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Showing posts from 2016

Be Prepared For A Spontaneous Gathering With Holiday Treats

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Beyond calendar commitments, it always feels like someone special is in town or wanting to get together in a moment's notice with a drop by during the holiday season. The best way to be welcoming to potential guests is to be prepared! I love to have holiday treats sitting in my favorite holiday tin, so I can easily sway a friend to pop by when they ask if we are home.  It's also nice to mix up my favorite standbys with some unique offerings:

Mexican Tea Cookies (not only because I am a lover of all the tea) 
Ingredients:  1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 3/4 cup Whole Trade™ powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for dredging 2 teaspoons Whole Trade™ vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup very finely ground pecans or almonds 1 teaspoon sea salt Method:  Cream together butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, flour, pecans and salt. Blend well. Gather dough into a ball, press into a flat disc, wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnig…

Keeping Up A Beauty Routine Without Sacrificing Values

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Is it possible to align with your personal values while staying true to your makeup rituals? I believe it is. There are cosmetic companies helping us achieve those simple goals, makeup with out all the added chemicals. The truth is, we don't know what impact cosmetic additives have on our body, so why not avoid the impact if at all possible? I believe we can lessen the impact with mineral based cosmetic products. Mineral Fusion is one of the companies leading the way, it was founded in Denver in 2007.

Mineral Fusion's Mission:

Our goal is to leave skin and hair in better condition than we found it. This includes selecting effective natural ingredients, as well as making our products free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates. We NEVER conduct animal testing, and never will, nor do we ask others to do so. We are committed to sustainability and utilize wind power, soy inks, packaging from recycled materials and packaging that is r…

Oh My Rosehip Oil Antioxidant +, You are Lovely!

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We all seem to know the feeling of dread the next morning when half the night was spent awake with tossing and turning. For me, I was up from 1:30-4 am and thought for sure I should just throw in the towel and get up for the day. I did finally fall back to sleep for 2 more hours. I felt so discombobulated in the morning, that I instantly prepared myself for my coworkers and family to tell me how exhausted I looked. I took a hot shower, I had two cups of tea. I made sure to not skip a step hydrating my face, I went for eyeliner and mascara instead of my quick mascara touch up, I even put on lipstick before heading out to work.

What happened when I walked into the office was the exact opposite of what I anticipated. Not one, but two coworkers instantly complimented me on my skin and how radiant/glowing I looked. I told them, it must be the lipstick. They instantly quipped, no it's your skin! They inquired as to what I was  doing to my skin? I laughed. Not even a week ago I started u…

Turkey 101: Organic, Heirloom, or Pasture Raised?

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Every year Thanksgiving rolls around and in our home the only option is to serve a turkey, but does where you source your turkey from make a difference? Did you know there are a variety of non-conventional turkey options? We have always purchased our turkeys from Whole Foods Market, but this year in particular I looked into the type of turkeys they carry. Whole Foods Market carries Diestel turkeys in three varieties organic, heirloom, and pasture raised.


Organic: These turkeys were fed a diet of certified organic feed, and are also Non-GMO project verified. No antibiotics, growth stimulants, or hormones were used.Heirloom: These birds are a mixture of Auburn, Black, and American bronze Turkeys. The meat is rich and flavorful, and they were fed certified organic grains. Heirloom turkeys also have more dark meat.Pasture Raised: Raised on irrigated, green pastures, these birds are rotated in the fields with chickens, goats, sheep, and hogs using polyculture methods. Slow-grown, these bird…

Glimpse Into A Friday Evening

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I'm not quite sure what came over me, maybe it was the weather or the slow approaching sun easing towards the mountains in the west. I asked my girl if she wanted to join me for a trail run. Of course she said yes, so we laced up and set out. 

I requested she not sprint the entire way, I gave her an out on the return to sprint from the wooden bridge back to the Cottonwood trees at the trailhead. She agreed and stayed pretty close to me as I made my way down the trail, occasionally she'd turn her head back to make sure I was still plodding along. I don't know if this will be a regular thing, but I do know it's a special place to share with my girl.

Gasp, What To Do With All The Halloween Candy?!?

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We are knee deep in the post Halloween sugar laden dilemma, what in the world do we do with all the candy? A listserv of local moms I belong to started the Halloween season with a list of candy companies that source their chocolate from child slave labor. Of course, I fixed up a batch of fresh popcorn to see what kind of ideas would roll of out from the group with what to do with all the demonic processed sugar our children spent hours gathering from strangers. There are local dentists that pay per pound and ship the candy off to the troops and the food bank isn't interested, so gasp it's almost like we are left to make decision completely on our own. OH MY, what to do with the candy? I pride myself on being non-traditional, but we allow our daughters to eat their Halloween candy. Yes, I said it, they consume their favorites by week 1 and then we combine both piles and slowly it just fades into the background. As it turns out, the candy doesn't turn into some big power str…

Confusing Negative Self Talk

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Negative self talk, are you familiar? I have the ability to say things to myself that I wouldn't fathom ever saying aloud, which is definitely a special kind of negative self talk. One of the best ways for me to overcome negative self talk is to confuse it. A friend asked me to join a group on an urban night run and I said, YES. Now mind you, I didn't just say yes sign me up. I said you're organizing a night run and you thought of me, why? My reaction seemed quite normal because the negative self talk doesn't hesitate, it likes to be ready in a moment's notice. I would easily be the first to admit I'm not a runner in about 50 different ways sitting on the tip of my tongue, but I still said yes. The premise behind saying yes to this run was to shake up my patterns to self defeat, to self deflate.  If I raise the bar on the limitations I set on myself, how does that carry over into my everyday life?

The view from opening my door and stepping out of my comfort zon…

Tuesdays In The Canyon

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On Tuesdays, I've found myself in a canyon where I would hike daily years ago, like pre-kids years ago, like goofy black lab joining me on hikes years ago. Memories and roots were established in the dirt of these mountains. Rolling hills, sweeping vistas, craggy rocks, climb, descend, wind back around, my feet just follow the path. For a moment, I stopped to take in the clouds covering the sun with whispers of rays poking through. How spectacular is this I thought, like I've never been here hundreds of times before. What's old is new, the timeless adage rings true. The mountains hold me in a way I need, my breath fills me, and my heart knows I will be okay...

Diving In To NaBloPoMo

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October has been high dive big for me, considering I was scared as shit of the high dive when I was a kid, high dive big is MAJOR. I've got scribbles in notebooks, unpublished drafts, and thoughts swirling around in my mind which means it's the perfect time for NaBloPoMo. Let's do this like a bikini bottom plunging off my non existent teen hips in 1989.


Our Colorado Tradition: Roasted Green Chile

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In keeping up with Colorado tradition, right before the arrival of autumn, we cook up a huge batch of green chile. Green chiles can be found roasted at the farmer's market or right outside of Whole Foods throughout the peak of the season. The green chile becomes the showcase of many meals, either straight up with tortillas or the compliment to endless recipes. We always freeze a few quarts of chile so it can warm up many meals through out the winter.



Breakfast Strata with Sausage & Green Chile 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the dish 1 (14-ounce) package chicken breakfast sausage 2 small bunches dark leafy greens (about 3/4 pound), such as kale, collards or spinach, stems and tough ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped 2 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 8 eggs 6 (7- to 8-inch) whole wheat tortillas 2 cups (about 1/2 pound) grated Monterey Jack cheese 2 (4-ounce) cans diced mild green chiles, or 2 to 4 fresh mild Hatch chiles, roasted*, peel…

It's Almost The Peak Of Heirloom Tomato Season

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Oh my, nothing really compares to vegetables in August and September. In particular, early autumn brings the peak of heirloom tomatoes. I adore heirlooms and find they should be showcased and the center of the dish that is being created. We've also taken a liking for Burrata this summer, so I mixed the two to create a lovely side salad. It's recommended to purchase them and enjoy within a couple of days and always store them at room temperature.


Here are a few of our favorite varieties! Cherokee Purple. This very large, beefsteak variety is purple or very dark red. It’s deeply flavored and rich with a firm, dense texture. Slice these tomatoes thickly and serve with brined cheeses such as feta or with a sweet drizzle of honey.Marvel Stripe. This large, beefsteak variety is yellow with interior blush. It’s mild, sweet and fruity with low acidity. These tomatoes are juicy and soft and are wonderful for gazpacho, paired with balsamic vinegar as a tomato relish or with earthy clothbo…

Physical Vs. Chemical Sunscreens

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It's the peak of summer and we all know the sun can be intense and hot, so it's important to protect our skin. The majority of us just want to focus on slicing watermelon, making a batch of fresh lemonade, and how in the world do I get all the sand off of my feet before getting back in the car... I've forgotten the sunscreen many times on our outings, then I find myself running into the store only to be completely overwhelmed by all the options in front of me. My go to sunscreen resource is the Environmental Working Group's Guide To Sunscreen, but if you don't want to be doing ingredient research right in the aisle of the store a really quick tip is to think, do I want a physical sunscreen or a chemical based sunscreen?



Physical Vs. Chemical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens reflect the sun's rays with ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, there is no waiting for it to kick in it works on contact as it is a physical barrier. Physical sunscreens often…

Cancelled Flight, Check

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Right now, I'm not doing laundry or haphazardly packing for my trip tomorrow. A few hours ago, I cancelled my flight to New York. I've never cancelled a flight before, a check in my first time for everything column. You may be thinking two trips to NY in a month after not visiting in 4 years? I know right, don't worry I'm thinking the same. My dad was scheduled to have surgery this week, but it's been postponed. There's so much more to the story, but now isn't the time.

Shortly after the credit appeared in my account, my mind began instantly wandering off about all the places I could travel to before I go back to work in August. How about California? Yes, please. We've spent the last three summers traveling to California and well, it feels like something is missing not dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean. Travel daydreams are fun, but alas my airline credit is reserved for a trip to it's original intended destination, New York. I'm quite possib…

The First 25 Miles In Vasque Skywalk GTXs

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On Mother's Day a clunky wrapped box was placed on my lap in bed. It felt a bit too heavy for shoes, but I wasn't anticipating a new dish set, so my curiosity was instantly piqued. Alas, the reissued Vasque Skywalk GTXs I had been swooning over for months now were inside, they weigh in just under 3lbs for the pair. The Skywalks were really popular in the mid-90s when I was living in the Adirondacks and just the sight of them takes me back. I could not wait to get them on and out on the trails!


First I think it's important to share, I hike in Brooks running shoes. I have a light weight pair I love in the summer for hikes shorter than 7 miles and I own a worn out pair of Scarpa low cut approach shoes. I haven't owned proper hiking boots in years. When I put on the Skywalks they were as expected pretty STIFF, but not uncomfortable. I booted up and set out for my first hike, which turned out to be about 4 miles. I had a tiny hot spot on my right heel, mainly due to lacing …

It's Summertime, Throw Some Stone Fruit On The Grill!

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During the summer, we naturally get into a more relaxing dinner groove. I love filling bowls on the table with fresh produce, a protein, and a grain which allows us to mix and match whatever we are feeling for the night. Of course now that stone fruit season is ramping up, I love the idea of including it in our dinner. To switch it up from our regular grab and go fruit, I've started grilling peaches and plums. While we have chicken going on one side of the grill, I toss on the stone fruit and voile, it becomes a lovely addition and typically the first to go at dinnertime. As expected there are stone fruit options aplenty at Whole Foods Market!


If you've never grilled stone fruit before, check out the short video by Whole Foods Market to pick up some tips:

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Disclaimer, I was compensated by Whole Foods Market as a WFM Ambassador for this post. Content is purely at my discretion. 

Curtains Wide Open

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By chance a few months ago, we fell asleep with the curtains open to the west facing window in our bedroom. Since it was winter, the light just seemed to naturally drape itself into our space, waking me in the most pleasant way. A few days turned into a few weeks and now it's been months since we've closed the curtains. My daily alarm is sunlight, even with the earlier sunrise times, I've stayed true to how it makes me feel. 
Some mornings there's a pink sunrise reflecting off the mountains, some mornings it's grey and overcast, some mornings there is a full moon just hanging about to dip behind the Rockies, some mornings there is snow falling from the sky even though the calendar says May. But it's every morning I feel grateful I have a little slice of nature gracing me before I begin my day. 

What's Tasting Best Right Now? Rhubarb!

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When I check the calendar, my mind instantly runs to all things Spring. Bulbs blooming, asparagus, rhubarb, mud on the trails. Looking out my window tells a much different story! Snow is in the forecast through the weekend bringing us right into May. Oh Colorado, your weather never bores me.

While sunshine filled 70 degree days leave us wanting to be outside all day long, I have a feeling this weekend we'll be inside baking, crafting, and laying low. I picked up some rhubarb at Whole Foods Market and I think a pie is in order. See the recipe below or by clicking here to create a shopping list!


Ingredients:  Orange Pie Pastry2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, more for rolling out the dough 1 teaspoon salt Grated zest from 2 organic oranges, reserve 1 teaspoon 10 tablespoons (1 stick + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, diced and chilled 1 organic orange, juiced, about 5 tablespoons, more if needed 2 tablespoons milk 
Rhubarb Filling1 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour …

Whole Foods Market Beauty Bag Release Day!

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After I gave up my monthly subscription service with a beauty bag company, I fell in love with the Beauty Bag Whole Foods Market has been releasing as an alternative. I found many of the more commercial brand subscriptions filled the bags with products that just didn't agree with my personal philosophies on skincare or my skin itself (lots of harsh ingredients). But I no longer feel left out thanks to Whole Foods Market.

The limited edition beauty bag comes out today, March 18 for $15 while supplies last. It's an $80 value and an amazing deal, a great opportunity to try out products without having to buy a full sized product to see if you like them.



The bag contains:
·Dr. Hauschka® Soothing Cleansing Milk .34 oz ·Derma e® Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask .5 oz ·Acure Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub 1 oz ·Evanhealy Rose Geranium Facial Toner HydroSoul 1 oz ·Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant +  ml ·MyChelle® Perfect C Serum .17 oz ·Mineral Fusion® Lash Curling Mineral Mascara (Gravity) .57 oz …

Oscar Party Nosh

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The 88th Academy Awards ceremony honoring the best of Hollywood of 2015 airs on Sunday, February 28! My favorite display of Hollywood grandeur is always the Oscars, there's no topping it. When I gather with a group of friends, I like to make my day as easy as possible so I can fully enjoy the show. Here are some tips from Whole Foods Market to create a fun evening without breaking the budget:

Create a display like a craft service pro! Small plates and appetizers, finger foods like Sriracha chicken wontons or premade meatballs (look for Nature's Rancher). I like to offer lots of protein to balance out the other fun treats on the table. I love the ease of creating a charcuterie plate and it always looks so lovely.


Keep them entertained! I love the idea of having a blind wine tasting. Simply choose 3 varietals from Criterion’s roster to serve as the standard, and pair it against a popular bottle of the same variety (for a total of 6 bottles). Cover them both with paper bags and hav…

Whole Foods Market's Healthy Trends For 2016

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Whole Foods Market has identified Healthy Trends for 2016 which ranges from exploring seasonal produce (think of all the varieties of apples or even sweet potatoes), biodynamic farming which is a holistic approach to organic farming, plant based desserts and unexpected foods, like yogurt! Meat trends including antibiotic free animal farming which WFM has championed since the 80's, meat with less processing and additives, and higher protein snack bars that incorporate animal protein into them (I am a huge EPIC bar fan).

My favorite trend that Whole Foods named for 2016 is the culture craze, fermented foods and probiotics! We love probiotics in our house and look for alternative ways to keep them on our plate without the default yogurt. Having a few local companies that produce cultured foods such as sauerkraut and beets make my job much easier. Remember they are living foods, so be sure to keep them refrigerated! If you haven't tried them yet, I highly recommend them. Just look…

The Joy of December 26th

A pattern has officially developed during the year's end and the start of the new year. Everything ramps up to Christmas, a flurry of overbooked activity to accompany my general grumpiness, and then come December 26th the dust settles and zen sets in. It's in the zen I find us submersed in family time, home cooked meals and baking constantly coming from our kitchen, board games earning their rotation, and extra time spent at home just hanging out. For me, I start reading voraciously, having completed a 454 page book in a day, pulling out my sketchbook, mending some items, deep cleaning, and being inspired. I also wanted to pull out my knitting bin and see what project I can whip up. I want to keep on taking to the trails even in the cold wind and snow, considering it's not going to be tank top weather for months. The last week of break has become one of my favorite weeks of the year. I've been thinking of ways to draw out my renewed sense of self because I really don&#…