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.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Project

     Here I am, sitting in my new apartment. Home. It’s starting to feel like home anyway. I like to call it, "The Project". It’s been a fitting name so far. I’ve always been drawn to more rundown, in need of some TLC homes.

    My husband and I began searching for a new home while I was still in California. After searching Craigslist, we found one to look at, and I kind of fell in love, despite how dingy it looked. Before I knew it, it was ours. It’s a strange feeling to be so far away, and to know that you’re going to go “home” to something so new and unfamiliar….

     The apartment is right down town in Glenwood. The ideal location for most people apartment searching here. It’s in an old Victorian style home, separated in to four apartments, and another one out back. A situation I’ve always wanted to live in. Weird, I know.

      After my husband starting moving in, he sent me pictures to show me “just how bad it was”. And yes, it’s odd, it’s dirty, it’s small, it’s old. But, I kind of love it.

      Thankfully, I was able to spend a lot of time on the internet looking up cheap ways to update, create storage, and make a small space livable. I began to visualize what our new place could look like, despite the previous sad attempts at updating, the slanting floors, and old carpet.

      I immediately clung to the things that appealed to me most; the old brick chimney that is slightly exposed, the original windows, the pedestal sink in the bathroom, the white walls…these are my inspiration for creating home.

     I’ve had this weird thing for a long time about wanting to live in a more rundown place. Not necessarily a fixer-upper situation, but a place that’s livable-rundown...

     I think this desire comes from movies, you know, where the young woman gets her apartment in the city with exposed brick walls, old windows, charm. She finds herself in her home. I don’t know…maybe it’s not a movie. Maybe I’m just odd, haha. Either way, I seemed to have idealized that sort of life, and I feel like I’m finally able to get a taste of that in my small, mountain town. 

     I know this place doesn’t and won’t appeal to the majority of people. Here in America, the newer, the bigger, the better. But for me, I am perfectly content in my shabby palace, with the one I love.

     It's beginning to feel cozy and homey. A place to be comfortable; to come back to and call home.