Feb
03

People who don’t know about Colorado think that Denver is a snowy, wintry mess and they snub it due to their lack of knowledge. Honestly, I didn’t know much about Denver’s awesome weather before I got here, and I almost don’t want to tell people about how awesome the weather is here because there are already too many people moving to this city! (LITERALLY, there aren’t even enough homes to house all the people that are moving here, it’s crazzzzy)

North Table Mountain

North Table Mountain

These photos were taken at North Table Mountain (which is about 20 mins from my new home) in January, the dead of winter.

Sure, the mountains get a lot of snow during the wintery months, but down here in the foothills we get very mild weather – a lot of 60’s and 70’s days, and on the day these photos were taken, 80’s. We were in tank tops and we were WARM.

North Table Mountain

The photo above shows the Denver skyline, from atop the mountain. 

North Table Mountain

North Table Mountain

You can see snow on this mountain, it sits on the side of the mountain that doesn’t get much sun. And sure, we get snow in Denver but it disappears within a day or two. It lasts just long enough to justify a “snow day” and hang out by the fireplace… then it’s back to the outdoors the following day.

North Table Mountain

My friend Samantha just moved to Colorado from Georgia. A she was planning her trip out here, her friends told her she needed an SUV, 4 wheel drive, and chains for her tires. It made me laugh, simply because many people really have no idea how good we have it here in Denver.

North Table Mountain

North Table Mountain

I’ve been sick the last two weeks (cold, flu, bronchitis, or a sinus infection – who knows) and I tend to avoid doctors and medicine. I just can’t bring myself to take a lot of medicine, so I don’t. Instead, I rest, drink lots of water, and allow myself some fresh mountain air. 

Although I felt much better after getting off the couch and becoming one with nature the day we took these photos, I am still waiting to kick this illness….

While many of my friends in the midwest figure out how to dig themselves out of the snow today, I’ll be out enjoying a Coloradical 65 degree, sunny day at the park with my doggie.

North Table Mountain

Love

Crista


Nov
12

A few days ago, I got an e-mail explaining the final steps of my home purchase – that’s right, I’M BUYING A HOME. In Colorado. I thought I’d NEVER buy a home simply because up until this point I was never satisfied enough to plant roots. BUT, this is Colorado. Home. It’s good here. I think I was sent here to stay for a very long time. Shit is about to get real.

When I loved in Chicago, I was in a hurry to get things done, oh I rushed and rushed until life was no fun.
((“all I really wanna do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why”)) 
Yeah, it’s a song. you probably know it. Relatable to my life prior to my CO move. 
Colorado has taught me to slow down and enjoy life.

Everyone asks (jokingly) if I moved to Colorado because of legalized marijuana… which is weird because I’ve had never wanted anything to do with it my entire life. When people ask me that silly questions, I tell them “No, I moved to Colorado because it’s socially acceptable to drive a Subaru there.” They get all confused and shut up then. 

Rocky Mountains

My new home is further west of where I currently live, near the Highlands area which means easier (than ever) access to the MOUNTAINS !! Literally, a 20 minute drive puts me in the foothill. Yeeeeeeeeah babyyyyyy!!!

Deer Creek CanyonRed Rocks

On top of that, Red Rocks amphitheater is only 25 minutes away. Do you know about Red Rocks? It’s incredible – it’s a musicians DREAM to play there. And it’s my dream to see all of my favorite musicians there ((which is coming true)). During the day, the amphitheater is an outdoor gym – I can hardly keep up with the fitness fanatics in Colorado, but it sure is inspiring to watch them all. Walking up the steps to the amphitheater still takes my breath away (I’ll blame it on the altitude).

yoga-on-the-rocks

Oh, and – Yoga On The Rocks at Red Rocks – 

Beet Box Denver

Beet Box is the very first vegan restaurant cafe/restaurant and I wasn’t mad about it. Do you see that cinnamon roll? Served with a side of buttercream frosting, and I’m sitting on Cloud 9. I don’t go to Beet Box often enough, I need to get there again soon. Very soon.

steamboat springs, co

Luckily I met an awesome guy in Colorado (boyfriend!), he took me to Steamboat Springs to fall in l-o-v-e. We didn’t take many photos during that trip because we were busy relaxing, napping, and bathing in the hot springs. As a bonus, Jason Aldean & Luke Bryan own a restaurant in the Springs that we (OF COURSE) went to for some pre-dinner moonshine. Couldn’t eat dinner there, steakhouse (idk).

 

Glenwood Springs, Colorado 

That same awesome guy rode took a trip to Glenwood Springs with my dad & I. We didn’t do much, besides enjoy the mountains and hike Hanging Lake. You see, living in Colorado is cool because you can take a “vacation” in your own backyard – in 3 hours, I can be in a location where people spend their life savings to vacation at.

palisade-peaches

Near Glenwood Springs is a little town called Palisade. In Palisade, there are several wineries, vineyards, and fruit trees. Some of the best peaches I’ve ever had come from Palisade. I feel like no one knows about Palisade peaches besides Coloradans. All the more reason I feel lucky to be a Coloradan.

starter plants from Farmers Market

I got all of my starter plants for the garden at the Boulder Farmers Market this year. While the Boulder Farmers Market isn’t the most amazing farmers market I’ve ever been to, it may be the most adorable. Plus, it’s in Boulder, you couldn’t ask for a better location.

waterfalls, colorado

Oh, in between Red Rocks i Morrison and this cute little mountain town called Evergreen, there are waterfalls rolling down the mountain. It’s a pretty sweet little drive between the two towns. After hiking a trail at Red Rocks, my mom and I went up to Evergreen to visit a winery …(duh)…. When I talk about these waterfalls, I feel like I’m straight up bragging – I’ve never lived so close to a waterfall in my life.

North Table Mountain // Golden, CO

Those are real, legit cowboys. On top of North Table Mountain. Seriously, cowboys. On horses. and a cute little dog. Oh, and that view. My life is complete.

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

I have a friend whose family visits Estes Park a few times a year, and they spend a pretty penny doing it. I get to drive to Estes Park whenever I feel like it. I can hike all day, have a few beers at a local brewery, and still be home in time for dinner. Oh, and I don’t have to spend much money doing it. 

Mt. Evans, Colorado

One of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life is hike to 14,000 feet. It was not an easy task, however a satisfying one. On the way up, I told myself that I’d never volunteer to do such a thing again. After a few days of recovery, and reflection, I was anxious to do it again. There are 54 fourteeners in Colorado, and I’d love to climb them all (we’ll see how that goes….) and if all goes well, I’d love to climb Mount Kilimanjaro some day….

I could give you a million more reasons why I love Colorado, I’ve even blogged about some of them but I’ll stop here. I feel like I’m bragging. I can’t help it, I’m smitten with my new life.

Love

Crista


Oct
15

swan lake road / dillon reservoir

As the sun began it’s journey to the west side of the mountains, I couldn’t help but drive up to Swan Lake Road and perch myself on the side of the mountain to catch those last rays of sunshine for the day.

Beautiful, how the clouds meld into the snow-capped mountains, and allow the persistent rays of light to rigidly shine through.

dillon reservior / breckenridge

swan lake road / breckenridge

breckenridge / lake dillon

swan lake road / lake dillon

swan lake road / lake dillon

breckenridge / snowy mountains

I’m in the mountains for a few days this week, a work-related trip. I went to Aspen for the first time yesterday. The fall colors are GORGEOUS up there – the most vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds I have ever seen., I didn’t get any photos unfortunately, but I wish I had.

Today, I’m going to do a quick hike in Glenwood Springs before heading back home…. My eyes crave more candy…

Love

Crista


Oct
09

Today, it rained, and rained, and then rained some more. While I was chilly and felt “wet” all day long, I was thankful that the garden got some good ole’ rain water – it seems to have a different effect on the garden than hose water does – in a good way.

My garden is still producing a variety of peppers, tomatoes, and herbs but I’m not sure how much longer it’s going to last. My tomato plants are looking pathetic, some have died off due to whiteflies. The pepper plants are still holding on strong, and the herbs are doing the same. My broccoli, kale, and cabbage are all infested with aphids. I never did figure out how to get rid of them. I will definitely have to fight harder against them next year now that I know they’ll be a problem. Sigh. 

Because of the approaching end-of-season, I made sure to take some photos of the garden – they very well could be the last photos taken of the garden this year.

garden tomato

garden cherry tomato

garden amana orange tomato

garden cherry tomato

garden tomato

As you can see, I’ve still got a variety of tomatoes growing. I picked a bunch earlier in the week to make a Pink Pesto (recipe coming soon!) and another batch of Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette. I probably won’t use either one of them right away, I’m freezing them for a later date.

garden eggplant

FINALLY, eggplants! It took this long…..

garden chili peppers

garden pinot noir bell pepper

A pinot noir bell pepper and an orange jalapeño – I have no idea how I got a hold of these things – but they’re stinkin cool.

garden orange jalapeño pepper

garden pablano pepper

I’m hoping this rain will stimulate some growth for the weekend, I’m not quite ready for the season to end yet…. 

In other news, I’m looking to buy a house right now and I am adamant about finding a place with a big huge garden space – will you cross your fingers for me and wish me luck? The search has been tough, competitive, and stressful….

Love

Crista


Sep
20

Glenwood Springs Colorado

During a recent visit from my dad and his girlfriend, we all took an overnight trip to Glenwood Springs. Glenwood Springs has been on my bucket list simply because of the Hanging Lake Trail, Glenwood must have been on my dads bucket list as well. We found an awesome loft situated just outside of Glenwood Springs on a farm to stay in for the night. Because it rained practically the entire trip, we got a lot of couch time, took advantage of the beautiful mountain views right outside our window, and stayed in for an informal pizza dinner. Despite the rain, Patrick & I got up early the next morning to hike Hanging Lake. (checked off the bucket list!)

The Hanging Lake trail is a very popular trail due to the beautiful clear, turquoise lake and waterfalls that spill in to it that is found at the top. On the weekends, this trail is packed – luckily, we got to hike it on a Tuesday, and practically had the trail to ourselves. It rained the entire hike, but it didn’t matter – it was totally worth it. Almost felt rainforest-ish, which is not typical Colorado-style. I’m not going to say much more – I’ll let the photos do the talking. 

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Hanging Lake Colorado

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Glenwood Springs, Colorado Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake Colorado

Hanging Lake Colorado

Hanging Lake Colorado

Hanging Lake Colorado

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Glenwood Springs Colorado

Hanging Lake Colorado

Love

Crista


Sep
04

Peach Rhubarb Crisp

I have mentioned my love (obsession) for Colorado peaches. At any given time over the last month r two, I’ve had at LEAST 5-6 Palisade peaches on hand. I’ve found several different ways to enjoy them: with vanilla yogurt, as a bedtime dessert, served with ice cream, and some days I’m in the mood to bite in to the juicy fruit and let it rip down my chin all messy-like – feels like summer time.

So, I had some rhubarb in the garden that I wasn’t quite sure how to use. Discussing with a friend, we both decided that we NEEDED to know what that rhubarb would be like when paired with Colorado peaches. Everyone is getting ready for “autumn” around here (is it football that everyone is so darn excited about??) so a “crisp” seemed appropriate. After my second batch of Peach Rhubarb Crisp (the first didn’t even last a full day), I’ll say that peach and rhubarb ARE a perfect pair. 

This “crisp” recipe is very similar to the crisp recipe I used in my Apple Pear Crisp. This recipe gets a lot of compliments, so you may want to bookmark it- using the same recipe, you can swap the fruit… guaranteed goodness.

Peach Rhubarb Crisp {vegan & gluten-free}
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 peaches, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup rhubarb, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup raw turbinado sugar
  • heaping ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup gluten-free (or all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance Butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put the peach slices and rhubarb in a large plastic bag or a large bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Toss to coat with sugar, cinnamon, agave nectar, salt, and cornstarch.
  3. In a greased baking dish (approx 9×9) layer the peach slices and rhubarb. Set aside.
  4. To make the topping, mix brown sugar, oats, flour, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Add softened butter and stir until the mixture resembles a crumble.
  5. Distribute the oat mixture over the top of the fruit and bake until the fruit is soft and the topping is golden brown (approx 40-45 minutes)
  6. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Love

Crista


Aug
27

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park 

In Colorado, we hike 4.5 miles uphill (at 8000-10,000 foot elevation) for a beautiful reward- Ypsilon Lake, which sits high up in the mountains at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park 

When we got up to the lake, we perched on a rock that sits out in the middle of the lake and we ate our packed lunch, rested, relaxed, and soaked up the crisp mountain air.

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park 

After lunch, prior to our 4.5 mile hike down, we hung out on a large rock right in the middle of this beautiful waterfall.

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park 

I consider myself  to be somewhat in shape, but this hike made me question that. This hike KICKED MY ASS. My friends referred to this hike as being “moderate” but when I googled it after the fact, I see that it is considered a strenuous hike (which made me feel a little better about myself – ha!). I was pretty beat up for an entire day after this hike, my body was achy and my knees were fragile- it was so worth it though.

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

I mean, this view.  You can’t take a bad photo up there in that mountain even if you try your hardest.

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park 

In case you’re as obsessed with my Coloradical as I am —> Coloradical Women’s Skyline T-Shirt (affiliate link)

Love

Crista


Aug
17

peaches-and-cream-yogurt-parfait

It’s peach season here in Colorado and apparently it’s a pretty big deal. There are several festivals happening throughout the entire state in celebration. A mountain town, on the Western Slope, Palisade, CO is where some of the best peaches in the world are grown and that small town sits near Wine Country. Sounds like a great place to vacation – local wineries, festivals, tours, farm-to-table dinners (peach & wine inspired), farmers markets, B&B’s, and a quaint little downtown. (count me in!!)

After hearing about these peaches (everyone is talking about them!) I didn’t wait long to try them. I ate one the first chance I got! I was driving through a small suburb right outside of Denver the first time I spotted these peaches, they were being sold at a little fruit stand in the corner of the parking lot. I may or may not being living off of peaches right now – I take one with me every where I go. I eat them for breakfast and as a late-night snack. I’ve paired them with ice cream and peanut buttered crackers. 

For a Sunday morning breakfast-in-bed, I decided to make a Peaches & Cream Yogurt Parfait. I prepared the peaches last night (as the recipe prompts you to do) and couldn’t wait to get up this morning to eat them. And now I’m off… to begin my day… 

Peaches & Cream Yogurt Parfait
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 peaches, core removed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • ½ cup vanilla coconut milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup granola
Instructions
  1. Toss the peaches with the sugar and allow them to sit in the refrigerate overnight. They will soften and create a syrup.
  2. When ready to serve, stir the honey in to the yogurt and then combine the peaches and yogurt together.
  3. Top with granola.

palisade-peaches

Love

Crista


Aug
16

“Where are we??”
“RED ROCKS!!”
“What are we??”
“ALIVE!!”

….a chant that was articulated between a yoga teacher and 2000 yogi students (including myself and a lucky PLQ giveaway winner) several times this morning….

yoga-on-the-rocks

By 9:30 AM this morning, I felt accomplished. I had already practiced yoga at Red Rocks with 2000 other yogis and hiked the Trading Post Trail at Red Rocks. Oh, I’d also collected several free samples that Whole Foods was giving away for the Yoga On The Rocks event. 

yoga-on-the-rocks

I learned today that Red Rocks is the ONLY naturally-occuring, acoustically perfect amphitheater is the world – no wonder it has attracted the attention of musicians for years and years and years. Musicians plan years of their lives around the opportunity to play at this spiritual, emotional venue.

Yoga, on the rocks, was nothing short of an emotional experience either. During practice this morning, the instructor insisted that the students open their eyes and really LOOK at the surroundings. Beautiful rock formations, blue skies, and a bright, sunny sky.

yoga-on-the-rcosk

Practicing ancient, meditative body movements (yoga) in an ancient, naturally formed venue is an experience I will never ever forget. Upon entering the amphitheater this morning and during my yoga practice, I had an overwhelming feeling of emotion and energy.

yoga-on-the-rocks

There were 4 sessions of Yoga On The Rocks this year and I only got to attend 2. There is no doubt I will try my hardest to attend all 4 next summer.

yoga-on-the-rocks

Corepower Yoga is the host of Yoga On The Rocks and I’d like to extend gratitude to them for inviting me to YOTR, gifting me with a yoga mat and super sweet sunglasses, and allowing me to gift a reader with an unforgettable experience. 

My Colorado Life keeps getting better and better….

 

Love

Crista


Aug
09

SPORT Tea

Sporty, SPORT tea Saturday: my alarm clock went off at 4:15 am because my super special guy friend was up early for a triathlon. After I saw him off, I had planned on doing Yoga On The Rocks at Red Rocks BUT at about 4:30 AM, I realized that I hadn’t purchased my ticket yet. When I logged in to purchase a ticket, I found out that tickets were sold out (2000 tickets – SOLD OUT – that’s nuts!). Operation YOTR: abort. I was pretty bummed, but I realized an opportunity to take a quick (early morning) nap and then RUN. I am not a runner, and I don’t even enjoy running…. but for some reason I have decided that I’m going to train for a few 5k’s. I know I need to introduce some type of cardio back in to my workout routine, I realize that Hot Yoga shouldn’t be the only form of exercise I am practicing. What I like about running is that I can do it outdoors (this IS Colorado), it doesn’t cost me any money, AND it doesn’t require a trip to a gym. Plus, 5K’s are kind of fun (especially when there is beer involved – I’ll see you soon Oktoberfest).

Way back, Mothers Day weekend when my mom was in Colorado visiting, we had dinner at a restaurant called Linger. With our meal, they served us some of the most delicious iced tea we’d ever had. Naturally, we asked about it and found out they use SPORT Tea, which is made locally in Colorado. I’d never heard of it until then. Immediately the next day, we set out to find some of this SPORT Tea and had success at Whole Foods. It sat on a lower shelf in the tea aisle, could have easily been overlooked.

I’m on my 5th or 6th batch of the SPORT Tea and I’ve learned that there are so many things to love about it besides the flavor:

SPORT Tea is cold brew tea, which I’ve never experienced before. All I have to do is fill a pitcher with cold water, add a tea bag, and then allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight. There is none of that boiling-water-then-wait-for-it-too-cool stuff to worry about. 

SPORT Tea is tasty enough without adding a sweetener. I do like to add mint and lime prior to the cold brew process which greatly enhances the flavor. I like to add the mint during the brew process and then I squeeze fresh lime in just before drinking it.

SPORT Tea contains Electrolytes and Ginseng – two ingredients that are essential for a sporty gal like myself – SPORT Tea gives me energy and helps to minimize cramping during a workout. It also contains Ginger (enhances blood flow and circulation), Vitamin C (crucial for optimal health), and Brazillian Maté (suppresses appetite).

SPORT Tea contains nothing artificial and is 100% natural which makes it a perfect alternative to sugary, caffeinated, carbonated athletic drinks (think gatorade or vitamin water).

Oh, and it’s local (Colorado) – I totally dig that.

SPORT Tea

So anyway, thanks for allowing me to share one of my loves. 
SPORT Tea is available for purchase outside of Colorado HERE.
(oh, and just so you know – Sport Tea did not pay me or ask me to write this post – I did it allllll on my own)
Happy Sporty Saturday, friends! 

Love

Crista