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A beach goal in sight!

16 Nov

Happy Friday!
I can’t believe that November is already going by so fast.  I turned on the radio to Christmas music already, malls are decked out for the holiday season, and I’ve been indulging in the holiday Salted Caramel Mocha at Starbucks a little too often lately.  Yup, I guess it’s that time of the year.  While I do love the holiday season, it’s hard to get motivated when my wardrobe consists of bulky sweaters, stretchy leggings, and huge coats.  Gain a pound here or there?  Add a layer.  Haha, this is definitely not how I want to be approaching this!

What I think I need is a strong dose of motivation.  Annnnnddd, suddenly this week I was given some!  A huge reason to stay motivated, and that is a trip to Cabo, Mexico!  We started an annual beach vacation with a group of close friends last year and promised to do a get away like this each year.  When the planning for the trip started a couple of months ago I wasn’t sure we’d be joining.  There was a big debate about our destination, prices, dates, etc.  Also, I was being reasonable by trying to save money.  But, when the final details were figured out the price was good and I knew we might regret not spending valuable time with our friends.  So, we’re back on board, tickets booked!

Mexico 2012, the annual vacation group

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2012

We are going the first week of February, so that leaves me 12 weeks to get to my goal weight.  I always do so much better with training plans and nutrition when I have an end goal.  I know that being healthy should be an everyday routine, but there’s something about scheduling my weeks for an event that helps me out.

This week went pretty well in terms of activity.  I had a much needed intense cardio session on Monday followed by a relaxing steam room session, cardio and weights Tuesday, missed my workout on Wednesday (boo!), 4 mile run on Thursday, and I have Bodypump today.  As long as I can keep this up through the holidays and eat well then I will be ready to hit the beach in my bikini in February!

CABO Mexcio 2013!

A Doggy Wedding Weekend- Telluride

26 Sep

You know those weekends that are just so good you don’t want to move on or believe that they’re over?  That was this past weekend for me.  I am almost depressed to know that it’s over!  As you know, Ed and I have been going to weddings like crazy this season.  We had just one more to attend before we could get back to “normal pre-wedding season weekends.”  I was most excited for this wedding though, not only was it Ed’s younger sister getting married, but her and her (now) husband, Josh, picked Telluride for their celebration.  Turns out they picked the perfect weekend.  Peak weekend in Colorado to see fall foliage and the colors changing, and the weather was awesome.

Telluride view- so many colors! Another reason to love living in Colorado

I had never been to Telluride (it is about a 6 hour drive from Denver), so I was excited to do some exploring.  My only plans were a little window shopping, hiking, and hanging out with the wedding party.  Somehow, our plans changed very quickly on Friday morning.  Ed headed up the mountain for rehearsal (we stayed right at the bottom of the gondola) and I got a call saying I needed to head up there.  The reason was that there was an adoption tent set up at the Farmer’s Market with dogs from Second Chance Humane Society.  Ed had his eye on a small, female black lab mix.  I spotted her playing with a volunteer and when I came over to the tent she jumped right into my lap.  After that I knew there was no way we were going home without her.  “Ethel” was about 11 months old, the shelter had found her and her litter abandoned and malnourished.  They rescued her and got her healthy again, so by the time we met her she had gained some weight and had a healthy, shiny coat.  After a quick interview we walked off with our new baby, which we immediately started to call “Hudson” instead.

Adopting Hudson from the Second Chance tent. So happy! 🙂

The rest of the day we spent walking around the mountain trying to get her acquainted to us and her surroundings.  She is pretty timid around new people and dogs, but she seems like she gets braver everyday and will get over that.  Luckily, the entire weekend was dog friendly and Krissi even invited Hudson to her 1st wedding!

New hiking buddy!

Hudson loves weddings, like me!

 

The actual wedding was Saturday evening on top of Telluride Mountain at the wedding deck.  The views were absolutely gorgeous.  I can’t imagine a better time of the year to get married up here.  The bride looked beautiful and the ceremony was short and very sweet and heartfelt.  I am already jealous of the pictures that these guys are going to have, they will be awesome.  After a short round of pictures we went back to the mountain house for dinner and dancing.  Such a fun night!

Wedding kiss!

Amazing backdrop…doesn’t get better!

 

We got to spend a lot of time with Ed’s family, which is always a blast, I got to spend time in one of my new favorite places in Colorado, and went home with the best little souvenir!  Definitely a weekend to remember.

Hudson “the mountain dog” ready to return to Telluride already!

Perfect song for the weekend: Telluride, Tim McGraw (love my country 🙂 )

Farm Fresh in KC

1 Aug

Anyone else having a rough time getting back into the swing of things this week?  I am in one of those slow Tuesday afternoon funks!  Maybe it’s because I am coming down from my high of such a great weekend.

I went to Kansas City, MO to visit two good friends that I met while I was studying abroad.  We have always lived in different states so while I really wish we were close it’s a great excuse to travel for a long weekend.  Since Australia we have done Boulder, Los Angeles, New York…and most recently…Kansas City!  Sounds exciting, no?  I’ll admit I was skeptical at first too.

The Big City! I mean…Kansas City!

Dianna and Michelle both are working with Americorps volunteering at an awesome organization called Harvesters which is a Community Food Network.  Not only is Harvesters a food bank, but they have volunteers that teach cooking and nutrition classes to kids, elderly, and low income groups.  So, after seeing the headquarters, I can’t say that I blame either of them for deciding to spend a year in Kansas City so that they can support this mission.

One thing that I was not expecting from KC was delicious food.  I know, I know, it known for some delicious BBQ, but I was going to visit two strict vegetarians.  So, I wasn’t necessarily including any ribs in my agenda.  But every meal I had was great and extremely fresh, considering the city is so central to so many farming states.  Friday we walked around The Plaza  which is a really nice commercial area.  The buildings are influenced by KC’s sister city, Seville, Spain.  Who knew?  We did a little window shopping/drooling over designer stores, then stopped for lunch at Classic Cup Sidewalk Cafe and I “indulged in a salad.”  Seriously though, this thing was decadent.  Over a bed of mixed greens and blackberries sat puff pastry wrapped asaparagus and brie yumminess.  AND pistachio brittle, mmmm.  Hey, I was on vacation so I am free to have candy in my salad, right?  Just hours later after saying “I am so stuffed I can never eat again,” we started our night off with an Italian feast at an adorable little nook called The Boot.  Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the KC foodie-ness.

Enjoying some vino with the girls

Since I don’t want to embarass myself too much and admit how many meals we really went to in one weekend, I will stop there.  They were good, nuff said.  But what really stood out to me and impressed me were the food trucks and farmer’s markets.  Denver is jumping onto the food truck bandwagon, and the trucks show up at events all over town, but in KC there were multiple choices waiting for late night eaters outside the bars.  We are not talking late night Taco Bell munchies here, people.  We are talking tacos and greek foods comparable to the streets of LA and Portland.  It’s just something that I love to support since most of the food trucks out there are friends or families following their dreams.  Also, we stopped by the historic farmers market- City Market on Saturday morning and it was great.  There were rows and rows of fresh produce, specialty honeys, jams, and salsas, flowers, pasta, you name it.  We sampled some tasty fruits and veggies while walking around and all I can say is yum!  You can tell that the close proximity to the farmers defintely pays off.  I would be spending some major time doing my weekly grocerty shopping there if I could.

Fresh produce at City Market

So, as far as healthy eating choices in KC…check!  As far as healthy exercising in KC….negative!  It was over 100 degrees everyday I was there.  Also, it is more humid than Denver which I am definitely not used to.  Since I was not heading to an air conditioned gym, we didn’t spend much time (other than walking around the city, which helps) exercising.  C’est la vie!

Julie

 

Chasing Waterfalls

16 Jul

This past weekend my boyfriend and I decided to get out of the city for a mountain getaway. We stayed at a condo in Vail for 3 days, and it was exactly the break I needed to rejuvenate. If you’re from Colorado you know what a beautiful state CO is in the summer, and if not you might be asking why go to Vail in July??

Lancelot’s for dinner. Vail is covered in pretty summer flowers right now!

Although you can’t shred any powder in the off season, there are still a lot of activities to do. Vail is known as a foodie mecca for famous chefs, so of course we had to indulge in some local fare. One night we had reservations for Lancelot and I had a farmer’s market heirloom tomato and feta salad that was fresh, simple, and amazing. They are typically known for their prime rib, which my boyfriend ordered and if you like meat, it was very juicy and satisfying. The second “special night” restaurant that we had reservations for was Sweet Basil where had the chef’s salmon and herbed butter special, yum! We also hit up some of the bars around Vail Village and Lion’s Head for live bands and local beer.

Riding on the Gondola to have a beer at the top of Vista Bahn.

After all those yummy indulgent meals, it was definitely time for me to burn some cals! My favorite way to be active is to find an activity that you enjoy- for me it’s hiking. I love being outside away from the normal stress of life/work/etc. (although my cell phone had great reception the entire time…so there goes that theory!). We decided to conquer Booth Creek Trail this weekend, and it did not disappoint.

Odds were not on our side when we arrived at the trail head. It was nearly noon (I was on vacation…I get to relax in the AM, right??!) and there were huge gray storm clouds looming overhead. Great. Ed was ready to throw in the towel already, but I insisted that we needed to get out and do something. So, onward we moved. About 2 miles up the trail are really beautiful waterfalls, so that was our starting goal. This was easier said than done. The trail was steep and very challenging, I had to keep up the morale for both of us. Alas, we made it to the water falls, took a break, and fueled up with some protein bars and water. Someone at this point told us about a scenic lake that was just about 2 more miles up the trail. So, at this point I said we needed to go up there. It was hard. It was really hard, and we were both drained. About 2.5 miles up, still searching for this lake, someone coming down tells us that it is actually another 3 miles from that point. Well, with no food or water left, energy low, and those storm clouds still following us, we decided that it was time to turn around. Going down was pretty easy, although we did have to sprint for about 5 minutes to the car because those clouds finally decided to drench us. Sitting in the car I was wet, exhausted, and completely happy because it was such a great hike! I definitely recommend it if you are in the area. We did a total of 8 miles and next time I would plan on doing the full hike to the lake.

We made it to the top of the waterfalls! 🙂

These kinds of vacations (or staycations) are my favorite because you get to see things in your state that you wouldn’t normal take the time to explore. Also, if I can combine good food and something active outdoors, then I’m in!