickets were easily in the $40 range each. 

The girls love their Mickey dolls and you can see them in the picture hugging and holding him tight.  Tracy and Feld, thanks- we had a great time and Mama Bird’s Blog, where I won the Family 4-pack, thanks again.  It was our first time as a family to attend something like this and I do hope it’s not the last.  I would recommend this show and this venue- even the $15 seats are not bad.  The theater is small and cozy and not a bad seat in the house.

Parking at the Wells Fargo Theater was reasonable as far as downtown goes, at $12.00 and with free tickets I did not mind but, if you are paying full price, keep this in mind as you plan your night out.  If you live down South, you may want to do light rail like one of our friends did.  The hardest part about budgeting for events like this is that food and drink can run a family of four $80 easily, so keep that in mind if you get popcorn, cotton candy and a drink.  But for younger kids, this is the perfect event and the venue was great- you can really spread out if you need to and since it’s a kid event and not the opera, the kids can be loud as they want and parents can feel at ease. 

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