Breakfast: The Most Embarrassing Meal of the Day

Let me start this post by stating, for the record, that I stay at Marriott hotels all the time. I'm in it for the breakfast and when a hotel doesn't include this, I stay elsewhere. I am a hotel waffle-making pro.

Then again, making your own waffle is easy peasy, right?

Behold, the tower of waffle batter goodness. How many gallons does it contain?

I always look forward to creating a decadent hotel waffle. The fateful Monday morning after the Summit County Parade of Homes was no exception, and I was pleased to discover that there was no one using the waffle iron, despite the crowd in the hotel breakfast room. It's no secret that I'm a social-anxiety mess, even with something as basic as navigating a shared waffle iron, so this was a relief and a great start to my day.

I picked up my little plastic batter cup. I pressed down on the dispenser nozzle, as I've done 100 times. And then...

The nozzle broke off! It just snapped right off in my hand. The batter exploded from the now-gaping hole in the dispenser, running over the countertop and onto the floor within seconds. And, apparently, there weren't many people in the breakfast room who shared my (former) love of hotel waffles, because that darn batter dispenser seemed to be full to the brim. It wouldn't stop! I tried to block the flow with my hands, but that just made things worse, as I was soon coated in sticky globs of batter. Everyone was looking, many with their mouth agape. I didn't know what to do. A hotel employee rushed over, but the mess quickly overwhelmed her stack of paper towels. The batter was out of control!

Sexy Nerd, often oblivious, was getting himself a bowl of oatmeal at the time. He turned to look at me, my panic-stricken face surely worse than he'd ever seen. My sweet husband. My hero.

He laughed and sat down, enjoying his oatmeal with a smile on his face.

10 Decorating Ideas for Your Modern Mountain Home

Here are more design ideas from the 2014 Summit County Parade of Homes. Enjoy!

1. Windows that go all the way down to the countertop (or countertops/desks/tables that come all the way up to the bottom of the window) look amazing. Stretching the window wall to wall is even better.

2. Frame square cubbies right into the drywall for a modern bookcase. When we build our dream home next year, I'd like to do something similar but with wood on the bottom of each shelf. Or stone. Or maybe a bright, fun color painted onto the back of each cubby - a different one in each square. 
Our poor builder doesn't know what he's gotten himself into.

3. For maximum impact, you need many, MANY pendant lights.

4. Have a little nook/hallway? Don't just leave it plain and boring. A little stone on the wall makes all the difference.

5. I would never have thought to do this, but it makes so much sense. For extra storage and countertop space, squeeze a dresser along the wall of the water closet. This opens up so many decorating options.

6. Most mudrooms place a bench along a wall, but it's more functional to place it in the center of the room. Now, you have that much more storage space because nothing was blocked by the bench.

7. If all you have is a tiny space, it's all the more important to go all out. This photo was taken inside an itty bitty mountain condo, barely big enough for 2 people. The owner renovated it with built-ins to really maximize their limited square footage. 

8. Hammered. Stainless. Sink.

I love this sink!!

9. No room for a lamp? Hang capiz shell pendants on each side of a bed.

10. When done with upscale finishes, like this wood ceiling and rustic chandelier, no one seems to mind a "too small" bedroom.

15 Decorating Tips from the Summit County Parade of Homes

An annual tradition of ours is an autumn drive up from Albuquerque to Breckenridge, Colorado to view all the beautiful homes on display during the Summit County Parade of Homes. This post is part 1 of at least 2. There were so many great ideas for when we build our dream home (this spring, I hope!) that they can't possibly all fit into just 1 post.

Bonus tip? I need a home on a lake! Can you image looking out your kitchen window and seeing this?
Tip 1: Two front doors are better than one.

Tip 2: If you can see the ceiling of the covered patio, it needs to be done in the same style as the ceiling inside.

Tip 3: Sliding barn doors are in. Almost every house had at least one. Some were small...

...and some were huge. I really had to muster my strength to push this one open!

Tip 4: You can never have too many natural materials.

Tip 5: Your dog washing station should be raised up off the floor. Your back will thank you.
(Also, you should tidy up your garbage when your home is featured in a fancy tour. You never know what will end up displayed on someone's blog!)

Tip 6: When using glass doors in the bathroom, gain extra 'wow' factor by continuing your wall tile all the way into the shower.

Tip 7: Stained red cabinets actually look really nice in person. I never would have considered them for our new home before, but these had so much charm. They seemed more like a quality piece of furniture than everyday cabinets.

Tip 8: Placing a countertop above your washer/dryer is old news, but have you ever considered including drawers?

Tip 9: If you love a tree and can't bear to lose it when building your dream home, just incorporate it into your plans.
(And hope it lives forever!)

Tip 10: Backsplash tile with a slight sparkle is in. We saw this same tile featured recently during the Denver Parade, Colorado Springs Parade, Summit County Parade, Angel Fire Parade, and Albuquerque Parade.

Tip 11: No dream home is complete without an elevator. Almost every Summit County home had one! Can you imagine?
When we build, I'd actually like to include an elevator button next to a closed door as a joke, as our home is going to be a single story.

Tip 12: When trying to bring the outdoors in, every detail counts.

 Tip 13: Applied with restraint, wood paneling can add great character to a room.

Tip 14: Every home needs a window seat. This rustic one is like your own, personal log cabin.

Tip 15: Rather than rely on a closet in your guest bedroom, which most guests will never open, why not borrow an idea from the mudroom? This provides a handy place to sit and tie shoes, hang coats and purses, and store a suitcase out of the way.

What Is Wrong With People?! And a Giveaway

It's a beautiful day for a Del Taco gift card giveaway! What can you get at Del Taco? Oh, I don't know. Maybe a taco. Maybe a burrito or a breakfast sandwich. Or, just maybe, the yummiest (and actually somewhat healthy, if you can believe it!) fast food item ever, the new Del Taco Fresca Bowl.

There are 3 Del Taco Fresca Bowl varieties to choose from: Southwest Chicken & Veggie, Pollo Asado, and Fire Roasted Veggie. Each is only $4 and there are coupons available to make them an even better value. There's a free drink coupon available through the Del Taco email club, an online instant win game, which is pretty much impossible to lose, and the Del Taco Facebook page. I even received another coupon for $1 off my next purchase with my receipt. But before I continue any further, take a look at this:


At my most recent Del Taco visit, it was about 1pm on a weekday and I was on my lunch break from work. The perfect time to be out in public IN YOUR PAJAMA TOP WITH YOUR BRA SHOWING! There were also huge fuzzy slippers, which are not visible in the above photo, unfortunately. Normally I wouldn't have paid this gal much attention, but she was being such a jerk to the cashier. Apparently, she'd ordered some food from Del Taco a week ago (!) and hadn't liked it, so now she felt justified in demanding that everything be remade. The poor manager, who seemed like a sweet little old lady, had to actually say "I'm trying to help you. Please stop screaming at me." After glaring at the employees as they made her free food, she ripped her to-go bag out of the manager's hand, stomped outside, and sat on the ground of the parking lot with a homeless man.

As I drove away, she was making her way back into Del Taco with her food that apparently still wasn't up to her pajamas-in-public standards. Someone please give those poor Del Taco employees a raise.

Now, back to my lunch. I ordered the Pollo Asado Fresca Bowl, which included seasoned rice, grilled chicken, black beans, onions, pico de gallo, and, best of all, lots and lots of cilantro. If you're not a cilantro fan, be sure to order a different flavor Fresca Bowl. I was in cilantro heaven!

No exaggeration. I brought my Fresca Bowl back to work and one of my coworkers who hates cilantro (crazy, as it's one of the most delicious things in the world, obviously) opened a window to let out the strong (delicious) cilantro aroma.

Fresh ingredients from a fast food restaurant. Can you believe it?

Yum, yum, yum.

So...full. Cannot finish...but...must...finish. So yummy.

At just $4 a bowl (and with a free soda, courtesy of my awesome coupon,) my Fresca Bowl was an outstanding value. The Del Taco site says that there are a whopping 30 grams of protein per bowl, so it's an ideal lunch to get you through the rest of the workday. I actually wasn't able to finish mine in one sitting and saved the rest for dinner. Rather than just slapping everything together into one taste, like so many other fast food items, my Pollo Asado bowl had a great depth of flavor. If I had to pick something to complain about, it would be that there are no bowls that include a seasoned ground beef option (hint, hint, Del Taco.)

I didn't even need either of the sauce packets I'd picked up to go with it.

Yes, I'm a wimp.

Now, let's get you entered to win a $20 Del Taco gift card! It's easy peasy.

LambAround $20 Del Taco Gift Card Giveaway
Multiple entries welcome (leave a comment on this post for each entry method you complete.)
Entries accepted through midnight on Sunday, October 12, 2014.
Winner chosen by
Entry options:
1. Leave a comment on this post.
2. Comment on an old LambAround post (or multiple posts - you get an entry for each!)
3. Follow me on Facebook
4. Follow me on Twitter
5. Follow me on Pinterest (especially if you enjoy photos of pretty houses!)

Good luck, everyone :)
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