Beauty Faves & Hair Washing

MF_Hair_GRC_GROUP_440x240

Hello!

Brrr… it is COLD and snowy here in Colorado. I’m starting to get used to the bi-polar weather we have here- I think. I went from hiking in capris and a tank top one day to freezing in a down coat the next (I’m more of a fan of the former). Everyone is really excited about the snow, but I still think that there is nothing good about snow in the front range- save it for the high country where people go to ski!

Now that we’re done with the weather report, I’ll get on with today’s post. :) I am by no means an expert in beauty rituals, skin care and all of that good stuff. However, in my 34 years of existing in my own skin I have come to figure out what products help my skin stay moisturized, (hopefully) younger looking and better looking in general. I’ve come to discover a few new beauty products recently that I love and wanted to share- so that you can love them too!

Just a disclaimer- these are all products that I personally buy, and have not been sent to try out. (But, if any of these companies want to send me freebies, go right ahead! ;)).

I’ve tried out so many different brands of skincare products and make-up over the years, and am currently loving (everything from) Mineral Fusion and Alba Botanica’s Acnedote line. Luckily, I haven’t had many problems with acne in the last few years and I think that might be partially due to this awesome face wash.

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 12.13.39 PM

And I keep this scrub in the shower. It’s AWESOME.

[Read more...]

Balsamic, Rosemary + Sea Salt Roasted Almonds

almonds03

Oh, boy. I am very excited to share this recipe with you guys today!

almonds01

I’ll start from the beginning…

Back in 2010 (when I was still living in Maryland), Greg and I were enjoying our annual summer trip out to Colorado. We went hiking to Eldorado Canyon one morning and decided to stop by the grocery store first to buy some food for a post-hike picnic on the creek. We picked up some sandwiches from the deli and both stopped in our tracks when we spotted a bag of Boulder Canyon chips. They were Balsamic Vinegar & Rosemary – two of my favorite flavors combined!

[Read more...]

WIAW 76: Ski Day Saturday

salad

It’s another Wednesday, my friends- the first of February! Today marks exactly one week until I turn 34. How is that even possible!? Wednesday also means two other things: I’m spending the day rocking the slopes at Ski School and about to share a day of eats with all of you wonderful readers. :)

Today’s post shows meals and snacks (and beer…) from last Saturday, which started out with some skiing at Eldora! Though I was excited to get another day of skiing in, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the crowds. On top of being a weekend day, it had snowed the night before which meant total chaos on the slopes! I decided to make the best of whatever I was faced with and just get a few runs in and have a good time. I’ve been so spoiled by only skiing on weekdays when I basically have the slopes to myself!

I made some Swiss oats in a peanut butter jar to take along in the car on the way up to the resort. It usually takes about an hour to get up there, but with the snow and extra traffic I knew it would take a bit longer and I’d have plenty of time to enjoy my breakfast in the car.

swiss oats

I added some peanuts on top, which made these oats extra awesome.

It ended up taking an hour and a half to get to Eldora and it was already packed when we pulled up. We had to park way over in the north lot, which meant that we had a bit of a hike to get over to the main lodge where we met up with some friends. Hiking in ski boots while carrying skis = crazy workout! After getting a few runs in (which took about twice as long as it would on a weekday) Jenn and I headed back into the main lodge for some beers and to meet up with our husbands. Eldora has a great selection of local beers!

[Read more...]

WIAW 75: Winner’s Circle Beer Dinner

apps

Every once in a while, you eat a meal so great that when you state “that was the best meal I’ve ever eaten!” it’s not an exaggeration. I’ve been lucky enough to have two of these meals since moving to Colorado last spring. Both meals were so delicious that I can still describe the variety of textures, flavors and wonderful emotions associated to each and every bite. I have to give a world of credit to Chef Hosea Rosenberg and his catering company, Blackbelly Catering and Upslope Brewery for giving me the opportunity to experience not one but two incredible evenings of delicious food and craft beer.

My latest culinary adventure with Chef Hosea was this past Thursday. It was a meal so beautiful and so perfect that I felt compelled to share it with as many people as possible (as I’m sure you saw on my Instagram feed if you follow!). Today’s WIAW post features the Winner’s Circle Beer Dinner with Blackbelly Catering and Upslope that took place last week. Warning: a million photos are about to follow…

Thursday was a long, exhausting workday full of teaching Spinning and meeting countless deadlines, but knowing what was in store for that evening definitely got me through! When it was time to get ready to go out, I changed out of my uniform of Lululemon crops and a hoodie and put on my finest grandma-esque sweater (that also happens to match the curtains in my bathroom).

curtains

What can I say? I know good fashion.

The dinner itself featured various beers that had won medals at GABF over the last few years. Each beer was carefully paired with ingredients that would compliment its flavor, and some of the dishes even used beer as an ingredient! Because we were so blown away by the last Blackbelly/Upslope dinner we attended, Greg and I went in with high expectations and excitement!

[Read more...]

WIAW 73: Saturday Fun

7and7

It’s hump daaaaaaay… and I’m currently trying to ski down a mountain without falling on my butt (though I can pretty much assure you that I did – at least twice). I know I already asked this yesterday- but please send me some happy, courageous thoughts!

On to the food… So far, I’ve been doing okay with tracking food (which is a must for me when trying to lose weight) and dividing up my macros accordingly. I’d give myself a B, maybe even a B+. I eat “clean” during the week and allow myself a “cheat” meal or two during the weekend. On the days that I know I’m going to have a more indulgent evening ahead, I still make sure to track my food intake for breakfast, lunch and snacks (otherwise the whole day will just be one big calorie fest!).

This past Saturday was marvelous. Greg and I slept in, watched some tv in the morning and eventually got downstairs to make breakfast. I had made a loaf of FlapJacked banana bread (my 5th or 6th loaf so far!) the night before and decided to slice of a few pieces to make French toast! I mixed up one egg, some Silk Pure Almond Vanilla and cinnamon and let the slices of banana bread soak before cooking it up in a pan. When it was ready, I drizzled a little salted caramel syrup on top…

banana bread FT

Yum- it was as good as it looks! :)

After breakfast, Greg and I immediately headed over to Boulder to do a little bit of snow hiking!

snowy hike

It had snowed earlier in the week and there was still a ton left of the trails. Hiking in the snow is so peaceful- I love it! I downed a bottle of water during our hike and was still thirsty- so I bought a bottle of my favorite Kevita for the ride home.

kevita

When we got back home, it was time for lunch! I mixed together some chicken, avocado, tomato and red onion and enjoyed it with some salad greens.

chicken avocado salad

I also had some plain Greek yogurt with (defrosted) frozen strawberries and peanuts (leftover from my day of peanut butter making last week!).

yogurt

Greg and I were pretty lazy for the afternoon- we pretty much sat on the couch and watched football. I whipped up some smoothies for us that contained vanilla protein powder, Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla, frozen banana and rum extract- they tasted like eggnog!

smoothie

As you can see, my little shadow (Jackson) is pretty much always at my feet!

Greg and I had a fun night planned in Boulder with our friends Brock and Melissa- including dinner reservations at Jax late in the evening! Brock was my friend from back in Maryland and moved out here a few years ago (I was so jealous when he did- little did I know that I’d be next!). I hadn’t seen either of them since Melissa’s marathon and was excited to catch up- they’re always so much fun!

Brock and Melissa came over to our house and we all drove in to Boulder together. We got there about an hour before our reservation and grabbed a drink at Absinthe House (which I didn’t realize is more of a night club than a bar- we were the only ones there at 6:30!). In honor of my girl Tiffany, I ordered a Seven & Seven.

7and7

We headed over to Jax after finishing our drinks and got sat right away (even though we were early)! Greg and I had only been to Jax once – during our very first trip to Boulder in 2009. Hosea Rosenberg used to be the head chef there and he had just won Top Chef before our trip. Being the Top Chef geeks that we are, we had to book a table there! I remembered us loving our meal there, and can’t believe that we hadn’t been back since!

One thing that I remembered the most from that dinner in 2009 was this incredible cocktail: a Pimm’s Cup. I know that it’s a pretty common drink, but the one that I had there was just so good. So, I ordered it again!

pimms cup

I’m not a fan of the fact that it came in a wine glass, but the drink was fantastic!

Then came the tough part… choosing what to order! Jax is one of those places where I want every single thing on the menu and have trouble even narrowing it down to four different options…

jax menu

Brock took the lead and ordered two rounds of oysters for us to start- the first was an apple fennel oyster:

apple fennel oyster

The second was a buffalo fried oyster (think buffalo wings):

buffalo oyster

Oysters aren’t something that I’m all that familiar with- but these were really good! The apple fennel was my favorite. :)

For dinner, I decided on the Steelhead trout entree:

steelheadtrout

The flavor of Steelhead trout is similar to salmon- and definitely not something I would normally order (I almost always order rockfish if it’s on a menu, followed by another white fish or scallops). The lentils won me over- and the whole dish was delicious!

Instead of having dessert, I suggested we head over to one of my favorite local breweries (since Brock and Melissa hadn’t been).

upslope taproom

That little taster beer was mine- and it was full of Sticke Altbier.

tasting beer

YUM. Three drinks in one night is a lot for me- even if one of them was just a taster- and I felt it a bit the next morning!

It was a fantastic, fun Saturday- can I repeat it every single weekend?!

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday?

Currently: January

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 4.17.59 PM

Hello! I hope you had a great weekend- I know I sure did! I was lucky enough to get together with some great friends on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and take some time to enjoy the great outdoors at my favorite spot in Boulder.

snowy flat irons

A little snow certainly isn’t going to keep me from going hiking! Another great thing about this weekend- the Broncos won! You might know that I am a Ravens fan and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating a Superbowl victory last year. Since my team was already knocked out I’m more than happy to root for the home team! It’s really great to live in a city where there is so much football buzz and excitement- and jumping on board is fun! Unfortunately my husband is a Patriots fan… so there will probably be a little bit of smack talking going on next weekend (mostly consisting of me making fun of Tom Brady). And if we happen to win the lottery- maybe we’ll even be at the game!

It’s hard to believe, but we’re almost to the halfway point of January 2014 (and now less than a month away from the big 3-4)! January is going along swimmingly- and I have to say- I am certainly enjoying winter weather much more than I did when I lived on the east coast. Instead of enduring several months of gray and blah, I’m blessed with sunny days and blue skies!

Here’s what else is going on during January 2014…

[Read more...]

Holiday Happenings

walter

Happy Monday, my friends! Is it just me or have all of the days this past week just been running together? I’ve pretty much lost all concept of time since Christmas Eve and am still trying to find exactly where I put my brain…

Christmas has come and gone and another great holiday is in the books! I’ve had a really wonderful last few days, but I have to say- I’ve been missing my family a lot since Christmas (particularly my mom). This was the first Christmas in my entire 33 years that I spent away from my family and it just doesn’t seem complete without them. I’m definitely hoping that we’re able to celebrate together next year! That all being said… I still managed to have a pretty great time and be with many people that I love.

Christmas Eve was spent with some friends up north- including Paige and Shane and some wonderful friends that we have acquired through them! Our friend Susie has a group of us over to her place for dinner, drinks and a classed-up version of white elephant.

christmaseve

(picture from Paige)

[Read more...]

Season of Giving [Day 4]: Something Special from Silk

silkgift1

Happy Thursday, friends!

I hope that you are thoroughly enjoying the week of giveaways on the blog. I am loving reading all of your wonderful comments! You know what else I’m loving? The weather here! It got up to 68˚ on Tuesday and 70˚ yesterday! I went for a trail run down in Morrison on Tuesday, followed by a fantastic HIIT body weight workout at Red Rocks. (Speaking of HIIT – check out this awesome home workout from Paige!) Yesterday I enjoyed frolicking the streets of Boulder with my Dance Walk group (and we all definitely got a little sweaty!). And for two days straight, I’ve been wearing a tank top and capris… it’s been nice.

But, of course, Colorado weather is known for it’s mood swings. The temperatures dropped about 20 degrees today and it’s supposed to be a little colder over the weekend- but then back to the 50s by Monday! I know that a lot of people around here are hoping for a white Christmas- but I’ll be happy if it’s warm and sunny and I can go on a long hike!

Alright, enough about the weather. :)

seasonofgiving

I don’t like to pick favorites, but I have to say- the star of today’s giveaway is probably my favorite Colorado-based company. They’ve done so much for me, the Non-GMO project and their products are pretty darn delicious.

I’m talking about Silk of course!

SK_Special_QT_Nog_496X1130

[Read more...]

WIAW 71: Snow-Hiking, Sushi and Suprises!

bday

Happy Wednesday! If you’re looking for today’s giveaway- come back in a little while. I promise that another one will be posted today! In the meantime, feel free to check out the first two giveaways from the Season of Giving:

Monday’s Giveaway: Jamberry Nails

Tuesday’s Giveaway: KIND Healthy Snacks

For now, I’ve got a whole truckload of photos to share from last Saturday (which was pretty much a perfect day!). Keeping with the WIAW theme, you’ll also see what I ate throughout the day.

It was SO nice to sleep in and not really have anything on the agenda for the morning. Greg and I made breakfast and chatted about what we wanted to do that day.

flapjacked waffles

I had FlapJacked Apple Cinnamon waffles (with fresh cranberries!) with a little cottage cheese in the middle and some Coconut Secret syrup on top.

[Read more...]

A Marvelous [Long] Holiday Weekend

sanitasThanksgiving

Happy Monday, friends! Because today’s post is a melting pot of wonderful things I decided to join up on the lovely Katie’s Marvelous In My Monday link-up party. Be sure to head over there and check out the great things happening all over the place.

Rewinding to last Wednesday…

I was out of the house for work and play most of the morning and early afternoon enjoying this ridiculously perfect weather.

temperature

I participated in my second Dancewalk class late in the morning- I love it SO much! After that, I met up with Paige to check out this ridiculous (yes, I know I overuse that word) sale at the Whole Foods near Chautauqua:

sale sign

Dangerous!

[Read more...]