Four 14ers in One Day

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After Greg and I got married, we thought it would be a really cool tradition to summit a 14er each year on our anniversary. We started out strong and actually conquered two on our first anniversary. I remember the hike to Gray’s and Torrey’s being tough, but we also lived at sea level at the time and had just flown out the day before (I would like to do that hike again and see if it feels any easier, now that we’ve lived at 5300′ for a few years). On our second wedding anniversary, we did my favorite 14er to date, Mt. Bierstadt. That hike seemed much easier (and “easy” is a relative term, because any 14er is challenging) and I absolutely loved it. We also conquered Quandary Peak before the end of the season that year.

For the next two years, our plans got kind of screwed up. I had ACL surgery in late May of 2014, so I wasn’t quite ready for such a big hike by July. We drove up to Mt. Evans instead, so we could technically still summit a 14er on July 17th. In 2015, I had some bad luck again and broke my pelvis right before the start of summer. I was still on crutches on our anniversary, so obviously hiking was out of the question. Luckily there was still another 14er (Pike’s Peak) that we could summit by car, so we did just that. I was in decent enough shape to climb Mt. Evans by the very end of the summer, which was fun (but parts were a little scary).

I still have some lasting injuries from the car wreck I was in last year (which will be fixed at a later date), but I was actually well enough to continue our anniversary tradition this year (and SO grateful for that!). Greg and I have wanted to hike the Democrat-Cameron-Lincoln-Bross loop for awhile now, since you can knock out all four on the same hike. We did some research beforehand and decided that this was our plan for our fifth anniversary (which was on July 17, 2016). We thought about camping overnight (and in retrospect, we should have), but decided to head out to Breckenridge the day before and stay at a hotel there (since it’s only about 45 minutes from the trailhead). We went out to dinner the night before and tried to go to bed early, but I was so anxious that I probably ended up getting around 3 hours of sleep total.

The alarm went off at 4:30 am and we quickly checked ourselves out of the hotel and headed to the Kite Lake trailhead. Once we got there, we had to park about a mile and a half away (due to some jackass telling us that there wasn’t any available parking near the trailhead), so we had a nice warm-up before actually starting the hike. The sun was just coming up, and it was beautiful!

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After waiting in a long bathroom line, we were finally off to start our big hike (around 7:30 am). We decided to do the traditional clockwise route and started with Mt. Democrat as our first summit. The trail started off pretty easy, which is a relative term because just breathing at 12,000′ is a bit challenging.

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#JoyDelivered with Door to Door Organics [Giveaway!]

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I have a love/hate relationship with going grocery shopping. I love finding new products, and looking through aisles of gorgeous, fresh food. But, I hate spending time and money doing it. I’m not the type of person that can just do one big trip once a week – I function much better by making several small trips throughout the week. And, because of my job, I sometimes find myself at a grocery store multiple days in a row (or going to several different stores in one day to find what I need). There are a bunch of great conventional and organic grocery stores and markets around where I live, and several are within biking/walking distance. Needless to say, I haven’t been walking or biking to the store lately (being on crutches and all….).

Since my car accident this summer, pretty much everything in my daily routine has changed. I’ve been on crutches for the last five weeks, which makes it pretty challenging to do anything, and nearly impossible to walk and hold something at the same time. (When I get better, I will never take that ability for granted again!). As you can imagine, grocery shopping has been a challenge. I used one of those mobile carts the first time I went to the store post-broken pelvis, but it was hard to reach anything and get around aisles and displays. Greg has done most of the shopping- but he does not have a love/hate relationship with it (it’s just hate). Also, I’m kind of a control freak, and just prefer to do the shopping myself. Since it’s been such a challenge to go to the store by myself, I’m grateful for the interwebs for providing me with online grocery shopping that I can do right from my desk. My favorite online grocer is Door to Door Organics. Door to Door Organics provides fresh, organic produce and groceries to be delivered right to your door!

I first heard about this service from my friend Tiffany, who raved about the weekly vegetable boxes that showed up at her doorstep. I signed up for the service too and enjoyed fresh produce delivered right to my house each week. I loved the service, but ended up putting it on hold due to having to travel a lot last fall. I recently started the service back up again, and the timing was perfect! A few weeks ago I got my first delivery (since re-starting the subscription):

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This is what was inside of the boxes:

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Currently: June 2015

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Well hey there, middle of June! (Or is it technically the end of June?) I’ve spent the entire month with a broken pelvis, so I’m pretty darn excited that it’s flying by as fast as it is. Both of my parents had planned trips (months ago) out to see me this month, which has been both good and bad. It’s been GREAT to have some helping hands around the house (since I’m very limited as to what I can do, due to being on crutches). But, I’ve felt really bad since I’m not able to go do all of the fun stuff that we had planned. I guess they’ll just have to come back!

My mom was here in the beginning of the month, but it wasn’t her first visit and she’s already experienced a lot of the “touristy” stuff here. But, this was my dad and stepmom’s first visit to Colorado ever, so I’ve made sure that we’ve still gotten out (as much as I can handle). (They’re also renting a car to go do some activities that I can’t do right now.) We took them to Rocky Mountain National Park one day and spent another in Summit County. The weather has been gorgeous (and hot!), thank goodness!

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We even went to the annual BBQ Festival in Frisco, where they hold my favorite event: the piglet race!

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Currently: June

Current books: Nothing, really. Even though I’ve had plenty of time to sit on my butt, I haven’t had much desire to read (I need to fix that!).

Current music: My current favorite song:

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Currently: February 2015

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Hey friends. It’s been kind of a tough month. I don’t want to bore you with my complaints, but I’ll just say that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and will be happy to be able to take a few days off next month! Greg and I did manage to get away to Crested Butte last weekend, but we had to cut our trip short due to a crazy storm moving in (that would have had us stuck there for an extra day or two). The funny thing is, there wasn’t any (new) snow at Crested Butte- it was all at our house! I managed to ski for a few hours one morning, but it was icy and not desirable (but super pretty!).

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Hopefully we can go back next season, because it is a really nice resort and cute town!

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Currently: February

Current books: After hearing so much buzz about it, I ordered this book from Amazon:

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Currently: January 2015

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It’s my first Currently post of the new year! The winter is certainly flying by (and I am definitely not complaining about that!). I was looking back at last month’s post and remembering how COLD it was. It’s definitely been a different story this week- Monday and Tuesday were in the 70s! I’ve been enjoying this taste of spring and trying to get outside as much as I can (because I’m sure it’s going to be followed by another cold spell soon enough!).

I’ve been talking about going to the Wild Animal Sanctuary since last summer, but had yet to actually make the trip there. Greg and I (along with our back-door neighbors) took advantage of the great weather on Sunday and finally made it over there! If you live in Colorado (or are visiting), I highly recommend visit the Wild Animal Sanctuary. You can read about their story here (and then you’ll be planning your trip!). There were lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) but the wolves were my absolute favorite. They were so much fun to watch- and it was so cool when they started howling.

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I’ll definitely be going back in the spring. Most of the bears (they have 150 total!) were hibernating, and apparently they are all out and about after winter. :)

Moving on…

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Beauty Faves & Hair Washing

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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.

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

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Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

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For as dominant as my sweet tooth is, it’s also very particular. I love ice cream (and my favorite is vanilla bean!)- but don’t care too much for most types of cake. I am a total dark chocolate addict, but am not crazy about it in the form of cake or ice cream. Fruit pies, crisps and cobblers make me swoon, but danishes, pastries and doughnuts really do nothing for me. Actually- I take that back: doughnuts are awesome, but something that I rarely, if ever, eat. And here’s why: I can’t eat something like that for breakfast. It would sit in my stomach like a brick and give me a carb crash an hour later. In my opinions, doughnuts should be classified as a dessert.

Part of my full-time job as FlapJacked’s social media manager is coming up with a new recipe each week. The mix is so versatile that I’ve been able to create everything from quick breads to corn dogs to cheesecake to biscuits, amongst many other delicious (and mostly healthy) creations. And, most recently, I created doughnuts. Healthy doughnuts. Doughnuts that you can eat for breakfast that will keep you feeling satisfied and not weighed down. Doughnuts that you could eat three or four of without feeling an ounce of guilt. Yes, people- DOUGHNUTS.

When I was figuring out the ingredients for this recipe, I knew I needed a liquid that was rich, creamy and flavorful and would provide a little bit of healthy fat. It also needed to be something that was lower in calories and would keep the nutritional stats in a happy place (so heavy cream and oil were out!). The answer was simple: Silk Almondmilk Light.

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ACL Reconstruction Surgery: Post-Op Weeks 5&6

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Hello! Summer is definitely in full swing here and the last few days have been hot. Luckily, the humidity is still relatively low so it’s not unbearable (and it’s cooled down a lot today!). Isn’t talking about the weather fun?

Time for another knee update! Today marks six weeks since ACL Reconstruction surgery. I remember just wanting so bad to get to this point, because I heard that you really start to feel “normal” again around six weeks. I don’t know if I necessary feel normal right now, but I definitely feel better (physically) than I have since the day of surgery. Here’s a little breakdown of how things have been going during weeks 5 & 6 post-surgery.

Pain Level: My pain level over the last two weeks has been pretty minimal. I still have some swelling around and behind my knee, which makes everything feel pretty stiff. I have some soreness around the large incision, but the pain level is very minimal. I went for my 5-week check-up last Tuesday, and the doctor was very pleased with my progress. He did the “ACL test” on my leg (to make sure the ACL was really in there!) and it kind of freaked me out. That night, I randomly had shooting pains in my hamstring on my operative leg, which really sucked. The pain lasted midway through the next day, and suddenly went away in the afternoon. Since then, I’ve had a bit more swelling around my knee (but no more pain in my hamstring).

Here’s a close-up of my knees yesterday:

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And just to compare, here’s a photo from two weeks ago:

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Life Lately

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Good morning!

It’s been a while since my last post, so I figured that it was time for a little “life update.” The last few months have been pretty chaotic (in both good and bad ways) and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what the summer has to offer. Greg and I closed on our new home a few weeks ago and moved in a little over a week ago. We are loving it so far! This is the first new construction home that either of us have lived in, and it’s definitely been… different. :)

It’s pretty cool having a complete “blank canvas” for a house – but it’s also a lot of work! When we moved in, we didn’t have about half of the appliances we needed (like a fridge, stove and washer/dryer), ceiling fans/lights in the master bedroom and living room, any window coverings (and there’s lots of windows!) or a fence. We also didn’t have any sod laid in the back yard!

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We’ve been busy installing blinds, ceiling fans, garage door openers, etc. for the last few weeks and still have a long way to go. We did get all of our appliances installed right before moving in, which was a huge relief. Out of all of the rooms in the house, my favorite is the kitchen. :)

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I’m Not Good at Sitting Still [That Time I Had a Skiing Accident]

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Happy Monday, friends. Well, it’s certainly been an interesting weekend (and didn’t really turn out the way that I planned. At all.). It all started early on Friday morning when Greg and I woke up at 5:00 am to have an awesome day skiing. We had both taken the day off from work to head over to Vail for a day on the slopes. Greg has been to Vail several times, but I had yet to go. Ski season is over in a few short weeks, so we had to take advantage while we still could!

On the way out to the resort, it seemed like luck was on our side. Traffic can be crazy heading out west to the ski resorts but the roads were completely clear. It was a clear, beautiful day and about 20˚ by the time we got there (which might sound cold, but on a sunny day it’s kind of perfect for skiing). Vail is one of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado (or in the world, even) so it’s usually super crowded- but not on Friday!

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We didn’t have to wait in a single lift line and pretty much had the slopes to ourselves. It was all too perfect.

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