I go through phases with my workouts — we have a love/hate relationship. I seem to be in a fairly motivated state at the moment, but nothing makes me want to workout more than cute workout clothes. To motivate myself (and you!) to workout, I have pulled together this cute yet “don’t mess with me, I workout” outfit. Tell me this doesn’t make you want to do some sprints then a kickboxing class? (more…)
As much as I love to travel, I’m ashamed to say I’ve seen very little of my own country. Being out west has made many areas more accessible (don’t get the wrong idea, this isn’t New England people!) so I’ve been trying to take advantage of my semi-close proximity to things. A friend of mine invited me to accompany her and some girlfriends to Yellowstone National Park for Memorial Day weekend. I gladly accepted without knowing most of the group and am happy to report that this was one of my most memorable trips. When we arrived, it was overcast and threatening to rain at any moment, but that did not make the trip any less beautiful. We rented a car and entered from the North Entrance and began our decent into the park through Mammoth Hot Springs. We spent much of the day exploring the many geysers on the north and west side of the park. The natural colors and textures that can be found in these areas is absolutely incredible. Trust me, I had to practice some restraint while adding photos to this post! We made our way to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and despite the rain, it was an incredible view.
My favorite part of the trip was the Grand Prismatic Spring. Again, due to the water temperature and algae species, the color of the water can change, making this spring absolutely gorgeous. I couldn’t even capture all of its color in these photographs. Our last day was a sunny drive through the eastern and northern side of the park as we made our way back to the North entrance. We got to see Yellowstone’s varied landscape and ecosystems in a (seemingly) short drive. The best surprise was seeing this guy on our way out of the park. I understand this is a wild animal, but he looked so cuddly it was tough to resist! Yellowstone is a bucket-list must for any kind of traveler. I’m not super outdoorsy and I survived! Its natural beauty is unlike anything I’ve seen before. I think next year Glacier National Park will be at the top of my list!
Mexican food is one of my favorite food groups, but sometimes the meals get a bit repetitive. This TexMex twist always goes down well and is one of my reliable recipes.
4 chicken breasts halved
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1 can of black beans drained
1 cup salsa
For the spice mixture:
1 tsp paprika
1/2 – 1 tsp chili powder (depending how hot you like it)
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Coat the chicken breasts in half the spice mixture. Fry with olive oil until golden brown. Mix the remaining spice mixture with the black beans. Place chicken in a baking dish. Scatter salsa over the chicken, top with black beans and cheese. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Serve with a side of rice and guacamole. This dish is also one that tastes better the next day.
June is typically a blissfully warm month filled with lots of outdoor activities. This year’s weather is making that a little difficult, but that’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed these past 4 weeks. Here’s my round up of June Favorites!
Orange is New Black is back! This show provides me with some great humor and a healthy dose of appreciation for my life that is not in prison.
Trying Ethiopian food for the first time. If you are in the Denver area be sure to visit Queen of Sheba; I was extremely impressed! If you haven’t tried Ethiopian yet, do it now.
Getting a fob to the Denver Botanic Gardens member’s entrance. This is the best $25 I’ve ever spent and now we can have access from a few feet from our front door.
Tackling a Boulder Brewery bike tour. I remained on my bike for the duration of this trip (shocking) and no one was injured. Plus we got to sample some awesome breweries in Boulder to celebrate two of our friends’ birthdays.
Hiking to St. Mary’s Glacier. It was a short hike to this beautiful place and well worth it!
I don’t think I can claim having a photographic memory, but I am haunted by certain images. One such image that has been burned into my brain since I first came across it is Kelli Hall’s gorgeous artwork. Kelli is a stylist and an artist who turns anything she touches into gold.
Her art prints can be found on her Minted shop, but equally as impressive is her styling and photography. She understands layers, textures, and depth unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. She creates environments that are almost too beautiful to occupy (not that I’ve ever been lucky enough to experience one myself).
See Kelli’s home tour on Domino and styling work on her blog or on Julep!
The other night I went to see a movie called Wild Tales, written and directed by Damián Szifrón from Argentina, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards this year. It includes six short stories of different people in their distressing situations. Each story is a satire of human behavior gone out of control. Laced with dark humor, the movie is sure to make you question the characters and their morals, but will definitely make you laugh.
The final story was my favorite and had everyone in the theater laughing. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve been to a movie where people clapped at the end. It was that good. Watch it now.
Summer is officially here and that means we get to relish in its greatness for 3 wonderful months of crazy heat and outdoor activities! Here is my unofficial bucket list for this summer.
10 Ideas For Summer:
Take a road trip. Being in the car isn’t exactly my favorite activity, but if it means I am exploring new places with friends I can suck it up.
Read a great book. I have my eye on a few and hope to get my hands on Harper Lee’s latest in July!
Run a 5K. I don’t necessarily want to run in a race, but I would like to increase my mileage to my old go-to. Baby steps people.
Attend a music festival. I have my eye on a few here in town…
Try new recipes. I’ve been stuck in a culinary rut lately and would like to branch out and try something new. Maybe a new grilling recipe?
Patio drinking. There is nothing better than enjoying a glass on wine (or any alcoholic beverage, really) on a patio. I would be more than happy at home or at a restaurant, but hopefully there is a lot of outdoor drinking in my near future.
See a drive-in movie. Duh.
Find the best mint chocolate chip ice cream in town. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Soak in a beautiful sunset. The west is pretty hard to beat when it comes to this, but I still need to find the perfect spot.
Be spontaneous. I know this is super general, but I need to take more risks in my life and not be so worried about the future. I need to let go and let live. (We’ll see how long this lasts)
Megan Carn’s bright and playful paintings have caught my eye more than once on Pinterest and I finally pursued her full portfolio. I was pleasantly surprised to find that she lives in Columbia, SC! Her paintings put a fun and quirky spin on exotic wildlife…who doesn’t love these adorable portraits with highlights of hot pink?
Megan is just beginning her career as an artist and I can’t wait to see where she takes her art over the course of the years. She has also served as an inspiration to me and makes me want to push myself to paint more and begin to make it more than a hobby I pick up every three months. Here’s to dreams and making them happen!See Megan’s full portfolio here!
Our next book club selection was Yes Please by none other than Amy Poehler. I read this book in a matter of days (impressive for my lack of reading time lately), a testament to the quality of this memoir. Amy covers everything from childhood, to career, to parenthood, and all of her hilarious moments in between.
Poehler’s stories made me laugh out loud multiple times and I really appreciated her candidness. She opens up about how difficult it is to write a book — such a breath of fresh air when it seems that everyone and their mom is popping out a book these days! She also talks about her career and how despite how easy it may seem, she has struggled just like the rest of us. Amy, I love you, and your book.