March 2009

Let me (Nicolas) first apologize.  I lied to ALOT of people.  By not telling those who asked what I was really doing for Kara’s27th birthday.  It even caught Kara off guard.

This year, Kara wanted to do something more low-key without spending money because of the impending job loss.  We planned to use a buy-one-get-one dinner coupon downtown, walk around, and call that birthday.  However, we don’t celebrate things often and don’t spend hoards of money anyhow, so a month prior I began planning a small gathering to attend a jazz bar with a live jazz band.

After dinner at the Paramount Cafe, I began to “randomly” wander around the 16th street mall.  This wandering was intentionally directed to make it to Jazz at Jacks by 7:30 where others were waiting.  As we were approaching Kara grabbed my arm and began pulling me backwards to say “no, let’s not go”.  But I insisted that we at least “look” to see how much the cover charge would be.   I show Kara with great surprise that it is free (even though all the while I knew it was free).  We then go in to scope it out.  And find the others waiting for us.  Kara was both in shock and a little bit of tears for the surprise.

Those able to join us were Abby & Jason, Mark & Donna, Matt McAferty, and Gabe & Libbey.

I got into a little kick of updating my portfolio blog, this time having added photos of floral life.  Take a gander and tell me what you think!


I have added another page to my photography portfolio, this one for plant life.  Below is one of my all-time favorite photos, which was taken at my grandparent’s home in Harper.  Click on it to go directly to my portfolio….


I (Nicolas) added a new photography category for animals to my portfolio website. It could use more work and I certainly have more photos I can to it, but it is a start of something that I’ve been meaning to add. The photo below is one of my favorites (and I captured it when I was 16!), click on it to visit the web page to see the others!


We’re a little late to blog about our 2009 valentines fun, but better late than never.  With the holiday falling on a Saturday, we took advantage by making it an 8 hour event instead of just a quiet dinner out.

Our day began with Kara waking to fresh coffee and homemade smoothies.  As usual, Bean was given the option to cleanup afterward.  The afternoon was mostly spent relaxing and reading.

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Courtesy of a gift card and a coupon, this year to dine at a popular local Italian restaurant, Magianno’s.  This place is very popular and very busy on holidays such as this, so we opted to have an early dinner, around 3:00.  Despite the time of day, we still had a 20 minute wait!  We feasted on calamari as an hordeurve and lobster ravioli.  Delicious!!

Next was a chance to work off our freshly acquired extra body weight (from the meal) by bowling…even though bowling seems like one of those things that you only do as a teenager for valentines day.  Regardless, it was nice to be there in the early evening because it was mostly quiet.  When Kara bowls, she has the form of a cute old lady…but when Nicolas bowls, he has the style of a flamingo!

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Also, Kara wants everyone to know that she one both games.


img_1338Once the lobster had settled in our stomachs, we made our way to our local Caribou coffee shop for a hard to pass up buy-one-get-one-free coffee.  Here, Kara was given her specially crafted v-day gift that was entirely created in the early morning hours while she was asleep.  It was a homemade, double-sided, 8×10 picture collage…cut up as a puzzle!  After piecing the puzzle together, we played card games, talked, and laughed.

The day was finished together at home, with a glass of wine and a movie (Kung Fu Panda).  Kara also gave Nicolas her gift to him, something he’s talked of wanting for awhile, a nice wine decanter!

Below is the full picture of Nicolas and Kara’s last year together that was cut up as a puzzle.  Enjoy!



We hosted our bi-annual wine tasting party on Saturday night.  What fun!  We had a great turn-out of 15 people, which was twice as many people as the previous wine tasting.  Our [not too big, not too little] home was filled with laughter and many conversations.  It was also neat to see others, who didn’t know each other previously, to interact and get to know one another.  There was even talk of “I’ll add you as friend on facebook”.  It should also be mentioned that were graced with Austin Curry’s presence that evening, who turned 21 that day!

As usual, we served a variety of cheeses and fanciful hordeurves.  However, we added a bit of flare to the presentation of them.  From a food & wine magazine, Kara had come across a great idea: using old wine bottle corks to hold cards that had the name of the cheese/food.  Taking it a step further, Nicolas used some of his photography and some digital editing techniques to create lavish and interesting cards.  Unfortunately we didn’t pull out the camera for the evening, but we are able to include the photo cards (below) used to identify the food.

 We are considering changing our bi-annual wine tasting to an annual wine tasting….hope to see you then, in early 2010!