Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Work Perks: Hitting the Slopes of Sleeping Giant

Since graduating college with a double major in both International Studies and Spanish, Melissa has found herself with at least one foot in the world of education. Stateside, she's served as a paraprofessional in three different schools and while living in South Korea she served as resident Native English Speaker in three different Korean Elementary schools. These positions have all held their various perks and moments of pure joy, always revolving around the students and gaining added favor with a variety of "work perks".


This past Monday, January 25th, Melissa and Mike both enjoyed the perks of being connected to Burlington Schools AND of owning their own business complete with a respectful clientele that understands M&M need/deserve the occassional break. So it was, the couple, along wtih middle school and high school staff and students found themselves enjoying a day of skiing, snowboarding and outdoor enjoyment at Sleeping Giant Ski Areat just outside of Yellowstone National Park. This, all in thanks to a school that values offering students opportunities outside of textbooks and tests AND a small community that's will to chip in and ensure the day is available not only to students but to community members at large.

The day saw Mike Harrington busting out his snowboard after about an 8 year hiatus. As should be expected from the man- the myth- the legend, he took to his snowboard as if it'd only been on hiatus for 8 months. After a quick reacquaintance with his board, he was shredding his way down the mountain, impressing numerous students who were convinced his skill set was fairly well limited to pizza-builder extraordinaire. By the close of the day, Mike had made just over 20 runs, for a total of 73 minutes, 12 miles and a top speed of 36 mph - feats he deemed were just a bit more exciting, active and enjoyable than lounging around at The Burlington Place building the weekly trivia.

Melissa opted to don a pair of skis for the first time since middle school, remembering how miserable she felt after her first and only time snowboarding about 10 years ago as a college student. She sat in on student lessons, learned a few things that made skiing a bit more pleasant than it was 17 years ago, pizza-wedged her way down the bunny slope, made it up the chair lift with her hubs once and then mostly enjoyed lounging around, drinking a bit of coffee and taking in the lovely winter scenery. She also had the added joy of running into Mike's aunt and uncle Cowger who were touring with a friend of theirs who was visiting from Maine - talk about the joys of Wyoming being one expansive small town!

Students and other teachers all enjoyed the day similarly to fit their own personal interests. Many students conquered the mountain on skis and snowboards, whereas a slew of 6th grade and middle school students received lessons and tried their hand (and legs, minds, muscles, core, etc) at winters pleasurable sports for the first time ever. A handful of students made their way down a few sledding runs while still others enjoyed games of Apples to Apples, Connect Four, coloring and chatting in the ski lodge. Overall, Monday, January 25th was among a special handful of Mondays that does not impart a case-of-the-Mondays to the workers and attendess of Burlington Schools.

As an additional perk to getting out and closing up shop, the duo made plans to enjoy dinner with a couple teacher friends and their spouses at Pat O'hara Brewing in Cody, Wyoming before returning home to soak in the hot-tub and rejoice at having experienced a bonus day off without having to travel far and wide for a holiday or wedding.

Somedays, work feels like just another day of engaging in the same ol' daily grind with a few small joys but nothing necessarily brag-worthy...somedays however, you can really get your brag and love that you are in a position to enjoy some fairly major "work perks".

Cheers to you and yours and here's to hoping you have some work perks to look forward to!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

5 Years Ago: Lady Annyeong's Adot-a-Versary

The Harrington's have opted out of the traditional Christmas Card. Not because they are complete scrooges, but because Christmas is a busy, stressful season! The duo obviously loves receiving all the holiday cheer, but, since returning to the states and choosing to live life in Burlington, the couple has taken a more haphazard approach. This year, the celebratory card comes as a celebration of five-years sharing hearts and homes with a sweet little three-legged mutt named Lady Annyeong.

Thanks to Vistaprint, these postcards can be adorned with as many pictures of her majesty as the Harrington's so choose and a letter can be produced on the back side with very little effort. To family and friends, Mike and Melissa hope you've received your official copy in the mail - if you've mooved recently, perhaps now would be a good time to send a Facebook message or email to on the Harrington's so they can get their address book updated and add you to their relatively-annual holiday mailing list!

Oversized Postcards by Vistaprint


Greetings and Happy New Year!


A couple years ago, we opted out of the yearly Christmas card and decided to be a bit more haphazard and spontaneous in our mass update mailings. Thus, our mailings are unpredictable to say the least. For the year 2016 (specifically January, 21st) we are celebrating our 5-year Adoptaversary of Lady Annyeong Harrington. Hoo-ray! So, you have the pleasure of receiving an update adorned with the face of the sassiest, three-legged mutt from the streets of Seoul, South Korea.


A few Lady Factoids: She’s obsessive over cheese-sticks, jumping up on the chests of her humans for regular cuddles, and wagging her little nubbin’ of a tail. She’s queen of Abode 212, inside and outside. She loves her backyard access and is certain that the queen size bed was purchased with her in mind. She is the source of great joy, many giggles and all the best feelings - five years with Lady has provided us a lifetime of great happiness.


Aside from celebrating life with Lady, we continue trucking along with the community of Burlington and our rockin’ little pizzeria/gastro-pub/bar. The Burlington Place is our constant source of joy, annoyance, success, ridiculous stories, inspiration, faith in mankind, disappointment in mankind, great eats, fresh beer, innovative cocktail experiences, and so much more. A few BP factoids: Record pizza sales in one day - 84; 10,000th pizza sold in April. 456 Crows killed at our most recently hosted crow hunt. Over 1,000 views on the #TBPPizzaSpecial known as More Than a Club (cream cheese, chicken, bacon, tomato, pickles and raw onion).


And some non-business factoids from the life of M&M: There are two guest rooms available at Abode 212 in Burlington, WY. M&M celebrated 8 years of marriage in September 2015. In 2015, M&M were able to attend the Mountain West Conference basketball games in Las Vegas. They also attended the Great American Beer Fest in Denver, CO. Mike built a patio and deck in the backyard AND set-up a hot tub(!) Melissa has resurrected the blog ( if you’re so inclined to stay relatively updated, that’s your resource.


Cheers to you and yours! (especially your furry friends!)

Mike, Melissa and Lady Annyeong Harrington


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas at Abode 212: Burlington Traditions

Two thousand fifteen marks the third year Mike and Melissa have enjoyed the holiday season with Abode 212 as their home base. In that time, a few traditions have been well established with a couple more finding their way into the mix.

Each year, a Sunday afternoon is deemed the "Heathen Cookie Exchange" - an event for those of us who are more often found at the local bar than the local church. The event always features a healthy assortment of appetizers, a good deal of win and liquor, copious amounts of fresh baked cookies (each attendee is asked to bring 6 dozen of their favorite cookie to share with others) and loads of holiday cheer!

This year may have been the biggest yet: Cookies were lined out on every available surface, the infamous flaming cocktail was imbibed, bellies were overstuffed and this little community of heathen women showed-up in true fellowship format, filled with love, good-will and holiday cheer. The Heathen Cookie exchange is one of the most cherished (and, ironically, long standing) Burlington holiday traditions.

Other "traditions" to be described here within, are only traditions in terms of having been successful in their initial year, and therefore are now held as tentative plans and traditions for future years of Burlington living.

The Hot Chocolate tradition. As a paraprofessional at the local middle/high school, Melissa was eager to offer a gift for all co-workers, but was a little less excited about going to all the work to figure out a cute gift to give. She combed her Pinterest memory and suggested to her "Resource Nook" co-workers that, as a team, they host a Hot Chocolate bar for all faculty and staff. The idea took hold and soon the team had plotted who would bring cups, hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, coffee creamers, candy canes, whip cream, sprinkles and so much more to make the event truly memorable and absolutley delicious.

The day of the "teacher-lounge-hosted" event, the wind was blustery and the temperatures a bit uncomfortable, making Hot Chocolate that much more enjoyable and appreciated. Many adults enjoyed multiple cups of Hot Chocolate throughout the day (Melissa enjoyed a grand total of 6 cups of hot chocolate; that includes two on the day the hot chocolate bar experience was shared with resource room students). The day(s) were so much fun and the hot chocolate so incredibly delicious, that the Resource Nook decided unanimously to instate the Hot Chocolate Bar as their yearly tradition.

Hot chololate combinations of note:

hot chocolate + pumpkin spice coffee creamer + whip cream + nutmeg + gingerbread marshmallow = perfection!

hot chocolate + spoonful of Nutella = heavenly

hot chocolate + peppermint mocha creamer + whip cream + red/white sprinkles + peppermint marshmallows + candy cane = elevated classic

Finally, to add to the list of traditions that are yet to be traditions but are worthy or tradition status, Mike and Melissa hosted family at their home for a Christmas Eve Eve dinner of pizza (one even featured beer-battered pheasant from a pheasant Mike shot earlier that day!) and beer, games, chatting and puzzling. Morning rolled around and had everyone enjoying Brunch Sliders and a Bloody Mary Bar (using nothing less than the infamous infused vodka straight from The Burlington Place). As family slowly departed to prepare for traditional-tradtions of Christmas Eve, Mike made a quick offer to wear out the dog--nieces with a bit of hunting. Upon returning, the dogs and man were sufficiently exhausted and the rest of the crew at Abode 212 was set to head on to Worland and prepare for the continuation of Christmas traditions.

Having the chance to fill Abode 212 with family twice during the holiday season was a true joy for Mike and Melissa, to the point they are plotting future opportunities to invite their loved ones into the whole of their Burlington life, not just the work part of their Burlington life.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Sunday Brunch: December 2015

When work schedules dictate that you serve more dinners than you eat, you find your attention turning toward breakfasts and brunches.

For the past year or so, it has been a regular routine for Mike and Melissa to enjoy Sunday Morning brunch at Abode 212 prior to opening The Burlington Place at 11:00. Typically, the monthly line-up varies from something that serves well with a Mimosa or an orange beer or alternatively, something that pairs well with a Bloody Mary.

With holiday vacationing taking up a decent amount of food preparation energy, December ended up being a month of only two brunches, both of which featured the same meal since it was joyfully consumed the first time and the second time it was to be shared with family the morning of Christmas Eve Day. The concept is stupidly simple and easy to execute and wildly customizeable to your tastes or refrigerator ingredients.


Breakfast/Brunch Sliders


1 Dozen Rolls (Sweet Hawaiian, recommended)

Sliced Deli Meat, Cooked Bacon and/or other Breakfast Meat

Sliced Cheese (about 10-12 slices)

Scrambled Eggs (I typically scramble 6-8 eggs for 1 dozen rolls)

1/4 cup melted Butter

1 Tablespoon Mustard (I've been using a brown-horseradish version that's LOVELY)

1 1/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar


Without breaking apart each roll, simply slice through the middle of your dozen rolls. Layer in meat, cheese and scrambled eggs (veggies could most definitely be added if you so desire - you can also double up on cheese...because, well, CHEESE!) Place the top on the rolls over layers of proteins. Melt butter and mix in mustard and brown sugar, spread over top of rolls (this will make for farely buttery fingers while eating, so if you'd prefer, you can mix up the sauce and spread on the inside of the rolls.) Let rolls sit for 30 minutes before covering in foil and heating for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Serve with a killer Bloody Mary and you'll be sure to have a most enjoyable brunching experience.



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