Monday, January 23, 2012

21 Day Cleanse, Done. Glimpse Into Day 22...

So it's Day 22. Metaphorically speaking, THE FLOODGATES ARE OPEN!!! I rushed into the kitchen, to find a smoothie waiting for me. My lunch consisted of a corn tortilla, hard boiled egg, salsa, and 1/2 an avocado. Dinner, turkey meatloaf, steamed potatoes, asparagus, and roasted cauliflower.

Wait a minute...

The changes I made over the past three weeks, weren't for naught. Stepping back from food for pleasure or food on a whim, had a very strong impact on me. I'm gaining more and more insight into consuming food for fuel and food that is nourishing my body and mind. My body feels the strongest it has in quite sometime and it's all because of my efforts. I've consistently upped my water intake and have been walking or hiking regularly.

The record of my activity, looks like this:

So far in January, I moved my body 63 miles in 17 hours. SIXTY THREE MILES, via hiking, running, or walking. I went to the gym last night and I've been practicing yoga. When I log into DailyMile, I feel proud for what I have accomplished and it inspires me to keep going. I feel a strong desire to add to my exercise journal every single day. In case you were wondering, my jeans slide right on now. Ultimately that's how I gauge my weight, by how my jeans fit. It's not about a number to me. 

I am grateful the 21 day mind and body challenge started me on the right track, it was the key to my inspiration and confidence building. I set myself up for success, which was something I needed to keep the momentum going. Another awesome part of my challenge, the number of people I have inspired to do their own challenge. The number is up to 7! I wish them success and insight on their journey. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Just Label It, Consumers Want To Know If Their Food Is Genetically Engineered!

A great new video hit the web today about labeling GMO's. The Just Label It campaign partnered with the filmmaker Robert Kenner, most notable connected to Food, Inc, to help get the message out. As you know, I think it's time. It's time for genetically modified foods to be labeled, so we can make informed decisions about what we want to put in our bodies. America loves to put corporate interests over citizen's safety. I believe this is THE year for that to change. 2012, just label it!

Please watch and share.

Related Post by Civil Eats 

Trader Joe's Registers Business in Colorado!

Well, the word is out friends, Trader Joe's has registered their business name with the Colorado Secretary of State. In all the lingo, April 1st is mentioned as a date that all the fun may begin to go down! Fingers crossed they will set up shop first in Boulder. I mean Denver got Ikea and H&M, can't we get some bragging rights?

Rumor mill: 29th Street in Boulder!

Be forewarned, I've searched their website for employment opportunities and Colorado is not available yet on the by state drop down menu. Time will tell!

news source, Daily Camera

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Tips: Genetically Modified Produce, Labeled With PLU?

Now that self checkouts at grocery stores are more common, we have come to understand what a PLU (price look up) is on produce. Typically it's a 4 digit code used to ring up produce found on a small sticker or rubber band. I'm surprised Monsanto hasn't figured out a way for their bio-engineered crops to automatically grow with a built in PLU code somewhere on the outside of the flesh, cutting out that darn sticker producer middle man.

Anyway, I have not tested out this information I am about to share. Maybe we can all just keep an eye out the next time we are grocery shopping. I've read a few articles which state that conventional produce has a PLU of 4 numbers, say for example bananas are 4040. Organic bananas have a 9 in front of the number, which would be 94040. I've never run across them in the market, but I heard that genetically modified produce would have an 8 in front of it, so genetically modified bananas would be coded as 84040.

Keep your eyes peeled, let me know if you see any PLU's in the produce department that start with the #8 (maybe even snap a photo)! I'll be doing my own research on my next shopping trip and I will report back with my findings.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Let's Not Be Silent...

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. 
- Martin Luther King Jr. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mesa Trail Hike, Excuses Are No Longer My Obstacle.

A year ago I set my sights on Mesa Trail,
Eldorado Springs to Chautauqua Park. 
Not ice, snow, clouds, or strong winds would inhibit me today, 
the obstacles I conveniently created in fairer weather have been lifted.

Some water on my back, a banana, and a tangerine. 
Gloves on, hat pulled down closely, I'm cold. 
Sun is shining, coat unzipped, gloves off, I'm sweating. 
I progress, one foot simply in front of the other. 

My mind often contemplates if I'm going the right way. 
Can I follow the wrong trail marker? 
While I frequently seek physical confirmation, 
it's a trail of prior footsteps in the snow that leads my way. 

I convince myself at one point, I am just a short way from home. 
I don't have to do the whole trail today. 
Instead I turn away from home and just keep moving along. 
I feel comfort on the trail I know, as many miles were new to me. 

I turned a corner to a wide open space. 
Chautauqua Park at my feet, 8 miles behind me. 
I had arrived. 
Excuses were no longer my obstacle. 

Accomplished, satisfied, proud. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Photo A Day: Jan 1-14

While I haven't exactly committed to a 365+1 project this year, I've been dipping my toes in the water and seeing if I can pull it off. I suppose if I post to InstaGram everyday, then I take a photo a day.

Here's Jan 1-14... Lots of hiking and food, but I've already updated many of the food photos here, so I stuck to the outdoors ones.

Jan 1 & 2
Jan 3&4
Jan 5&6
Jan 7&8
Jan 9&10
Jan 11&12
Jan 13&14

Friday, January 13, 2012

[Food Friday] Best Spot For a Veggie Hot Dog in Boulder! Mustard's Last Stand.

Mustard's Last Stand is known for their Chicago Style Hot Dogs. I am sure they are delicious, but back in 1994 when I first walked into Mustard's, I was a vegetarian. Even though I eat meat now, I still opt for the veggie dog at Mustard's, I don't feel like I am missing a thing. I always get my dog with the works, a pickle, sauerkraut, tomatoes, hot peppers, mustard, and onions. Their buns are soft and the hot dogs are always pack a nice crispy skin! Oh and I'll let you in on another little veggie secret about Mustard's. They have the best meatless chili cheese fries. Sometimes a craving is a craving!

Mustard's Last Stand
NW Corner of Arapahoe and Broadway
1719 Broadway St  Boulder, CO 80302-6220
(303) 444-5841

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Girls and Friendships: Kindness Deserves To Win Out

Yesterday as I picked Sj up from school I could tell from the look in her eyes way across the soccer field as she walked to my car, it wasn't a good day. She somewhat angrily bounced her feet through the snow. While I did receive a slight smile and wave the body language clearly told me she wasn't happy.

As easily as her backpack fell from her shoulders, so were the tears from her eyes. She sat across from me in the front seat, while my car was still parked, and just had to let it all out. Her day was awful.

This is year three we've been dealing with girl drama in her class. The one red flag I would wave to any parent contemplating a multi-age classroom is the pitfalls of spending three years together, if there are issues with friendships. It's a tough sea to navigate especially when you have a daughter that carries a large weight on her shoulders when there isn't resolve. She wants to know why she's being treated so unfairly and the majority of the time, she didn't do anything in particular, it's like exclusion on a whim. While the details of what exactly happened aren't really my focus, a piece of me breaks every time there are these spats. I always agree with her that it's not fair.

After having these conversations many times, I looked deep into her blue eyes and just told her how I truly feel. Friendships are difficult, friendships are not guaranteed to be tried and true, friendships are always evolving and changing. I still have to come to terms with the hurt from friendships after decades of experience, there isn't always an answer as to why. She was surprised to learn the hurt doesn't stop even when you are a grown woman.

Whispers and glares can be intimidating and create an environment that is very distracting. To me, giving power to the negativity is the first issue that has to be worked through. Today is day one. The day where I encouraged my daughter to say hello and leave it at that. To look around the room for other girls and boys, that she finds a common bond or interest. To make her school work her top priority. To embrace the kindness she easily gives to others, to embrace how she loves to help others. I don't want her to take on the weight of this negativity until she snaps with unkind words or even actions. I tell her that I believe in her and I adore her personality. She is worthy of kind friends and lasting friendships. She is. Just this one time I want kindness to win out...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cleanse Week 2, 1 Week As A Grain Free Vegan, DONE!

Just like that, one week of the cleanse down. I'm joking of course, in the moment the week felt more like a month. But as I sit here typing away one week into this, I truly feel like I am over the hump. I no longer need a few dates late in the afternoon to carb my sugar craving. I'm not smelling my girls' grilled cheese sandwiches or graham crackers just to feel satiated. I don't even think about a morning coffee. On Sunday, I took my girls to one of my favorite cupcake shoppes in Denver and didn't have a bite.

Yes, I'm THAT over the hump.

I feel incredibly calm. I don't feel bloated (even with a looming visit from the monthly bloat master in my life), I'm eager to clean my house, I've committed to walking or hiking every single day, I am more tuned in to my girls. Today was the  first day I didn't get out to walk because I got caught up in other things (costco run w/a friend, new garbage disposal installation), I was trying to figure out how to sneak some cardio in at home at 10pm. I went to bed instead, taking pride in the last 9 days I did walk for a minimum of 30 minutes. One day off is fine.

I'm excited the next week is going to bring about some change in my diet. We get to add in legumes and lean protein. I did break down and have an egg last Wednesday, it was a combination of things with the main feeling of intuition telling me, I NEED PROTEIN! One egg and that need was met. I'm not craving meat per say, but I am enjoying having lentils with dinner or black beans in my salad. I added chickpeas to a roasted vegetable dish of brussel sprouts, garlic, cauliflower, and beets. That mix was fabulous over some greens tossed in a simple olive oil and vinegar.


I am not craving dairy one bit. I'm not eating bread, so I don't want butter. I'm not having coffee, so I don't need milk. Occasionally I think about having cheese in my salad, but I am always content when I finish my meal. Wow?!? Speaking of bread, I would consider my self a bread fanatic, haven't given much thought about indulging in a piece. I have no carb cravings. This cleanse has brought fresh fruits and vegetables into a new light for me. A morning smoothie is filling, especially with an avocado or cashews in it. It feels good to be one week down and feel comfortable. I know I lost weight, I can tell. I did weigh myself with the Wii Fit last Wednesday and will only weigh myself on day 21. This isn't about losing weight for me, but it is something I've really been wanting. I'm already contemplating Day 22, how are these three weeks going to affect me?

Sharing some meals from the week, which is a great time to share, my husband is an outstanding cleanse partner. He cooked many of these meals (but not all of them). In this together, is a great place to be. I'm grateful for his support.

Fresh roasted potatoes, lentils (first legumes I had), fresh green beans, spinach, carrots, red peppers, garlic, portobello mushrooms, red onion. Kitchen sink meal du jour! 

Fresh pineapple, kiwi, blueberries over cashew and walnut "crust" (mixed in Cuisinart). 

Roasted brussel sprouts, garlic, beets, cauliflower just tossed in olive oil. Oven 400 degrees, 20 mins. Threw the chick peas in at the end to heat them up, served over greens. 

Roasted acorn squash, cabbage, greens, broccoli steamed for 4 minutes, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds. 

Green smoothie, collards, kale, mustard greens, pineapple, peach, mango, banana. 
Pineapple, blackberries, with unsweetened coconut, sunflower seeds. 

I feel nourished, how could I not?!? On with week 2...

Preschool Snack Bento

As it turns out, my youngest daughter that likes to graze all morning has been famished at school. She was trying to hit up the snack table twice in a morning, which is a no no. Her teacher requested I send an additional snack for her, in case she's hungry. Every morning, she seems to be hungry and comes home with an empty snack bento.

Please don't let this reflect on my breakfast selections, she eats breakfast. I promise!

granny smith apple sprinkled with lemon juice
sharp cheddar cheese

Saturday, January 7, 2012

THE Single Best Thing For Your Health [video]

A friend of mine, Christy, shared a link to a video (below) and it caught my attention. It struck a chord with me because I simply realized it was something I could achieve. I didn't need money for gym membership, I didn't need special equipment, I just needed to say yes.  If we think of our day as 24 hours, there's no way I can have an excuse to not dedicate 1/2 hour (or more) to my health. I mean there are still 23 1/2 hours left in the day.

So I took the video to heart, laced up my shoes on January 1st, and left my excuses back in 2011. Here's my record of how I've done this week so far, from my DailyMile profile. If you work out regularly it's a great place to record what you've been doing and also a great support system. Please join me.

Those workouts listed are in miles. A few of the days are hikes, which I prefer, but the trails are a crapshoot in the winter. The trails can be icy and snow packed in spots making them hard to navigate. Today I took to the sidewalks instead so I could be as efficient as possible with my time (got 5 miles in 1 hour completed). 

I know this video is 9 minutes long, but if you think of the 24 hours you have in one day, what's 9 minutes? It's less than 1% of your day. So watch it, let's change our lives...

Confession, I do love these white board style videos! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Classic Returns, Breakfast for Lunch!

I have no qualms with breakfast for dinner or better yet, breakfast for lunch! It's fun to put a twist on a plain old peanut butter and jelly with a waffle. Simple as pop in the toaster and go!

Organic blueberry waffle w/peanut butter & jelly
organic pretzel rods
granny smith apple

[Food Friday] Boulder's Best Cake Spot: Kim and Jake's Cakes

I truly love baking cakes for special occasions, but for my own birthday I leave the cake making up to my husband. Over the past year and a half, we've become loyal fans of Kim and Jake's Cakes because they are always whipping up something special.

Of course you will find classics on their menu such as Lemon, Red Velvet, Coconut, Vanilla and Chocolate. I'm also delighted by their Specialty cakes like Strawberry Margarita, Vindalicious, or Nut Brown Ale! This year I was invited to their Holiday Menu tasting and oh my goodness, let's just say the Egg Nog or the Cafe Brulot did not disappoint!

Why is Kim and Jake's my favorite go to Bake Shoppe in Boulder?

They are always accommodating, do you have dietary restrictions or allergies such as gluten free or vegan, no problem! I will admit, there's been last minute phone calls to Kim and they have always come through for us, they are super gracious in that way. I love the new and creative cakes Jake is constantly developing. Even though their classic cakes are delicious, the specialty cakes and seasonal menus open the doors to a world of possibility. I love that their baking inspiration is always evolving and I have been floored by the brilliant spice combinations Jake whips up. But by far my favorite reason for returning to Kim and Jake's time and time again is because they are incredibly friendly and always have a smile on their face. Our girls love all the special attention they get, every time we stop by. The love for what they do is contagious and it keeps us coming back.

If you decide to pop in for a visit, they always have a variety of cakes available, including cupcakes in the case. You can also find their cakes at a variety of local Whole Foods Markets. If you are looking for something specific, I suggest calling 48 hours in advance to guarantee what you want. Better yet, if you don't see what you are looking for on the menu, simply give them a call you will be surprised at what they can create for you.

This is just a little snippet of cakes that I've enjoyed. Please visit their Facebook page and website below to see the endless possibilities. I've been in awe of their beautiful creations, beyond the taste! 

Kim and Jake's Cakes
641 S. Broadway 
Boulder, CO 80305
(located in South Boulder near Neptune's Mountaineering on the East side of the shopping center)


Shoppe Hours:
Tuesday - Friday: 10-6
Saturday: 10-3
Sunday/Monday: Closed

Kim and Jake's Cakes Website
Facebook (you'll find lots of great photos there)

Disclaimer: We are customers of Kim and Jake's, this is not a sponsored post!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cleanse Update, When The Mind Desperately Wants To Control The Body...

Yesterday afternoon I felt like the walls were closing in on me. Even though I could look around my house and see at least 25 things to eat, it wasn't good enough. I had this extreme focus on everything I had been cutting out of my diet. Then after reflecting on my thoughts, I began to convince myself that it was too much. I mean who goes in one day and gives up caffeine, gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol, and all processed foods? I know the answer, lots of people do, but I felt rather lonely in this sea of cleansing. If I could just have some cheese I would feel better or some protein, that would do the trick. No rice, now I longingly wanted rice (may it be noted, I've never craved rice).

The bottom line is, on this cleanse I have no vices.

Feeling rebellious I downed a half of an avocado right out of the skin. That gently helped me off the ledge, the teetering ledge of just fixing myself a bowl of pasta with meatballs that I was cooking for the girls. Instead I powered through and ate a dish J had prepared the night before, grain free vegan lasagna. In the moment I felt very grateful I had a dish ready to go. Dinner was thinly sliced potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and kale layered in a baking dish. He topped it with a sundried tomato and olive oil sauce. I felt relieved that the dish was warm and had potatoes, it did comfort me a bit.

After dinner I had this strong and overwhelming desire to retreat to my bed, mind you at 6:15. The television playing on 17 was way too loud for me, I quickly noticed that J and I both have shorter tempers with the girls. I was moving slowly and even the glass of water on the table was blah. I was very cranky and started to google symptoms of sugar withdrawal, but simply realized that I could be having sugar, gluten, chemical, dairy, and caffeine withdrawal symptoms. While I feel lucky I haven't had any headaches or spent any morning in the bathroom, those foods leaving my system is leaving a different mark. I was clearly whining and complaining like someone I would imagine detoxing from harder substances. CLEARLY. I was jonesing for just one of the food groups I had given up. I was envisioning the ways that food group would make me feel satiated again. I am sure if I allowed myself just some cheese or a bowl of yogurt, I would've quickly convinced myself that a piece of toast or some crackers would go perfectly with it. Do you see where this is going?

I refrained.

There's some personal truths I've come to realize in these moments. I know this eating situation is only temporary, in just 3 short days I can start adding more foods back into my diet. I've already started seeing patterns of when I find myself wanting food to pass the time, not necessarily when I'm hungry. It's hard to not feel the stark realization when you are crunching on a piece of celery, it's loud and chewing is basically an olympic sport. There's no casual munch, munch on a handful of cheddar bunnies as I walk by the pantry, it's I'M CRUNCHING ON CELERY!!! Another truth I feel very grounded in, which may not align with the purpose of this cleanse, is that I have a hard time coming to terms with food is just fuel for our body. I really believe you can derive pleasure from cooking and eating healthy food. I don't necessarily think eating extremes are good for us (mentally and physically). I've felt this way for a long time, I live in Boulder the food extremist capital of the world. Really, food is a centerpiece of our lives. Food is nourishing not only to our bodies, but also fuels our minds. A mind that can become rather crabby when it doesn't receive the fuel it desires.

I woke to a smoothie today on day 4, when all I really want is a poached egg on a piece of organic whole wheat toast with some avocado. I realize clean eating is a way of life, a delicate balance of variety.  For now the variety has been waning, but I look forward to the next couple of weeks with the addition of foods, maybe it will enrich this experience.

How will this cleanse affect me after day 21? Only time will tell. I'm ready to have my back from up against the wall and feel more comfort when I walk down the hall towards the kitchen. Fearing food is not a way of life for me.
Related: A post written by my friend Connie about her Gluten Withdrawals this summer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Easy How To Turn Off In App Purchases on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch [Tuesday Tips]

All it takes is one moment of weakness, you hand your iPhone over to your child to keep them busy. Next thing you know, your bill arrives and you've purchased $39 in accessories for the FREE App that was keeping them busy. Your three year old was just happily tapping away and the charges were multiplying by the minute.

There's a very quick fix to protect against those free applications that have too many prompts to get you to upgrade or add on for a fee. Simply turn off "In App Purchases" in settings. The photos shown below are screen shots from my iPhone, I used the same method for my iPad, yours may vary slightly, but this should work.

Tap Settings, to find this screen. Scroll down a bit to General. Tap General.

Once in General, tap on Restrictions. As you see in the photo, my restrictions are set to OFF.

Scroll down and notice Restrictions > In-App Purchases. Button is set to On!

Scroll back to top, TAP Enable Restrictions. You may be prompted to create a restrictions passcode at this point. I was on my iPhone, but was not at my iPad. Just enter a 4 digit code you will easily remember.

Now simply go back down to the In-App Purchases button, turn it to OFF.

You're DONE! You may want to take a quick moment to see if you are protecting yourself in an application (a screen prompt should appear that says "You are not authorized to purchase from AppStore"). It has worked wonders for me and there's no more surprise on my bills anymore! You will have to disable the restrictions if you do choose to make a purchase within an application, just don't forget to turn it back on to stay protected. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Glimpse Into Whole Foods Cleanse Day 1 of 21

The quick backstory is that a friendly conversation about a 21 Day Cleansing article in Whole Living Magazine turned into a pinky swear which sealed the deal, four of us committed to how we would eat for the next 21 days. This is a whole foods cleanse, not to be confused with one that is all juice and supplements. We will be eating foods, they just have to be fresh! The six things we are giving up are all processed foods/drinks, alcohol, sugar, gluten, dairy, and caffeine. 

I will not be updating my meals daily, I will be doing a weekly recap. Of course with this being the first day, I am feeling energized to share how the day went. WEEK 1 emphasizes all fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and gluten free grains are added back in weeks 2 and 3. It's funny how this first day I was really nervous and focused many times through out the day on what I couldn't have. I felt lots of hunger pangs and the article discusses how this is normal and not a bad thing. I feel like there are days when I just mindlessly eat because I'm walking by the pantry or in the kitchen. There was no slice of cheese when I made my girls grilled cheese sandwich, nor was there even one nibble on their crusts. Hello, small triumphs! 


Two smoothies today for breakfast. The one on the left helps detox our organs, which is really why we are doing this. The green smoothie was simply collard greens, a granny smith apple, a banana, flat leaf parsley, and some water. The red smoothie was blackberries, 100% cranberry juice, and fresh grapefruit segments. The recipe called for an orange, but we didn't have one so we substituted grapefruit.

Mid morning snack: Good ol' banana. No photos, I apologize.

Last night Josh roasted a butternut squash with some garlic, carrots, onions just simply tossed lightly in olive oil. Today he turned those roasted vegetables into soup. The only thing that set it apart from how he normally makes it is that he didn't add any butter to richen the soup. Topped with some pumpkin seeds.

Did I miss the butter? No. Confession,  I was very hungry for lunch, so more grateful to eat than wishing for butter...

He also made a coleslaw inspired salad, red cabbage, carrots, red onion, red bell pepper, flat leaf parsley,  tossed in some olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and mustard. Topped with fresh avocado.

Mid Afternoon Snack: 4 turkish dried apricots with some fresh ground 100%  peanut butter. They were fabulous and totally hit the spot.

Sauteed greens (red chard) with red onion and red pepper. Fresh potato cut up into wedges and tossed lightly in olive oil, roasted in the oven. Salad of greens, tomato, cukes, avocado, red pepper. Dressing, we went with jarred, the flavor hit the spot, Annie's Goddess Dressing. It doesn't have any additives or preservatives.I really savored the potatoes. They were a hearty addition to the meal.

After Dinner Snack: a handful of cashews, about 14.

BONUS, Dessert! Raw Apple Pie! 

Cashews and walnuts pulverized with some water in our Cuisinart and topped with thinly sliced apples and cinnamon. No added sugar. It was delicious and I missed nothing from my usual quick fix of some type of prepackaged sweet (if we don't have baked goods in the house).

I drank 4 pint glasses of water today with a tablespoon of Organic Volcanic Lemon Juice in it. I like the taste and apparently your body enjoys the lemon as well. Win, win!

I did not drink any tea today, I decided to simply step away for the entire day. I'm sure I'll be adding green tea back in a couple of days.

Highlights? I have a husband that loves to be in the kitchen and is totally on board with this cleanse. He's done all the grocery shopping and prepared the food for today. I found after one day, I'm looking at food differently. Each meal which is nourishing my body is truly being savored. I'm not just eating to pass time. Lightbulb moment, priceless...

Last but not least. PHOTO DISCLAIMER, these were all shot with my iPhone. This is about the cleansing experience not setting up the perfect backdrop to make pretty pictures. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sometimes it's just one foot in front of the other...

I had a one foot in front of the other moment this afternoon. I was completely absorbed in front of the computer sorting through photos, finding missing audio files in my music library, and uploading some videos online. I think about how often I put those tasks off, but in the moment I realize how incredibly slow the process is. How simply sitting down for a few minutes turns into a few hours later.

At one point I headed outside for a walk. The wind had been whipping for the last few days and even though there was a chill to the air, the potential for upwards of 75MPH gusts was slim, so I simply bundled appropriately before heading out.

I randomly turned on a playlist just to check to see if the earbuds I was putting in were the ones that weren't broken (we have a pair floating around with no sound in the left side). The playlist I turned on was a Ben Harper album I don't listen to very often anymore, but for some reason I committed to it during my walk, rather than my usual upbeat Michael Franti. Ben's music makes me feel comforted, I've been feeling rather fragile the past few days and there's nothing like knowing the words to every single song that can wrap me up like a blanket of content.

I nixed the complaining about the cold weather and focused on Ben's words. "You're love is the warmest place the sun ever shines, my morning yearning".

If I am being completely honest, I didn't feel much like going for that walk, but I went anyway. Damn you lack of motivation it's JANUARY FIRST the most motivating day of the year. As I was walking home westwardly, the sun was slowly dropping behind the mountains. I had to take a quick moment to snap a photo of the cloud that was hovering right above the Rockies, being gently highlighted by a setting sun. I laughed appreciating Mother Nature's humor for all I could see was a trendy photo booth moustache made from a cloud. Maybe it was my reward for putting one foot in front of the other.