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Showing posts from March, 2011

200 Hikes Day 13: Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California

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Back in January I joked with an old friend that lives in Los Angeles that I WILL hike with her for one of my 200 Hikes in 2011. To my delight and surprise, I made that happen in one of the least expected places, Los Angeles. The day after we arrived, we hit the beach and after much shell hunting,  headed east to Griffith Park. There's an amazing observatory and a beautiful series of snaking trails that all have the famous Hollywood sign in the background. The views are breathtaking from the top.

The whole family joined in the adventure, my friend L's man, and her sweetie poodle Georgia Brown (a must have Los Angeles family member). I am happy to report, everyone did fabulously! May I add, hiking at sea level is such a treat.

Now, I have this photo to remember the day, certainly frame worthy:

Upgrade My Mac & Cheese, Yes Please!

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A couple of weeks ago when my husband was traveling in remote parts of British Columbia, I was graciously offered some comfort food in the comfort of my home. Meaning, a delivered meal to feed the girls and I. My parents just happened to be in town as well and I can't quite recall what project my father and I were elbow deep in, but I clearly remember when the door bell rang how incredibly excited I felt that dinner had arrived. To tell you the truth, I am sure my mom was even more thrilled because she cooked for us all week. She likes to spoil us like that, there's no replacing my mom's home cooking, or so I thought.

On to the Mac & Cheese...
We are no strangers to Noodles' Mac & Cheese, it's what the girls order every time we walk in the door. Even when I was pregnant I had cravings for the Mac & Cheese with broccoli and chicken. Really their classic Mac & Cheese can't be beat, but Noodles decided to kick it up a notch. For a limited time they a…

Oh How I Love Traveling...

The act of traveling I don't quite love, the sweaty palms on airplanes, the inability to pay attention on long car rides, and the packing. Sigh, I always forget something. I just had a dream the other night that I went on a trip with my girls and we arrived with no luggage at the airport, so I raced back home to pack because I had one hour before my flight left. Which makes entirely no sense. I'm not quite sure how to interpret that one. 
I will actually be traveling twice in the next few weeks. A family trip and a solo trip, with both of my destinations being on the west coast. Seattle and Los Angeles, here I come. 
After deciding to sell our house last year, our summer was instantly consumed by preparing our house for the market. Then when Fall arrived, we were packing, moving, and settling into our new home. There wasn't much time for a leisurely escape when so much change was happening. We often talk about how we missed not going on vacation last year. Moving was certain…

It's Spring Break, Green Smoothie Time!

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We are on Spring Break, so I have some extra leisurely time in the morning and I love making smoothies (experimenting with different fruits and veggies). Even though they don't take very long, I seem to always be crunched for time on school mornings to make a smoothie. Typically I will make them for an after school snack instead.

From bottom up:

Frozen blue kale (from WholeFoods)
Orange juice
strawberries
blueberries
peaches
banana
dollop of vanilla yogurt
no sweetener (mother nature takes care of that)

House Guests and Lots of House Work!

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The last time I updated was the night before my husband went on a long business trip. He was in a remote part of British Columbia with no cell service and was flying in a helicopter daily, which means if he didn't call me I had no idea that he was back at the lodge safe every night. Let's just leave it at, he's not so great at calling, so I spent much of the week trying to distract myself from worry.  Lucky for me, my parents came to visit to help me out with the girls and around the house. We got so much accomplished.


I had a lot of little things that needed taking care of, I started a list on the chalkboard and we kept on updating it as we finished projects.

This is what we accomplished:

Balance the washing machine, my whole house shook during the spin cycle because it wasn't properly balanced. If your washer does that, get out a level and adjust the feet until it's centered.Adjust the front door lock. Something so little, but annoying. My key was so hard to unloc…

The Fresh Bento

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My 7 year old is a great eater, so I can pack whatever fresh produce we have and she loves it. This is a bento, I'd eat in a heartbeat.

Clockwise from top:
orange,
strawberries, blackberries, raspberries,
ww organic tortilla, sharp cheddar quesadilla,
broccoli, tomato, cuke, greens salad

little container: organic ranch

Packed in a Laptop Lunch!

Preschooler Bentos, Sandwich Alternatives

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I've had house guests and a traveling husband, so not much time for updating on Colorado Bento! But the good news is, I've been updating bentos I pack on Instagram (a photo sharing application for the iPhone) so I have photos of bentos I've been packing for my 4year old. If you are on IG, my user name is EatPlayLove, i'd love to connect with you.

My 4 year old isn't much for sandwiches, she will eat them, but I find she requests something other than a sandwich very often.





Applegate Pepperoni (she loves pepperoni),
tortilla chips,
vintage sharp cheddar,
blood orange,
tomatoes,
and veggie booty!






Whole wheat tortilla w/sharp cheddar,
broccoli,
carrot flowers and organic ranch,
pear,
pepperoni!

200 Hikes Day 11 & 12

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We've had some gorgeous weather and I was able to get out for a few hikes to decompress in between house projects and an early Saturday morning soccer game!



I have to admit, I love remembering the day with a photo. On the left I had wonderful company (always better than hiking alone). To the right, the sunshine was fading fast, but I was able to get a good hike in that afternoon). Thanks daylight savings!

2nd Grader's Hearty Fresh Bento

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Cheese and tomato sandwich on ww bread.
Blackberries
Red pepper
Cucumber
avocado
Gogo Squeez applesauce
one thin mint

Swelling With Pride

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Last Friday report cards were sent home. I personally couldn't wait for Sj to hand it over so I could see how she is progressing. Having been an elementary school teacher I understand the necessity of report cards, but also take into consideration that it isn't the whole picture of how Sj is doing in second grade, it's one measure. Beyond reading through all the sections of the report card (3 printed pages), it's three years later and I am still trying to wrap my brain around the grading system. Or lack of grades. There are numbers coupled with either a check, plus, or minus for smaller bullet points. Gone are the A's, B's, C's, D's, and F's.

Most appropriately to top off report cards, tonight we had parent teacher conferences. It feels as if it's all coming at us at once! While it's hard to anticipate what exactly is going to come up in a private conference, I pretty much didn't expect anything surprising to come out. I, being her mothe…

I Thought I'd Never... Ski?!?

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Thank you to P&G’s Have You Tried This Yet? program and Kroger for sponsoring my writing about trying new things and breaking out of my everyday routine. Click here to find great savings on high-performing P&G products at a Kroger store near you. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


I'm not quite sure where to start with my story. First, let me begin with my husband makes a living in the ski industry, he's passionate about skiing and snowboarding and has been hitting the slopes since he was a young boy. He travels the world to find the best snow and resorts under the sun. One would naturally assume that being his wife and living in Colorado, where the skiing is world renown right in our backyard, that I am a skier as well.

Well, I'm not. 

In my twenties I tried snowboarding a couple times a season, but honestly it was so much work to feel successful or let's just admit it, even comforta…

Maybe If I Write It Down...To Do List or Is It To Try List? (and haircut update)

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Most nights before bed, I remind myself tomorrow is a new day. Seize the day! Sometimes my follow through is fabulous and other times, I don't quite accomplish what I had hoped to, so it's tomorrow is a new day (aka I'm disappointed in myself). Mainly I'm referring about my to-do list or personal goals, like hiking or eating healthy.

Today I thought, maybe if I write it down, I'll have a better chance at follow through. So here's a list of thoughts swirling through my head, things I believe will make me feel more accomplished, when I lay my head on the pillow at night.


House, picked up, dishes done, laundry put away, toilets scrubbed, beds made. Immaculate, no. Harmony, yes. Baby steps. Internet, time limits. Do I need to say more? I've got until 9am, then it's focus around the house time. FB to get my attention only once per day. Laptop, out of sight out of mind? iPhone, well that's a completely different animal. For some reason, I've decided to…

Winner: Noodles & Co Bowls!

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The winner of the Noodles & Co coupons for 2 free bowls was:

The Parsons Family!

I'll be mailing your coupons this week.

(comments closed)

200 Hikes Day 9 I Return To Identify The Pricker Culprit & Day 10 Tanktop Hike In March

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The first free day I had, after the annoying pricker in my bottom incident, I returned to the trail to identify the culprit. I believe it's some form of Prickly Pear Cactus. Rumor has it, they make good jam. I'm sure I'd feel much satisfaction putting that puppy into a Cuisinart and hitting pulse for like 5 minutes. I've also learned they have those nasty pokey spines because they are full of water and that's how they protect themselves from being eaten. But once again, I have Wusthof knives and a Cuisinart. Bwahaha.  No cacti were harmed in the writing of this post. 


One of the downfalls of warm weather in February or March is that it typically comes with strong winds. For some reason when I hit the trail, it was a sweet spot in the afternoon and the sun was intensely shining, the wind dramatically decreased. I had to hike in my tank top because I was sweating on the trail in my long sleeve t-shirt. For some odd reason I felt compelled to trail run the way back down…

Why I Adore Noodles & Company: Fast, Fresh, & Healthy! Bonus, 2 Noodle Bowls To Giveaway!

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Noodles and Company was founded in Boulder back in 1995, but opened it's first location in Cherry Creek, Denver. Shortly after with such success in Cherry Creek, they opened in Boulder. J and I quickly became fans because we were vegetarians at the time and didn't have to worry about fish or chicken stock sneaking into our meal. Did you know we were very strict vegetarians for over 10 years? Oh, the good old days.

Fast forward to fifteen years later and we still adore Noodles & Company (the company came from the addition of soups, salads, and sandwiches to the menu). Noodles has turned into our go-to for a quick and healthy meal on a week night, when the last thing I want to do is cook and everyone is starving. Lucky for me, there's a location within 5 miles from my house and it's always the girls top pick when I ask them where they'd like to eat.

My favorite things about Noodles & Company:

Each meal is made fresh, to our liking. The girls always request add…

Tuesday Tips: How To Create A Circle Chalkboard Wall Feature With Paint!

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I had a huge empty wall that simply had a wire with clips to rotate out a display of the girls' artwork, postcards, or anything we were finding visually pleasing. I felt like it needed something, so I decided to create a chalkboard feature on the wall using chalkboard paint. Of course I didn't just want to make a simple rectangle, I wanted a circle. I set out to find a resource online of how to make a 6 foot circle with chalkboard paint on my wall, but came up empty handed.

Basically I just had to go for it. There was no way to make a huge stencil for the circle. I decided I was going to paint it by hand, and if I wasn't happy with how the outer edge turned out at that point I could turn it into a rectangle. Tips and tricks after the photos!

Here are the visuals of my process:

Tips and Tricks:
During the pencil drawing stage, double check the placement of your circle and make sure you are happy with it. I actually erased mine so it would be centered better in between the wire…