Monday, January 2, 2017

Plotting My Path

Knowing this blog is still here fills me with a warmth, even if I don't honor the platform in the way I once did. The majority of my favorite blogs have shuttered in the past couple of years. I miss the way bloggers put words together, the way they offered glimpses into everyday life, and how we felt so connected. Social media has not replaced the longing I have for opening up Reader and spending my late night alone time reading blog posts. Feedly is just okay and I subscribe to about 12 blogs that still update weekly. Weep, 12. 

But back to my warmth...

I'm plotting my path on how I'd like to offer glimpses into some real change I've experienced in the past few months. It feels important to process through this medium, to set my words free, to connect with others with an openness and vulnerability. As for now, my journal pages have been receiving much love and attention.  

Stay tuned, for the stories shall unfold.  



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Be Prepared For A Spontaneous Gathering With Holiday Treats

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 overnight.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Scoop and roll dough into small teaspoon-sized balls and place on a non-stick baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake 8-10 minutes until barely golden. Remove, let sit for 1 minute then gently dredge cookies in sifted powdered sugar. Cool completely and recoat with powdered sugar. 
Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving: Serving size: 2 cookies150 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 20mg cholesterol, 100mg sodium, 12g carbohydrates, (1 g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 2g protein.


Ingredients: 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 (8-ounce) log Wellspring™ Creamery® Cranberry Orange Goat Cheese 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 cups 365 Everyday Value® Organic 100% Whole Wheat Pastry Flour 
  • 24 fresh or frozen cranberries

Method: 
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter and goat cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in egg until well combined, and then beat in flour.  

Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into balls and arrange 2 inches apart on a large, parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Use a fork dipped in water to flatten each cookie. Press a cranberry into the top of each.  

Bake until just firm and deep golden brown on the bottoms, about 15 minutes. (To make 4 dozen smaller cookies, use about 1 tablespoon dough for each, and bake 12 to 13 minutes.) 
Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving: Serving size: 1 cookie130 calories (50 from fat), 5g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 25mgcholesterol, 20mg sodium, 19g carbohydrates, (1 g dietary fiber, 10g sugar), 3g protein.


Looking for more suggestions or a place to share you holiday traditions? Check out #MyHolidayTradish

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Keeping Up A Beauty Routine Without Sacrificing Values

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 recyclable.

I've been giving Mineral Fusion a try now for a month and I am super happy with the results. I haven't experienced any difference with Mineral Fusion from conventional cosmetic products, with the exception of how much better I feel when using them! Whole Foods Market carries a complete line of Mineral Fusion products, so you don't have to sacrifice a favorite product in your routine. Whole Foods Market is also carrying some holiday exclusives, I LOVE the Mineral Fusion sheer moisture lip tint, it's like putting butter on your lips. 

Here's a glimpse of some of the Mineral Fusion products found at Whole Foods Market:




Mineral Fusion:
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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. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Oh My Rosehip Oil Antioxidant +, You are Lovely!

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 using some new products by Trilogy, Whole Foods Market sent me to test out.  Could they already be having such a fabulous and noticeable impact on my skin? Why yes, they are. Funny enough a friend was in the office when I walked in the next day and she commented on my glow. I mean seriously, I don't ever think I've used skincare products that had such a quick and noticeable impact on my skin. 



My routine has been using the cleanser I normally use with my Clarisonic, followed by the hydrating mist toner, the rosehip oil antioxidant + (which is really liquid magic), and the ultra hydrating face cream (hello winter in Colorado). 

Trilogy: Simple Skin: cleanse, treat, moisturize.

A little about Trilogy, two sisters from New Zealand discovered the powerful benefits of using rosehip oil in their skin care routine, and then went on to develop an entire line of 40 products which are free of synthetic ingredients. Hooray! I believe it's so important to treat our skin the way we treat our bodies, with products made from ingredients found in nature. As for Whole Foods Market, all of their beauty products meet the strictest standards for quality sourcing, environmental impact, results and safety. For more information on these standards, as well as a list of 400 unacceptable body care ingredients visit the premium body care standards for the most up to date info!

Whole Foods Market is offering a Bare Faced Beauty holiday kit, so you can try out the rosehip oil antioxidant +, it also has a great bag, hydrating mist toner, and the make-up be gone cleansing balm. 


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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. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Turkey 101: Organic, Heirloom, or Pasture Raised?

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 birds eat foraged feed and vegetarian grains.
Related Links:

Share your love for holiday traditions with Whole Foods Market's tradish.wholefoods.com and social media #myholidaytradish , to launch the site they are giving away a year's worth of free groceries! 


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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. 


Friday, November 4, 2016

Glimpse Into A Friday Evening

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.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

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

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 struggle, it just loses it's excitement. Fascinating...


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Confusing Negative Self Talk

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 zone. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tuesdays In The Canyon

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...


Monday, October 31, 2016

Diving In To NaBloPoMo

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.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Our Colorado Tradition: Roasted Green Chile

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.



  • 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*, peeled, seeded and chopped

Method: 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up into small pieces, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and return the skillet to medium heat. Add greens, cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until just wilted, 4 to 6 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk, salt and eggs. Oil a 9x13-inch casserole dish and cover the bottom with 2 tortillas. Top with 1/3 of the cheese and then scatter 1/2 of the greens, sausage and chiles over the top. Pour over 1/3 of the egg mixture and then repeat layering. Top with remaining 2 tortillas and cheese, and pour over remaining egg mixture. Press down firmly to submerge all of the ingredients. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Uncover and bake until strata is puffed, golden brown and cooked through, about 50 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes and then serve.
*To roast Hatch chile peppers, cook on the stovetop, under a broiler, or on a grill until charred and blistered all over. Place blackened peppers in a paper bag, close it up and let the peppers steam for about 10 minutes. Wearing gloves, scrape skins off and run chiles under cool water to remove the skins. Seed and chop chiles, then taste and determine heat level, adding more or less according to your taste.

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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. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

It's Almost The Peak Of Heirloom Tomato Season

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 clothbound cheddar cheese.
  • Brandywine. This is another large, beefsteak variety, however these tomatoes are pink or yellow and sweet with low acidity. They are perfect for sandwiches, used as the base of a fresh summer salad or paired with the creamy saltiness of Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • Evergreen. This is a medium to large, beefsteak variety. They stay green when ripe and are mild and sweet. Make tomato preserves, a sandwich with triple crème Brie and baguette or bread and fry slices for fried green tomatoes.
  • Black Prince. This is a medium-sized, round globe variety that’s purple or very dark red. It’s deep and sweetly flavored with a firm texture. Sprinkle wedges with vinaigrette and fresh herbs for a simple treat; pair with Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue to match the tomato’s sweetness.
  • Sun Gold. This small, cherry variety is dark yellow or almost orange. These tomatoes are tangy-sweet and perfect for an anytime snack, tossing into quick salads, baking on pizzas and flatbreads and pairing with Parrano cheese.
  • Black Cherry. This small, cherry variety is purple or dark red, very sweet and highly flavored. They’re great in salads, roasting whole, baking into focaccia and pairing with Monterey Jack for a cream-of-tomato soup flavor combination.
Heirloom tomatoes, Burrata, fresh basil, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper! Voile! 

Whole Foods Market favorite recipes:

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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. 



    Sunday, July 24, 2016

    Physical Vs. Chemical Sunscreens

    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 leave a white glow on our skin, we've grown accustomed to this! Chemical sunscreens (conventional brands, the spray you smell even 20 feet away from someone at the pool when they are applying it) work by seeping into your skin and they absorb the sun's rays. Chemical sunscreens are recommended to apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Chemical sunscreens have been linked to toxicity in aquatic life and endocrine disruption in our bodies.

    I choose physical sunscreens for my family, of course if there is no other choice, I always choose to protect our skin with a chemical sunscreen over no protection. My go to brand choices are Badger, California Baby, and Garden Goddess. Over the years we have just honed in on what works best for our sensitive skin. I also recommend keeping an eye out for the Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care seal. The standards Whole Foods Market has adopted prohibits chemical based active ingredients and they also screen for particle size, so they do not contain any nano-particles. I greatly appreciate the work Whole Foods does to maximize my confidence when buying safe skin care products.

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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. 

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016

    Cancelled Flight, Check

    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 possibly too practical, but couldn't possibly imagine cancelling another flight so please, someone book me a ticket to California stat.