Have you been to Smokin Fins yet? If not, what are you waiting for? We stopped in for lunch on my husband’s birthday (his choice) and we left more than satisfied. We will be back again. First of all, the space is a modern rustic chic décor. There is a wooden paneled wall above some booths that I thought added a little style and comfort (I am a huge fan of paneled walls though). Then above another area were wine bottles stored in racks along the wall. Super Cool décor. I am telling you Modern Rustic Chic. Awesome!
They had some local beers on draft and we were each able to find something we enjoyed. To start off food wise, we ordered The Diablo sushi roll. So delicious…but for me a fried sushi roll with spicy sauces, spicy tuna, salmon, and cream cheese is a slice of heaven. My only regret is that my husband and I had to share it. Next time I will have to get my own. Then for our main dishes we decided to order two items and split them. We ordered the Kalua Pig and the Lobster Mac n Cheese. Both extremely satisfying. The pig was tender and had been slow cooked in a delicious Dr. Pepper sauce. It’s funny because I always see recipes using Dr. Pepper or Root Beer for pork but never got around to trying it. Wow… what flavor. It came paired with delicious mashed potatoes and homemade beans. The plate provided A LOT of food. Even with the two of us splitting it we took leftovers home, along with some Lobster Mac n Cheese. Speaking of that Lobster Mac n Cheese, it actually had LOBSTER in it. Like big chunks of claw meat lobster. The sauce was creamy but not too rich, the lobster was plentiful, and the noodles were cooked to a great consistency. A true comfort food, but one worth the splurge.
We were also able to connect with the Manager while there and learn more about Smokin Fins and the small local chain it is a part of. I had no idea it was connected to Lucky Fins in Greeley. Well let me tell you…the location is great and once the construction for the ice skating rink is complete, their patio will be spot on for any time of year (unless it is actively snowing outside). If you have not been yet, GO! Next time I will have to bring more of an appetite so I can try some of the delicious sounding desserts. Until next time Smokin Fins! See you soon.
Check them out: www.smokinfins.com
When we were moving to Colorado it was exciting and new. Moving outside of the Washington, DC, area was something my husband and I always talked about when we would visit family out of state or new places. When the opportunity to move came along, we jumped on it and figured “why not, we can always come back.” So we went for it.
I remember when we were preparing to move we were soaking in all the time we could with friends and family. We were leaving what we knew. Our immediate family was all within 2.5 hours from us and some of the friendships that surrounded us were 10-20+ years deep. This was a big move. We were given various “tips” or advice on moving and what it would be like. I mean, aside from moving away for 4 years for college, this was the biggest move both my husband and I would make. One piece of advice that has continued to stick with me is “Just keep in mind that it will take around 2-3 years to start feeling like home.” When that advice was passed along to me I “heard” it but I did not really “hear” it or comprehend it. I just thought, “ok...two years for it to feel like home. That makes sense” and that was the extent of my thinking.
Fast forward and it is about 2 ½ years that we have been out here. This is our home now. We love the lifestyle, the area, the weather, the people, the culture, and the list goes on. However, I can say that in my mind, my expectations were that life would reflect what we had back east. I can tell you it does not. It’s not because we have not connected with anyone, its not because we don’t put ourselves out there, it’s not because we don’t like it out here. It’s because it is not our life out east. We cannot expect life to be the same from one journey to the next.
Life is a journey and on this journey we take many paths. Each of these paths are unique and different. Some may be similar to one another but they are not the same. When we move around, switch jobs, have kids, work on self growth, and just make changes then our life changes. These are ALL a part of our life journey. There are going to be times that it is tough, there are going to be moments to celebrate, and there are going to be moments that are just that- moments. ALL of these things are part of our life’s journey and a part of who we are.
I have come to realize that even though I am not meeting the “expectations” I had put in my mind of what my life would look like, that sometimes it is those very expectations that get in our own way of seeing our successes. When we become so focused on what we think something SHOULD look like we miss the reality of what it is...AND let me tell you, sometimes that reality is even BETTER. I have come to realize that I need to keep my eyes focused on the moments, the here and now, and the journey not the expectations.
I wanted to post this last week once my family and I returned from our trip to Disneyland, but I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to share my first Run Disney experience. It got me thinking how running somehow brings out so much emotion in me. I am not sure if it is because I see so many individuals accomplish goals they have set for themselves by crossing a finish line, witness the culture of runners supporting one another along a course, cheering and pulling for complete strangers, or the fundraising and running done in honor of someone special to them. Something about running, especially races (no matter then distance) gets me teary EVERY TIME. I find myself shedding tears of strength, tears of gratitude, tears of excitement, and sometimes even tears of the unknown. There is surely something about running that gives me “all the feels.” This time was even more emotional than usual and kept me more motivated and pushing harder than ever.
I am a runner. I compete with myself. I don’t always like running. In fact, I probably struggle through more of my runs than the ones I really enjoy. However, there is something about running that just gets me motivated, clears my head, makes me reflect on what’s important, and that keeps me going. I don’t have the same thoughts when doing other workouts as I do running.
Back in February, right after my youngest little one arrived, I registered for the Disney Dumbo Double Dare (it’s a 10k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday) race with my sister-in-law. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, a bucket-list item. I was one week post-partum and figured this would help motivate me to get back on track. I also wanted to run a Disney race and do another race with my sister-in-law. Let’s just say our first race together was not the most organized one. When we tried to run another one together, I had to drop out due to a family emergency. So this was going to be our next shot at doing it together. Well things did not go as planned and she was unable to make it. She was pregnant with my nephew and ended up going into labor early when on vacation. My little nephew, Cooper, arrived at 25 weeks when they were on vacation on August 20, 2016. He is a trooper, he is a fighter, he is Super Cooper. He is now 3.5 weeks old and making great strides forward, and day-by-day is getting stronger, but still has a long way to go.
Still focused on running this race, I started thinking about what I should wear. Disney races (like some others) are big on costumes, dressing up, and just having a blast. I could not figure out what character I wanted to honor in my running outfits. Then one day I was thinking about it and it came to mind, “why don’t I run for Cooper and make him the hero I run for.” So I made two shirts, one for each race. It was a way I could have my sister-in-law, nephew, and brother-in-law present with me and honor my strong little nephew. It was their family I could think of every mile as I ran with purpose and not for myself. It was sweet Cooper I thought of every mile and when I wanted to give up. It was my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and their amazing relationship and strength that kept me going. So while they could not be there in person or participate in the event, they were more present than they realize. I was able to share with strangers about Cooper and his strength when people would ask me about my shirt and what it represented. I was and continue to be a proud aunt.
This will not be my last Run Disney experience. In fact I am already thinking of when I can do my next one and will make sure my sister-in-law and I can do it together, with Cooper there to greet us at the finish line. Disney races will continually hold so much more meaning for me than ‘just a race.’ So as I said before, running brings out “all the feels” for me, and this one was no exception. This time I ran for support. I ran for strength. I ran for Cooper.
Pumpkin bread, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin candles, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin…. You get the point! Yes, I am one of those crazy PUMPKIN lovers- pumpkin 'errythang'…. But for real- I just love it. Food, drinks, décor, candles, you name it, in fact pumpkin is a year round flavor in our house. Usually just in food and drinks. My husband will put up with pumpkin baking year round but not décor or candles. Balance, compromise, whatever you want to call it, but at least he puts up with my pumpkin baking year round. In fact, I had my first 2 pumpkin coffees of the season this past week while on vacation and took a pumpkin coffee cake into the office a couple weeks ago. They were glorious. For coffee, I usually just get an Americano with pumpkin flavoring added or if I want the ULTIMATE comfort then I get pumpkin flavoring in a chai tea latte… the pumpkin OR the gingerbread (it will be here soon) are the BEST compliments to a chai latte. Mmmmmm… my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
As much as I love pumpkin I cannot leave out my other favorite of Caramel Apple! This flavor is also awesome in drinks, food, and CANDLES! I have an awesome Apple cake I make that is going to be making a debut soon AND I love Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice drink- sooooo good. It falls into the same comfort category as the pumpkin or gingerbread chai latte. When you just want that yum yum warm feel good drink. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? Whether to bring a smile to your face or just drift off into a moment of pure bliss, the caramel apple spice drink is where it’s at. Its base is actually apple juice. AMAZING!
You know deep down what I think it is about pumpkin and apple stuff- it brings a sense of comfort to me because it is also a symbol of fall and fall is my favorite time of year- cooler weather, leaves changing colors, fire pits, hoodies and FOOTBALL!! Yes, we are a football house. It is on every day and I mean EVERY. DAY. Most of this is because of my husband but I do like to watch it as well. On top of football, it is also the kickoff in my mind of the holiday season and by holiday season I mean September-New Years. My mindset is that the holiday season starts with Fall…. So pumpkin and apple stuff also mean to me the feel good time of year. It all flows together. Does anyone else feel this way? I cannot be the only one who feels this way?? Maybe I am. Oh well. It brings that extra dose of happiness into my day.
I am smiling right now thinking of a cool evening, wearing yoga pants and a hoodie, sitting by the fire pit with a delicious pumpkin beer or coffee or even hot tea and just chatting with friends. I am thinking about those infamous “red” cups and how something so simple like those make me smile. I am smiling because of the giving feeling I get in my heart and the warmth within my house as décor is soon to come out. I am smiling because I am probably going to bake something apple or pumpkin in the next couple of days. I am smiling because all of these things make me happy. I am smiling because I am writing about all these wonderful things and sharing my thoughts with you.
Do any of these things make you smile? Do you love pumpkin or apple or fall or the holidays?? Do you love football or hoodies? Please tell me… what is it that you enjoy during this time of year?
I LOVE all the likes, follows, comments, and messages that have been generated since we went live. It is amazing to see so many women interested in what this new Fort Collins Housewives buzz is all about. Well I am here to answer a few common questions I have gotten over the past couple of days and to further introduce you to the Fort Collins Housewives….
What is Fort Collins Housewives? We are a community organization that brings women of all kinds together to build community and network. We support all local women. Fort Collins Housewives is a part of the bigger brand, Housewives in the City, and is now in 20 cities throughout the U.S.
Do you have to be a housewife to participate? NO - Fort Collins Housewives focuses on all women: single, married, kids, no kids, working, stay-at-home, housewives, coffee drinking, wine aficionado, cupcake lover, you get the idea, it is open to all women.
We host monthly Girls Night Out (GNO) events for you to attend, network, socialize and enjoy a night out in various parts of our city.
What is Fort Collins Housewives to me?
It is a way for me to share events going on in our area. Fort Collins and Northern Colorado has A LOT to offer. It is a way for me to connect with other women and build relationships. It is also a way for me to connect women and help bring together those whose paths normally may not have crossed.
It is a way to make the community around you feel a lot smaller and personal.
It is also my creative outlet. It’s a place to share thoughts, ideas and topics with you.
So, come along this journey with me and let’s connect. After all as Audrey Hepburn said “Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE, the word it self says I’M POSSIBLE”
Follow us on social media and stay up to date on our monthly Girls Night Out (GNO) events.
Facebook: Fort Collins Housewives
Hi! I am Lisa Downer, married mother of 3 girls and a 20+ year resident of NOCO! I was introduced to HITC in January 2018 and fell in love with the concept of not only networking with local women in business but promoting/sharing them and what they do!
We have such a unique mission and it is right inline with my personal business passions! Come be a part of our amazing group of supportive women and learn how to build your Tribe right here in your own market! with me!