attempting to // pack, clean, shop, wrap, and cook before the upcoming holidays. 

excited about // the many yoga opportunities I've found; a free class every Sunday night and a weekly class taught at my workplace too.  I feel like I'm getting stronger each time I see my mat.  It's a great feeling!

listening to // There's No Leaving Now by The Tallest Man on Earth

loving // all the Christmas cards that landed in our mailbox this week.  When I was little, my parents received so many cards from their friends and I thought it was the coolest thing.  Now, us kids are somehow adults, sending our own holiday cards to each other with photos, announcements, and well wishes.  It makes me smile. 

hating // the news of Sandy Hook Elementary and the loss of so many young lives.  I still can't wrap my head around it, but I feel heartbroken and confused and very angry. 

looking forward to // Christmastime with our family and friends in Oklahoma.  It's always good to go back home, to receive all those hugs you look forward to for the year and laugh till your belly hurts. 

reading // the first book of yet another YA Trilogy, Birthmarked... surprise, surprise!

stumbled upon // a tutorial for painted wine glasses that I gifted to a friend for Christmas last night.  A pretty simple DIY that was definitely well received. Who doesn't want to drink wine out of confetti glasses?

watching // Homeland, I can't say it enough.  The season 2 finale on Sunday was WILD.  And word on the street is that you can catch up on both season for free On Demand between January 11-13 Talk about a weekend marathon.

spending time // bundled up in front of our (electric) "fire" place with as many as layers on as possible.  It's cold, y'all!


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

It started snowing in the metro area late last night and has yet to stop.  It's a little winter wonderland outside and I couldn't be more excited about it.

We leave for Oklahoma pretty soon... it has some catching up to do if we're going to have a white Christmas this year.

Snow, snow, snow! 


Churchill & Of Monsters and Men & Fun.

Live music is my thing.  My jam.  My happy place.

A friend told me about Of Monsters and Men earlier this year and I haven't been able to pull away from their album, My Head is an Animal.  Since Spotify has been around, it's noted that this band is one of my top played artists.  I love their quirky lyrics and big sound; they remind me a lot of Arcade Fire, so when I heard they would be in town, I immediately bought a ticket, no question.

I haven't been to a large concert like this in a really long time.. all ages, big arena.  It's not the exact setup I desire for live music, but I had to see this band, with kiddos and all.  (Though one girl next to me, probably 15 years old or so, said I looked like the lead singer.  I was flattered, I can't lie.)

Fun. was headlining and Churchill, a local Denver band, opened for Of Monsters and Men.  I hadn't heard many songs from Fun. besides their 2 big radio hits, both of which I enjoy a lot, but never put much more thought into them.

Of Monsters and Men were just as incredible as I hoped for, but you know what, Fun. absolutely stole the show for me.  And that's saying a lot, especially since I didn't even go for the headliner.  I couldn't believe how insanely good they were and the lead had this absolutely positive and enthusiastic aura about him.  Also, maybe the most beautiful person I've seen in real life.  I don't even know, he was movie star status lovely.  And smiled a whole bunch. 

I left at midnight, utterly exhausted from dancing the night away.  Went to a friend's house until 3am, and then finally hit the hay.  One of the best night's I've had in a long time.

Concerts feed my soul, I fell asleep that night feeling very full. 


Breaking Dawn Part 2

That's right, I saw the new Twilight flick


And I liked it a whole lot.  It's sort of the best one (we're talking movies, not books.. don't get me started on the book).

Seriously though, if you haven't already, go see this one.  Or go again, it's just as good.

Happy Friday!


Santa Claus Pub Run

Another weekend, another Living Social bargain.

This past Saturday was the Santa Claus Pub Crawl.  For a small fee, we received a Santa hat, drink coupons, and were set free to visit a handful of bars downtown.  My friend Ethan was visiting and I thought it would be the perfect Saturday afternoon spent, running around Denver with 300+ people in Santa outfits.  I mean, why not?

It was a grand ol' time.
As always, we decided to step up the costumes next year! 


Peppermint Sugar Scrub

Another DIY post!  Look at me go! 

You guys, I know sugar scrubs aren't the latest and greatest thing around (cough, Pinterest, cough) lately, but when I drew my Secret Santa for Book Club I knew I wanted to take that opportunity to make a sugar scrub for her.  We set the limit at $10, which was just enough to find a cute jar at Michaels (with a 50% off coupon), a scoop from World Market, and to buy all the ingredients at Sprouts.

There are many variations, but with careful research, I went with this festive recipe:

I simply took two cups of white granulated sugar and mixed in a 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of coconut oil.  Add the oil slowly till you have a nice soft consistency that is soft but not too oily.  Then add a few drops of peppermint essential oil. 

For the two contrasting colors, I split the mixture in half and used a little strawberry juice to make one part pink. Then I alternated between the pink and white in the mason jar.

And I always think that good packaging can go a really long way, especially if it's a homemade gift.  So, I printed a cute lil' label, tied twine around the body (okay, Ryan did this part!), and added a tag.

I had a little left over so I threw the extra in a recycled jelly jar for me to keep in the shower area.  I really love this scrub!  It smells like Christmas and it feels so nice too.

(note: the original sugar scrub recipe with 3 other variations, go wild!)
(another note: I didn't finish our book club pick - Cloud Atlas, so sad)



Wow, a big hello to year 28!  This birthday really sneaked up on me, but in such a good kind of way.

This past year quickly moved along with very little change or big events.  Though it seems to have progressed faster than ever, without me even realizing.  Looking back and now really thinking about it, I feel that's a sure sign of happiness. When you don't even notice the seasons are changing because there's this magic in the air, and it's constant. 

Right now I can look into a mirror and know the person staring back; for this brief moment in time, I understand myself more than ever and especially know who I want to be and who I don't want to be. It's only me taken 27 years and I'm positive the clear understanding will be fleeting, but I'm quite okay with that.  Last year will be forever known as a time of reflection and realization of my true desires.  So as complicated as I think know I am, it's a really exciting time. 

Here's to 28, may it be even better than the years before it.  With that being said, it has some pretty. big. shoes. to fill.


A look back at 26 & 27


Hey, I made a yoga bag!

Remember when I asked you all to vote on some fabric for me for my next sewing project?  Well, I finally made my decision and choose Mind's Eye with most of you! Once the fabric arrived, I couldn't be happier.  It did really look "yoga-y", perfect for my new bag.

I found this tutorial on Pinterest and went for it.

Step 1: I first measured the bottom of my mat, finding the width of my mat was 4 1/2", so I grabbed a bowl to trace that was just the perfect size and cut.

Step 2: Measure your mat. Use the dimensions of your mat and add 4-1/2” inches to get the length (1/2” for seam allowance & 4” for the top drawstring loop) and add 3-1/2” to the circumference to get the width (1-1/2” for seam allowance & 1” to allow room for your mat to slide in and out).  My fabric measures 28-1/2” L x 16-1/2” W.

Step 3: Press the seams wrong side facing up, a ½” seam along the length of the fabric. Also press a 2” seam along the top.

Step 4: Sew the top, straight across the 2'' seam.

Step 5: Working on the right side of the fabric, pin the webbing strap to the fabric. The bottom strap should be 2” from the bottom & the top strap should be 1” from the top seam. After you pin, be sure to put the bag over your shoulder, or however you plan to carry, and make sure the straps are at the right length. Sew the two sides together, this will encase the straps.  

Step 6: Probably the hardest part about the whole bag is sewing the circle piece to the bottom.  Still working with your bag inside out, pin the circle piece around the bottom of your bag, pin, and sew.  It's not the prettiest, but it'll do.

 Step 7: Turn your bag inside out and marvel!

And what's a good Pinterest story without the embarrassing mess-ups?  1.) I sewed my 2'' opening completely shut so there's no hope for a drawstring (good thing my mat is snug as a bug inside it's new case and won't easily fall out). 2.) I didn't measure the strap, so once I sewed it to the bag, flung it over my shoulder, the bag hung way to low to be able to ride my bike with the yoga mat bag on my back.  So like a crazy person, I just cut the strap in half.  A not-so-easy, but less crazy option, would have been to rip the seams holding the straps and resew the side of the bag.  I sort of couldn't believe I just cut it!  But I tied a knot at the bottom and then safety pinned the knot to secure; the bag hangs just right on my bag, though a little hodgepodge-like. 


The View

We spent all Thanksgiving week/end at the ski condo with friends.  We had a little friendsgiving dinner on Thursday night, played a rousing game of Catch Phrase, went Black Friday shopping, and skied a few days in there as well. 

On Saturday, all of our friends had left and Ryan had to work, so I had the condo.. and this amazing view... all to myself. 

Even though I missed spending the holiday with our families, it was a nice, relaxing weekend in the mountains!


Saturday Morning

Our Saturday mornings are slow moving these days.  The light is shining ever-so brightly through the crack in the curtains, just begging us to go outside, but we refuse.  Ryan usually makes us an omelet, Zia is chasing squirrels in the backyard and Penny, typically, is still asleep in the chair in our living room.  She'll eventually look up at us, as if she's saying loudly that we are interrupting her beauty sleep.  I stay in my pj's well into the afternoon.  We relax.

The weekdays seem so busy these days; I have found myself looking forward to these lazy Saturday mornings where it feels like we have all the time in the world together.


On our scren lately: Documentaries (surprise surprise)

First Position - I must say that this documentary made me love the Aussie TV show, Dance Academy all over again.  First Position is centered around one of the biggest competitions in the ballet world -- the Grand Prix, which is where Dance Academy ended it's second season.  

This documentary follows the lives of 6 young dancers, their training schedules, support systems, family values, and relationships with other dancers (2 are bf + gf, and they are quite adorable and encouraging with each other).  

These kids are amazing, in every sense.  They have such a strong passion for dance and work incredibly hard to achieve their goal of working within a company.  

Really enjoyed this one!

No Impact Man - An ambitious project of a young family living in New York City to change their lifestyle in hopes to benefit of the environment and their overall carbon footprint.

For 1 year... they switched to cloth diapers, ate local & seasonal food, got rid of their personal vehicle, and eliminated any extra waste (no take out, ending magazine subscriptions, buying milk in reusable bottles, shopping in bulk bins at the grocery store, old clothes for rags instead of paper towels, etc. etc.).

I wish everyone would watch this documentary.  Not to necessarily jump on board with such an ambitious 1 year goal (though if so I would support you wholeheartedly), but to educate yourself about the environment and our huge HUGE impact on it, and then to take on any changes you feel you possible.  Every little bit helps, every individual can do something, and from my experience, the changes have a domino effect.. and that's a very good thing for all of us.  "Is it possible to have a good life without wasting so much?"

Any good documentaries you've seen lately?


Oh my my how beautiful.

Crazy enough, we spent most of our time indoors this weekend...
  • A friend and I tried a new restaurant, Jelly U.  Of course we had to split jelly filled doughnuts after our already huge meal.  All said things were delicious.  
  • Ryan's family came into town and cooked us quite the feast. 
  • Nothing says 'Thanksgiving' like a Tofurky.. am I right?
  • Yes, Christmas lights and trees.  Already.
  • After walking Zia, I treated myself to a cafe' con leche.
  • Many hours basking in those beautiful sun rays.  
  • Listening to Jason Mraz.  A whole lot.  (thanks for that, Val)
  • Breaking Dawn: Part 2 -- whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.  



"I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter. We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love. For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves."
James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves


Holiday Crafts: Part 2

...and then right after we finished the pom poms, we started on some snowflakes.

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Parchment Paper
  • Glitter
  • Scratch paper/Sharpie
  • Soapy water
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush

We sketched a basic snowflake design onto scratch paper.  Then placed a piece of parchment paper over the drawing to trace in hot glue.  Before you start gluing though, dab your finger into a cup of soapy water and lightly smear it along the paper, this supposedly helped with the glue (not) sticking to the paper (we're not sure if it really did anything, but never had problems, so we kept it up).

Trace over your snowflake template with the hot glue, let it dry for a few minutes, and peel the snowflake away from the paper.

I do not have the "touch" for hot gluing in a straight line, so Claire took the reins on this part.  The snowflake below was my best one too.. ha!  She continued to use her original template, but changed each design slightly so they would all look a bit different. 

Once the hot glue dries, paint your snowflake with Mod Podge, give it a glitter bath, and marvel at your creation!

We don't have a tree up yet (gasp), but once we do, I think I'll tie a piece of string around one of the snowflakes arms to make an ornament.  Another idea is to string the snowflakes together to make garland and hang from a window.  Either way, this is a really easy project... that involves glitter.  You can't go wrong. 


Holiday Crafts: Part 1

After the aquarium, a trip to Ikea, and a scenic drive to the mountains, we spent the rest of our weekend indoors crafting. First up was pom pom garland.

    •  Knitting yarn
    • Scissors
    • Fishing line

    Step 2 is super important -- tie that string really really really tight and knot it.  That way, when you take the puff off the fork to cut the sides, it will all stay in tact.

    I learned this the hard way, many puffs didn't make the first round...

    Puffs down!  Puffs down!

    It took a few tries, but we got the hang of it in no time.

    For larger puffs, my friend Claire used a spatula instead of the fork, which worked really well.   I'm a sucker for little things, so I stuck with the fork method. 

    The fishing line worked so well for this project too.  When stringing the puffs, the line was so thick it went right through.  And when hanging the puffs, it looks like they are floating! 



    attempting to // pick out fabric for my next project!  Decisions, decisions. 

    excited about // my dear friend and her little one coming to Denver to spend the whole weekend with us. 

    listening to // The Civil Wars, wishing they didn't have "internal discord and irreconcilable differences", because I'm dramatic like that.  Seriously, what?!

    loving // the snow capped mountains I see on my way home from work.  It reminds me of the first time I saw them from our window shortly after we moved to Denver.  It was like Christmas.  Still is.

    hating // yard work.  Now that we live in a house with a gigantic maple tree, we've been raking and raking and raking those fallen leaves. 

    looking forward to // Thanksgiving(!) x3.

    reading // our next book club pick, Cloud Atlas.  It's a tough one to get through so far.  Though I'm excited to finish so I can go watch the film. 

    stumbled upon //  yet another Tumblr.

    watching // the TV show, Homeland.  You should definitely check it out.  Well, if you like psych thrillers.  Super good!

    spending time // in my flannel, curled up on the couch with a blanket and a cup (or two) of hot chocolate.  I've been pretty lazy at home lately, and it's been oh, so nice.


    Denver at Night

    It's getting dark so early these days.  This is what 5:30 looks like... 5:30!  Daylight savings time always boggles my mind, and body, a little bit. 

    But with these shots of dusk came dinner at one of the best eateries, Watercourse.  And a date night with my favorite can make anyone forget about the fact that lately, they to go to bed at 7.