Honestly what a great weekend.  It was hot, productive, fun, relaxing and full of people that I love so much.

(Clockwise from left:  wine while I peruse the menu  /  pork belly  /  veggie four square)

Friday kicked off with a light dinner with Ryan at one of my favorites, Rioja.  We started with the cardamom spiced pork belly with the most silky and rich garbanzo bean puree.  The pork was salty, smoky and seared just enough to create a nice balance of crusty and tender textures.  We then moved on to the vegetarian four square which has four ever-changing options to sample.  I loved the polenta croquettes with a herb creme fresh and the shiso peppers were another highlight that came with a spicy jam that brought some lingering heat to the back of my throat.  I will have to write a review on this place someday soon as there are so many things that Rioja does right in my book.

Saturday kicked off with a terrifying encounter with a bat that I found while spraying down my porch.  I honestly had a near full-blown panic attack as a little wing with claws came creeping out of a wood crack.  Slowly the wing reached out followed by a little beady head with two black eyes staring right at me.  I SCREAMED for my husband who came rushing to my screams to watch it (thankfully) fly away.  Two words… very traumatic!

(Lindy  /  Gina  /  Beth  /  Ashley  /  Sara  /  Me  /  Mariah)

The best part of Saturday was the pool party that my sister threw for a bunch of girlfriends at her apartment.  We had margaritas, snacks, hilarious conversations and some serious girl-time with the 6 most important women in my life.  Oh, my mom also stopped by for a bit and played honorary Grandma to Lindy’s bundle of  joy  Rory which was enjoyed by all.  I think everyone had a wonderful time and I hope we will be doing this a bunch more this summer.

(Clockwise from top left:  our new patio with little Rocco running around  /  Ryan’s brickwork  /  Gina and I planting  /  ‘R + J’ with Rocco’s paw print)

Sunday was another day spent in the backyard for our major backyard renovation that I mentioned here.  We made a trip to the Home Depot for tons of items and were able to complete a brick boarder for our patio, plant both a bougainvillea and a clematis in two bright yellow/gold pots, mosaic some flag stone under our big tree and finally add some ground cover that will eventually grow to wrap around all the stones.  We got some major help from Ryan’s dad Jon, my sister and Beth even came over to enjoy all the changes.  I could not be luckier to have so much support on this project and to see what a difference some hard work has already made.

Written by Jaime

South on Broadway is a Denver based food + lifestyle blog for lovers of food, fashion and design. a destination for daily inspiration

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