Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 1st

Oh, delicious days of October... Let this feeling linger within me always.

     It's been a long, long time since I've blogged. It's not that I haven't wanted to, but you know how life goes. It tends to get in the way of things. 

     I've been working...a lot. This is my first ever 40 hour job and I really do love it. But lately, with Autumn tugging at the edge of Summer, I've started to long for the freedom; the inspiration that kicked me in to motion almost a year ago when I started this blogging/Etsy journey.

     I've been feeling reminiscent as I've been planning my next trip to California. I can't wait to wake up in my Grandma's house and drink coffee. To hear all about school from my brother and sisters. To sit with my Grandma. To dream with my mom.

     Has it really been almost a year since we made the trek to California to say our goodbyes to the man who filled life with such joy? Has it really been almost a year since we all held each other and cried? Has it really been almost a year since I moved away from Colorado for three months? Has it really been almost a year since I discovered who I am and what I am meant to be doing? 

    It's easy to get caught up in "life" and before you know it a year has gone by, and you look back and wonder what you've been doing with yourself....

Autumn has many emotions. 

     It's a time of birthdays, and a time of death. It's a time of anniversaries and new beginnings. It's a time to soak in the explosions of colors and drink pumpkin spice lattes. It's a time full of delicious scents that only come this time of year. It's a time for friendships and "fall themed" pedicures. It's a time when the world glows as the sun shines through the golden leaves. It's a time to be thoughtful and thankful. It's a time of joy, a time of hope, a time to be quiet and maybe even a little melancholy. 

    I'm hoping and praying that as this season progresses, I don't lose sight of where I was this time last year. That I don't feel discouraged. That I embrace the inevitable sadness that will fill the days to come as we approach the first year anniversary of Grandpa leaving this world... I hope that Heaven is like a never ending October.

     October marks my official first day of Fall. There's this indescribable feeling that comes with October 1st. It's the true symbol of Fall.

     Nothing compares to this feeling of sitting at one of my coffee shops, and being able to look out the window at the mountains bursting in to flame from the sun kissing the changing leaves.

Oh, delicious days of October.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Crazy Thing Called Life

     Hello everyone!

     It's good to be back. I have a feeling this will be a long post, and unfortunately no pretty pictures.

     As you've all noticed, I have been gone for quite some time. Not intentionally mind you. It's just that sometimes life gets in the way. 

     Life in the apartment has it's challenges. For one, I didn't think I would miss having real internet access this much. But boy, does it make things difficult. I've also been busy working, working, working. This is the first time in my life that I've had a 40 hour week job, and I love it! I'm currently working at Sports Authority (not the type of place you'd picture me in, eh?) and I love my co-workers and my job so it's been great. I will be starting another part-time summer job in a few weeks too at our famous tourist attraction: The Glenwood Springs Caverns Adventure Park. I work at an old time photo booth there, owned by a friend. I also got hired at a local's favorite restaurant, but ended up turning down the position after realizing how little time I have already. Life!

     I've also been working on a fun project with a dear friend (more info to be released soon) called "Bloom".  It's been very time consuming, and taken a lot of brain power, but I feel like the ball is officially rolling now and everything is falling in to place.

     I've been out with friends. A lot. Every free chance I get I'm usually on a coffee date or out walking or grabbing dinner with someone. It's been a really great time for me to build relationships and to spend quality time with quality women in my life.

     Another stressful but fun thing that's been going on is prepping for birthdays, Mother's Day, and thinking about wedding gifts for friends and family. A good family friend and I share the same birthday, and I will be away, so I've been having fun browsing the  local shops and coming up with some fun ideas for her. It's a little sad that we won't be able to celebrate on our day this year. It's become a sort of tradition; one we began long before they moved to China, and one we've continued since they moved back. 

     Amidst all this stuff that is life, we've also been getting ready for two vacations (one literally right after the other). Tomorrow, we're leaving for Moab for a Mother's Day trip with the in-laws. They go every year with the boys, but this is the first year my mom hasn't been here for the big day, so I'm going too. I'm eager to get out of town for a bit and not stress anymore. We'll be getting home from Moab on Sunday, and I go straight to work that afternoon to close. Then two days later the hubby and I, my brother-in-law, and the friend are hitting the road for California for eleven days! Beach for my birthday, here I come! We're going for my cousin's wedding, but we'll be there over my birthday too. I can't wait to get away. Now that it's closer, the stress seems to have melted away and I feel nothing but excitement. 

     So as you can see, life has been a little crazy (and here I thought May would be a little quieter than April was). But it makes for a blog post once I can actually sit down and write! I plan on writing at least a few times in California since I will have endless internet and my favorite photo taking spots at my disposal. 

    Until next time, my lovelies! 



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Coolest Husband: Update

     As I've said before, I may or may not be slightly biased, but I think my husband has picked up some pretty cool hobbies. Ones that he's good at, people like, and he enjoys doing!

     My previous post was mostly about his leather endeavors. Since then, I've managed to snap some photos of some of the chains he's been working on.

     These are two of his completed wallet chains.

     And this is one of the completed bracelets. I need to take some pictures of the other one to share.

     This is his finished leather piece, and his artistic setup to showcase his chains and artwork.


     Some exciting news! He now has his very own Etsy shop, and just had his first sale! I am proud of him for putting himself out there and for realizing that what he does is awesome. Check out his shop here!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

My Husband Is Cooler Than Your Husband

     My husband has always felt like he wasn't the "creative" type. He's an extreme perfectionist, and if he tries to make something and it's not perfect on the first try he will give it up. Or get mad. Or throw it away....

     Recently, he's discovered his love for making wallet chains, chainmaille, and creating with leather. He's a man with very expensive taste (he may or may not have bought a custom wallet made just for him and spent a pretty penny on it). So of course, I should have known that he would pick hobbies that 1. have expensive materials and 2. could create expensive products. 

     Chainmaille is a time consuming, slow process, that I personally have zero patience for. This has been a perfect project for his busy mind because it gives him something to focus on and he gets lost in a project like this for hours.

     He claims that he can't draw either, but he is way better at using something as inspiration/reference and rolling with it in his own way. I am better at copying something exactly the way it is.

     The first step in his leather process is to draw the image out, and then trace it with wax paper. He then uses the wax paper as a template to transfer the design to the leather.

     Here he is surrounded by his creative disaster. He's also quite messy when he makes things. Organized, but messy.

      This piece was a drawing he drew up for a potential tattoo idea, and he ended up using part of it on the leather.

     This was his first finished piece, and he literally was just winging it when he started. I don't have the eye like he does for the shading and what not. It's completely rad if you ask me. But, I may be a little biased. 

     This is his current piece. His work in progress. And it's going to be sweet. But, again, I might be biased.

     And finally, this is my sad, rushed attempt at making a feather on leather. I think I'll leave the leather working to the Husband.

     If you're interested in chatting with him about wallet chains, chainmaille, or leather, you can contact him here!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter: Just In Time For Spring

      Coming home from California, I expected to come home to snow. I was grateful to return home to a warm Colorado winter, but as time went on I began to miss the wintery wonderland that is home. I kept hearing "There's snow in the forecast this weekend!" or "We're supposed to get snow tonight!". Yeah right. 

     Just when I was giving up hope, the temperatures were starting to climb, and flowers were starting to bloom, I should have known that Colorado would be throwing me a curve ball. And just in time for spring!

     My town is a magical place in the winter. I am happy that this is home for right now. Here's the view from my street on the one cold, snowy day since I've been back.

     Our house looks awfully charming covered in snow. Our apartment is the window by the table.

     The view from our front porch. Our house isn't the only crooked one on the street apparently.

     This is looking directly across the street from our front porch. I love being surrounded by big trees and the mountains.

     Here's to appreciating the things I undervalued in the past. Every year seems to be different. I either love it or hate it, and this year, I am grateful for this Colorado Wonderland.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Cleaning

     It's that time of year. That sudden urge to purge. That itch to throw everything away. The desire to start new. Maybe you start on a whim like I do, or perhaps you have to pencil it in on your calender.

     Spring cleaning has hit me early, like it does every year. I'm noticing that our apartment gets much dirtier than our previous homes, so deep cleaning is 
kind of a must to keep my sanity. I am definitely what one could call a messy person. Cluttered. But not disorganized. But I am on the clean freak side of things. A crumb on the counter? Gotta get that bad boy. A drip of coffee on the floor? Better wipe that up now or it will haunt me forever. Makeup powder dusting the white sink? Better scrub that mess away. That is probably why I spent six hours when I moved in scrubbing every inch of wall space. I might be a little obsessive. Don't judge.

     One way I de-clutter (this is a frequent passtime) is to empty out all the cupboards and down size my collection of dishes. "But, I might need 10 pretty plates for that party I might have someday!" Logical. 

      I usually go through every single piece of paper I have in my possession. Some going back to when I was a kid. Yeah, I'm a little sentimental. Thankfully, every time I open the box, there is something that has lost it's emotional attachment. Even if it's just one tiny piece of paper. That's a step forward, right?
     Downsizing our movie collection is also a must. Although, there tends to be less downsizing in the recent past and more organizing the never ending pile.

      I tend to get rid of furniture, dishes, shoes, makeup, accessories, and of course clothes. Thank goodness for my favorite local consignment store, Lilly's. If you're ever in Glenwood, make sure you stop by and say hello to Kelly. She has an ever-rotating array of clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. Sometimes she gets some really great, high-end brand names coming through too. I've made quite a bit of money by taking my clothes and shoes here to sell over the past... however many years. I don't know what I would do without her! 

     When going through my clothes and shoes, I'm one of those people that pulls everything out of the closet and has to try it all on in front of the mirror. If my first reaction is "this looks great!" I keep it. If my first reaction is nothing or just "meh", it goes. Honestly, I don't see how I can have any clothes left, I do this so often. 

     Ahh. Do you have that one piece of clothing, that you put on just to stand in front of the mirror and feel good about yourself? When I was in California, I fell in love with a gorgeous, summery dress at TJ Maxx and I had to own it. Come on ladies, you know how that is. I had zero occasion in mind, no idea when I could possibly wear it, but I walked out of the store with the dress in hand. Meet my Lil Beauty. My husband might have to take me on a mandatory summer dinner date just so can wear this out in public.

     My main thing is cleaning. I mean, really cleaning. With dark carpets, every single little speck of anything shows up, and me with that obsessive mind, will literally walk around and pick up anything I can see. Every time I see something. Yes, I know that dark carpet is supposed to hide all the mess, but there are way more light colored specks than dark colored specks. 

     The good and bad thing (for my sanity) is that I don't have a lot of stuff at our apartment. I keep thinking how great it feels to have hardly anything and how freeing it is. And then, I open our storage unit. And of course, there are things in there I can't even remember; things that I definitely don't need, but as soon as I lay eyes on it I come up with an excuse to keep it! What is wrong with me? Ay yi yi.

     I also have piles going at my house. Am I the only one who does this? Donate. Friends. Consignment. Return.

     The good news is that after living in California and having close to none of my possessions, I know that I can live that way still. So here's to downsizing, de-cluttering, deep cleaning, and keeping my sanity. 

     What's your Spring Cleaning "must do"?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Update: Colorado Living

     Oh my, I have been a slacker these days when it comes to blogging. Here's an update of what's been going on here in Colorado, and hopefully I'll have some pictures of town and life to share with you all soon. I've been feeling slightly...unmotivated, and trying hard not to let that feeling take over.

     Life has been falling back in to a normal routine. I'm still slowing bringing things home from storage and trying to make our place cozy. 

     I've been on the job hunt for a while now and haven't had too much luck. I keep waiting for feelings and I'm not getting them. For those of you who don't know me well, I'm a very feelings person. I get these gut feelings sometimes that I just have to go along with. Such as my previous job. I vowed I would never work in childcare, and as soon as I saw that job listed in the newspaper, and I knew instantly I was meant to apply and that I would get the job. I haven't had that feeling yet. Well...not completely. I have a few conflicted feelings about a couple places, so prayer for clarity would be greatly appreciated. I have a follow up interview at Sports Authority today, which I had a good feeling about yesterday, and today have an odd conflicted feeling about. 

     This past weekend I went to Lunafest with my mother-in-law. For those of you who don't know what Lunafest is (like me before researching it) you can find out all about it here and perhaps attend one in a town near you! It was a fun night with dinner beforehand, and then the film festival at the historic Hotel Colorado.

     Yesterday I helped a dear friend substitute (she substituted, I mostly observed for future reference) at a local private school that we both have a soft spot for. She graduated from the school as well as taught there, and I spent much of my childhood with people who attended the school, went on field trips with them, and took a few classes there as well.

     I've been trying to branch out more and surround myself with people. I've spent a lot of time with good friends, been hanging out at the local coffee shop, gone to Trivia Night at the local burger place where my husband works, spent time with his friends, went to a worship concert in Basalt, assisted substituting, attended a women's film festival. I'm trying to say yes to things I might otherwise have said no to. I feel like since I was in California, that I am more outgoing and want to be around people more. 

     I'm trying to get back in to the swing of things as far as eating healthy and working out. Which hasn't been too successful so far, but I'm going to try and really start this journey in the next week or so. Prayers!

     I've spent a lot of time walking around lately, and taking in the beauty that is a small mountain town. I'm learning to be content where I am and find splendor in the small things. Snow gently kissing the tops of the mountains, tiny flowers popping up along the sidewalks, the familiar feel of my favorite coffee shop, running in to friends unexpectedly. 

    I may not know exactly what I'm going yet, but I know I'll figure out. Life doesn't stand still, and I don't want to either. So for now, I'll continue to love where I'm at, and be grateful for every second. I will try and blog more and keep you updated. 

There are some discounted prices at the shop! Please take a look and maybe something will say "buy me!", hehe.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Smothered Burrito (With A Twist) Recipe

     Meals like today make me believe that I could be vegan. I mean. If I had to.

     Meet the Sweet Potato Smothered Burrito aka Whip Up Something With Whatever Is Lying Around…er…Burrito.

Sorry for the ONE horrible picture. I didn't think about taking photos until I was in the middle of eating it!

My husband and I are big Mexican food fans. I could live off of Mexican food for life. I am part Mexican, and clearly got the I-Love-Mexican-Food gene.

So… anyway, on to the burrito!

     I just got home from a walk, and when that happens I tend to want to carry on the semi-healthy moment I’ve got going on.
     I jumped in bed next to my video game playing husband, and began to rattle off all the food that is in the house (it’s about time for a trip to the grocery store I think). The meal was originally going to be sweet potato and eggs in a tortilla. But it quickly escalated to a delicious smothered burrito! 

I used:

1 can of tri-blend beans
1 can of refried beans
1 can of green chili enchilada sauce
1 cup of white rice
2 sweet potatoes (cut in to bite size pieces)
A handful of baby spinach
Seasonings to taste (I used cumin, salt, pepper, garlic and chipotle chile spice)
Garnishes of your choice (I used sour cream, cheese and taco sauce). Obviously not vegan with my cheese and what not. Cilantro would be amazing!

     I brought a pot of water to a boil, and dropped in my sweet potatoes, cut in to bit size pieces and let it boil for about 10 minutes or so. Just long enough so that they’re mostly soft (I then drained and put them in a pan to get a little bit of a crisp on them while they finished cooking).

     While the potatoes were boiling, a got my water ready for my instant white rice (in the future, I would use brown rice or quinoa). After it was done cooking I added the seasonings to the rice.

     I added the boiled potatoes to a pan with some oil, and added the seasonings to taste. I like food that’s a little spicier, so I may have gone a bit overboard with the chipotle. After they browned a little bit, I tossed in my can of tri-blend beans, and continued cooking until everything was heated. I then heated up the refried beans and the enchilada sauce while the potato/bean mixture was warming.

     I then got my tortilla, spread out a bit of the potato/bean mixture, scooped on some rice, added some spinach leaves and then taco sauce. I wrapped it up and smeared some of the refried beans over the top, then drizzled on the enchilada sauce, put on a dollop of sour cream, and topped it off with some cheese.

     You’d never know there wasn’t meat in this! It was so filling, and I’ve found that sweet potato can easily take the place of meat when seasoned correctly (one of my all time favorite foods because of it’s taste and versatility).

     So there you have it! Our take on the Smothered Burrito, from our home to yours. 

                            Happy cooking!

Monday, February 9, 2015

California Dreaming

     My time in California came to an end faster than I anticipated. My guys came out for my final week and we got to explore the area, hang out with my family, and make memories that we'll remember forever. Enjoy some pictures from our adventure in beautiful, Southern California.

     My sister and I accidentally stumbled upon this beautiful sight when we missed a turn for the freeway and ended up taking a back road to Diamond Bar. Turns out, there is a park at the top of the hill with a view that can't be beat. I've never seen the hills this green in all the years I've been going to California. So of course, we had to take the boys to show off the splendor. We hiked to the top of the path at the park, and the guys threw around the new boomerang (a unique find from our trip to the Pomona Antique Mall the day before).

     If you're looking for something fun and free to do, especially with kids, check out the California Science Center. Plan to spend a good chunk of your day here, because it is a massive place with interactive areas, a simulated earthquake room, an aquarium, and it's also the final resting place of the Endeavor.

     The colors in Venice Beach spoke to me. It's slightly grungy, but a whole lot of gorgeous. 

     And the view. I mean, come on. The Santa Monica Pier off in the distance.

     Two out of the three had never been to the ocean before. It was the best watching them take in a place I love so much.


     The sunset just gets me every time. Nothing is equal to that sight.
     We had dinner at a local, delicious burger joint on the Pier.

     The boys wanted to have the full beach experience (boogie boarding, swimming, "tanning") so we went to Huntington Beach the next day. My hillbilly beach boys.

Photo by Mikayla

      The waves were huge at Huntington that day, and the boys embraced their inner mermen.

Photo by Mikayla. Catalina Island off in the distance.

Photo by Mikayla

Candids by Levi

Candids by Levi

     They really love each other...and the beach. But mostly each other I think.

Photo by Mikayla

     Again, the sunset just touches my soul. Nothing is as beautiful as this.

     We spent time hanging out with my family at the house, spent the evenings outside with a good drink and good company. We went shopping at the antique mall in Pomona, made a fire in the backyard, and shared a lot of smiles, laughs, and made lasting memories. Before we left California, plans were already in the making for our next trip. 

     Thank you for three great months, and one amazing week, California. See you soon.