Life Since Last Week

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Happy Monday- and happy Thanksgiving week!

The days are just flying by and it’s hard to believe that December is less than one week away (and Christmas is in exactly one month). The weather changed drastically last week (from warm and sunny to cold and snowy) so it definitely made it seem a little more real that the holiday season is upon us. In today’s post, I wanted to just take a look back at the last week – there’s been some pretty fun stuff going on!

The week actually started out kind of rough- literally. I’m trying to get back to throwing some good, hardcore functional training into my routine and definitely overdid it at the gym on Sunday. I was NOT smart about my workout and went balls to the wall without giving enough attention to proper form (and yes, I realize as a personal trainer I should know better). My lower back was so sore for the two days that followed that anything more than standing up hurt. Luckily, the pain was pretty much gone by Wednesday and got a lot better.

I met a new friend (named Christina) through my Ambassadorship with Bhakti Chai and she told me about this crazy, fun class that she takes in Boulder on Wednesdays called Dance Walk. She said that you just make a playlist (of music you can dance to), put in your earbuds and dance your way around downtown Boulder for an hour. Doing something like this is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Paige was also interested in going, so the two of us headed over to meet up with the group and get our dancewalk on. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day- perfect for being outside enjoying it.

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WIAW 67: Sunday Brunch [+ a HILARIOUS video]

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Happy Hump Day, y’all!

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Sorry, I had to. :)

This might sound a little silly (well, no sillier than a talking camel…) but I’m a little confused by the concept of “brunch.” I get that it means breakfast + lunch… but does that mean that you’re supposed to skip a meal? Brunch is usually at 11 or 12, so if I wake up at 7 am… and I supposed to wait until brunch to eat? I’m not a fan of skipping meals (especially breakfast) so I never really know what to do. What do you think?

Last Sunday, my friend Heather and her husband Kirk invited Greg and me to come over for brunch. We happily accepted because I wanted to see them (and Laura, who was staying there) and they always cook amazing food! Brunch was at noon and I naturally woke up around 7:30. Greg and I decided to go to the gym for some hardcore functional training (see my workout here) and I made us some smoothies to drink when we got back home.

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Weekend Adventure: White Water Rafting!

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Happy Monday, kids!

And to all of my teacher friends in Maryland: have a great first day of school- there’s only 179 more days to go after today!

Whew, this weekend wore. me. out. I mean that in the best possible way of course! I went hiking with Paige at El Dorado Canyon on Friday morning and then worked at an event for KIND most of the afternoon and evening, which should’ve set me up to sleep like a brick that night. For some reason, my ability to sleep has just sucked lately and I need to amend that asap! Regardless, it was easy to get up on Saturday morning because a super fun day of white water rafting was in store!

AVA Rafting Company contacted me about doing a free trip with them earlier this summer and this past Saturday was finally “the day!”

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My partner-in-crime and her husband also joined us and we set out to Idaho Springs in the morning to meet up with the guides for our trip. There were about 30 people total (give or take a few) for the trip and we divided up into five different rafts. We were each given a guide who would take us down the river and guide us along the way. Our guide was Travis – and he was awesome!

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I Like To Hike

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Happy Monday! I know that a few of you probably rolled your eyes at the title of this post and are thinking “Yes, Lauren, we get it. You like to hike.” I apologize in advance if it’s little redudant, but I’m still thoroughly enjoying my love affair with the mountains. :)

I hope you enjoyed a nice, long holiday weekend (especially if you were lucky enough to have last Thursday and Friday off!). I’ve been running all over the place for the last four days and have spent a grand total of about five minutes at home, so I”m going to make this short and sweet today.

With this being the first July 4th that Greg and I have spent in Colorado, we really didn’t have an idea of what we wanted to do and see. We did know that the day would include some type of hiking and seeing fireworks at night. We braved the crowds and headed over to Chautauqua Park to hike between Flat Irons 1 & 2. It was HOT out (as you may be able to see by my lovely patch of sweat).

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There were a ton of other people hiking that morning, and two of my favorites joined us!

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A Taste of Oregon

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In case you missed it, winners for the Designer Whey Sustained Energy Giveaway were announced here.

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Ahhhh…. it feels good to be back home. Oregon was lovely, but I definitely missed Colorado while I was there! I really think that it was this trip was what it finally took to make Colorado feel like home and not just vacation anymore.

As you probably know, I flew out to Oregon last week to attend the Fitbloggin’ conference. I’ll talk about that a little more later this week. Greg came along with me so that we could make a little vacation out of the trip. We had spent a little bit of time in Oregon during our honeymoon two years ago and just loved (almost) every place we went. It was really fun to re-visit many of the places that we had seen back then and discover many more great things to do in and around Portland.

We got into Portland on Tuesday morning and drove west towards Hood River. On the way we stopped at Multnomah Falls for a quick hike. We had seen the falls during our honeymoon, but didn’t have time that day to do the hike. I’m so glad that we got a chance to do it last week! It’s a short hike that’s fairly steep and gives you a good little workout.

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Greg and I actually flew right up the hike really easily, which I 100% credit to us living at high altitude. That hike definitely would’ve taken a little longer when we were living in Maryland. 

We drove to Hood River and went right over to The Pines Tasting Room. They’re one of our favorite wineries and we actually stayed at a cottage in the vineyard during our honeymoon. After a quick change of clothes, we headed back out. The rest of the night included a quick stop at Full Sail Brewery for some beer tasting.

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High Altitude Fun With Friends

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One of my favorite things to do in Colorado is get on 70 west and drive out to the mountains. Before Greg and I moved here, it was tradition for us to drive out to Breckenridge to hang out for the day, with a stop at Loveland Pass for a “quick” hike up to 13,000′ elevation on the way. This tradition has shown up several times on this blog, and it’s something that we’ll be doing for a long time to come. I still can’t really believe that we can just drive out there from our house in a little over an hour…

Last month, when my friend Brie was visiting, I drove her and Paige out west for the same trip. Unfortunately, the trail at Loveland Pass was completely covered in snow, so we couldn’t make it all the way to the top. Paige had wanted to go back out there with her husband Shane, so we decided that we would wait until mid-June to plan it. With all of the warm weather we’ve been having since then, I figured we’d be safe to go this past weekend. Luckily, I was right! There was still some snow (there is at least a little snow on the ground year-round), but the trail was completely accessible.

When we got to Loveland Pass, we started by getting our usual pose by the sign:

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Just for fun, here’s a little flashback photo from the very first time Greg and I hiked here in 2009 (which was our first ever hike in CO!):

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WIAW 42: Eating [+ Drinking!] Denver

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With all of this business of traveling and playing tour guide, my eating habits have been a little… less than stellar. I’ll be honest- I’ve been eating too much in general and going out to eat a lot, and am looking forward to getting back into a routine where what I eat makes me feel good. And maybe I should focus on a little less beer drinking while I’m at it (which is tough with all of these delicious breweries so close by). Here’s a little taste (no pun intended!) of (some of) what I’ve been eating and drinking over the last few days.

(last) Thursday:

My friend Brie got into town early on Thursday and we immediately headed over to Chautauqua for a pretty intense hike. Since Brie doesn’t eat anything with a face, I knew that I wanted to take her to Native Foods Cafe. It’s always so hard to choose what to eat there, because everything on the menu sounds delicious. Luckily, Brie is a food-sharer, so we got two entrees and split them:

Soul Bowl:

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(Southern fried Native “Chicken” with hearty red beans and brown rice, steamed veggies and kale dressed with ranch and BBQ sauce and served with homemade cornbread)

Ensalada Azteca Salad:

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(fresh avocado, jicama and cucumber salsa atop quinoa, romaine and our award winning mango lime vinaigrette. Topped with currants, toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro)

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Blend 2013 Recap #2

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As promised, I’m back with the second (and final!) recap of the Blend 2013 Retreat. In case you missed it, please go back to the first recap post to see what happened during my first two days in Utah.

To pick up right where I left off, I’ll start with Saturday morning. Even though I was dead tired, I woke up for the 7:00 am GPP workout. I was really excited to work out with Neil, the founder of GPP, because I’ve read so much about the workouts on Janetha’s blog. I am definitely a big fan of anything challenging and new, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed by this workout! Neil explained to us the science behind GPP before the workout got started.

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We started out by doing sprints, and stopping hard. This made for a crazy quad workout that I could still feel three days later. And then Neil pulled out a deck of cards… I knew what that meant from my fitmixer bootcamp days! We had to do full sit-ups, push-ups, squats and burpees depending on which card was pulled.

And guess what? I still hate burpees.

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We also had to run laps when a Joker card was pulled… so I kind of cheated on LiveFit Trainer again by breaking the “no cardio in the first four weeks” rule. Oops.

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A Week of Instagrams

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Happy Friday, friends! I’m so excited for today- because it’s finally here- BLEND!! I can assure you that I’ll be having a crazy fun time with my fellow blogger friends in Park City, Utah this weekend (and I’ll be back to re-cap it all next week!). You can search the hashtag #blend2013 on Twitter or Instagram or follow @blendretreat for photos from the whole weekend. :)

Speaking of Instagram…

I’ve mentioned it once or twice before on this blog, but I’m slightly obsessed with Instagram. I never really got into the whole Twitter thing, but as soon as I downloaded the Instagram app a little over a year ago, it was love at first sight. Sometimes I’m a little out of control with and I think that I might need to force an intervention for myself. I love taking pictures (I have two art degrees and taught high school photography for seven years!) and documenting things day to day. Feel free to follow me @OatmealLauren (I’ll admit it though… at least 25% of my photos are of my dogs).

Today I thought I’d take a look back at some of the Instagram photos I’ve posted in the last week.

A collage of my pedicure/lunch date with Tiffany:

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WIAW 40: Recent Eats [+ Beer!]

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Well, lookie here- it’s my 40th WIAW post! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun… am I right? 

Instead of going through what I ate in a specific day, I thought I’d show a round-up of some of the delicious things I’ve been eating over the last week.

First up: an incredibly delicious sandwich from the Sunday’s post-hike picnic at El Dorado Canyon:

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