Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Best of 2013 -- February Edition

Tomorrow is the last day of February, so I may be jumping the gun writing the “Best of 2013” post, but that’s okay! Like I mentioned in the Best of 2013-- January post, 2013 have started off great! There were several small things that happened, and one VERY exciting thing as well. Let’s get started, shall we?

February was jam packed! Both of my parents had birthdays! Mom’s was the 7th (I won’t disclose her age..somewhere around 39?) and my Dad turned 60! (He will tomorrow, actually!) Birthday’s are fun. We picked up cupcakes from my favorite local bakery, Candle Ready Cakes and enjoyed lunch in Davenport the weekend after! In addition to my parents, there was another very special birthday. My neighbor and her family welcomed the birth of their son, Owen. He’s adorable and I’m so happy for their family!

Date Night
We didn't do much for valentine’s day, so instead Patrick & I had a day date/date night and went to Brew Fest on Ice! It was a fun event down at the Mystique Ice Area. There were tons of Iowa and national brewers there and we were able to try lots of beers, as well as sample meats and cheeses from local shops. It was a great event and we ran into a lot of people we knew, which is always fun. After Brew Fest, we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants to dine for one last time, as they closed that weekend. We loved Star Brewery. Some people thought it was pricey  but to be honest, it cost the same for burgers and sandwiches at our local Applebee’s, and I thought the food was better at Star. The owner is opening a new restaurant soon, so we’ll have to check that out! After dinner we bounced around a few different bars, met ups with friends, drank swamp waters, and almost sang karaoke. Instead of singing, we grabs some late night snacks and headed home after a looonnnng (but fun) day!

Date night!

Kitchen Projects 
I didn't make a new year’s resolution this year. Well, I did the whole “try to be healthier” bit, but nothing drastic. I did make note I would try to cook a lot of new recipes February was no exception.

Here are a few of my creations: 

Homemade Chicken Parmesan. Recipe post to come!
 Made with homemade marinara too.

Biscuits + Gravy. Pat wanted to run to the store to get the ingredients, and
 I challenged him that we already had everything to make them from scratch. It was a success!

My new favorite pasta meal. Another recipe post maybe?
Tomatoes, green olives + artichokes in a light, spicy sauce

Valentine's cookies! I tried my hand at royal icing for the first time.
Not bad for an amateur! can't wait to make more for other holidays!

I mentioned above that one VERY exciting this happened. I won an ADDY! Not just an ADDY, but a GOLD one. To top that, I placed in the Final 15!
My Gold ADDY award & my Final 15 award. Love the golden popcorn!

Me & the awards by the ADDY banner. Wasn't the theme adorable?

A little background about the ADDY awards.

 "The ADDYs are the advertising industry's largest and most representative competition, attracting over 50,000 entries every year in local ADDY competitions. The mission of the ADDY competition is to recognize and reward creative excellence in the art of advertising. Conducted annually by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the local AAF Dubuque ADDY Awards are the first of a three-tiered, national competition. Concurrently, all across the country, local entrants vie for recognition as the very best in their markets. At the second tier, AAF Dubuque winners compete against other winners in one of 15 District competitions. District winners are then forwarded to the third tier, the National ADDY Awards competition. Entry in your local ADDY competition is the first step toward winning a National ADDY."
(Source: AAF Dubuque

There were over 200 Professional entries submitted. Judges then reviewed each entry, ranked it and gave pieces they liked either a silver or gold award. After that, they gathered all the gold awards and decided which made it to the final 15. Now you understand my excitement! Out of all those entries, my piece was in the Final 15! Since I won gold, my piece is automatically entered to the District competition to be judged. Our district is made up of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska & Kansas. After, if I place there, my entry will go to Nationals to be judged. I'm not getting my hopes up! Winning at our local event was awesome enough!This was the first year have submitted to the awards and I didn't leave empty handed! The entire event was an amazing success! The “vintage circus” theme was great and everything went off without a hitch! I have volunteered to help co-chair the event, so I have some pretty big shoes to fill! Luckily, one of the co-chairs from this year is staying on to show me the ropes for next year.

 Here was my award winning piece:

I created this as a unique way to stand out in a pile of resumes when I was job searching. It was so fun to create and I am really proud of it! 

That was my month of February. Great month, don’t you think? I’m not sure if I will always have such big things to mention each month, but it will be nice to have something to look back on too!


Estephania said...

February WAS a great month for you! Congrats on your ADDY! P.S. I think the royal icing was not only delish... but potentially labor inducing :) We need to get together soon! xo

colleen said...

Thanks! I was super excited :) I'm glad the cookies may have helped bring that sweet baby of yours out! I'm making shamrock ones this weekend and going to try the royal icing again! :)