Aspen + Camping + Rain

It doesn’t always rain in Colorado, but it (almost) always rains when we go camping.

And this was no exception. We got to Aspen with enough time to set up our tent, drive into town to see what the deal was with Maroon Bells, stop at the market, and get back to the tent before it started pouring.  I mean pouring.  When it died down a little we went out and started a fire to get dinner cooked (onions, sausage, and peppers) and it was amazing after realizing we hadn’t eaten lunch that day.  We ate just in time before the rain started again and went pretty much all night!

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According to the weather we knew we had a few hours in the early morning to get a hike in at the Maroon Bells before the next round of storms. We got up around 5 am, and left the campground around 5:45 am.  Chris was not into it, BUT on the way to the park we saw a bear running across the street in downtown Aspen!  So cool!  Neither of us had ever seen a bear before and I am SO happy we saw it from the safety of our car! I tried to convince him that cool things happen early in the morning, but I’m not so sure he is completely convinced 😉

We’ll tell you though, totally worth it. This has got to be one of the most beautiful places we’ve hiked, and we didn’t even get to see the full mountains!  At first I was kind of bummed, but after realized all that fog was beyond beautiful and so cool the way it flowed in the valley and up around the bells.  I wish we had more time to hike around because I could have spent days there.

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Some suggestions I would make if thinking about going to see the Maroon Bells (which you should) are to get up super early and get there around 6 am.  You basically have the park to yourself which is so refreshing when going up to a popular park.  We did the Crater Lake trail because we didn’t have a whole lot of time; it was really nice and not too difficult of a hike.  At least do this trail to the lake, but it will continue on (as do others) which I imagine to be gorgeous.  We met some women who were hiking to Crested Butte from there, which if I had known was a thing, would have planned our trip a little longer (I imagine Chris exclaiming a sarcastic “shucks” right about now). I recommend at least a day of hanging out there though.  We only had a few hours which was certainly not enough.

So for now, I’ve crossed this off my bucket list, but I’m contemplating putting it back on for a long term goal of getting back and seeing more 🙂  I don’t think I could ever get enough!

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Year one!

Ah, we survived year one 🙂  We still talk about it often and we both agree it was by far the best weekend of our lives. Hands down.

Obviously getting married was amazing, but we could have done that anywhere.  It was the people, our closest friends and family, all there to support us.  It was people we hadn’t seen in years (who have supported us from the beginning) traveling to be there; it was seeing our friends from all different aspects of our lives interacting together and hitting it off; it was watching my grandmother dance with my mother-in-law; it was Jenna singing John Legend, then breaking into some karaoke at the end of the night; it was the look on Josh’s face when he walked into the hotel room.  I could go on and on, but I’ll just say this: Seriously amazing.

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It’s funny, the biggest question we got this year was “How’s married life?”  To which we always reply “The same as non married life.”   Our relationship has grown stronger for sure as it always has each year, and there’s certainly less stress this year without all that wedding planning.  But overall, things don’t really feel any differently than before. The biggest challenge, for me, has been getting used to my new name.  When the nurse comes out and says “Ms. Rolfs?” it takes me a minute to realize, “Oh! That’s me!”  Sometimes even Chris forgets I changed my name 😛

Since I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing about what has happened over the last year, I thought I would entertain you with some highlights 🙂

1. Maine.  I.love.Maine.  I seriously swoon over talking about how much I love it- hands go right up under my chin and everything.  After our wedding we drove up and stayed a few nights at the Abalonia in Ogunquit.  It was perfect- beautiful inn and the owners were SO welcoming and hospitable- and hilarious 🙂  I rolled down the windows when we got into town and just took in that Maine smell.  You all know what I’m talking about- that salt water, lobster, fresh, clean, wonderful smell. AH. Here I go again.

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2. Honeymoon.  In January we took our honeymoon, a first real relaxing vacation in about 5 years!  We stayed at an all inclusive resort in Punta Cana called Breathless.  The resort is fairly new, and everything was clean and beautiful!  We drank a lot, ate a lot, slept a lot, and read a lot of books!  It was pretty awesome.

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3.Beta. Let’s be honest, you all knew this was coming.  After years and years and years of begging Chris for a puppy, he finally admitted he wanted one too. He still blames me when she’s being a pain in the ass, but he loves her 🙂

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4. South Dakota Trip  Every year for my birthday I tell Chris I don’t want things, I want experiences.  We’ve done some pretty cool things for my birthday, and this year we trekked up to South Dakota (in the snow) to see the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, and Custer State Park with two of our friends!  It was so beautiful and serene.  It was cold and dreary the first day, but it meant we had Custer State Park basically to ourselves.  We saw Buffalo, Pronghorn, and lots of beautiful scenery!

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5. Auntie Bridge & Uncle Chris  The same day we left for South Dakota our niece, Hadley, was born! Holy feelings! This has by far been the best thing that’s happened this year.  I’m so in love.  Also, it has been the coolest experience to watch my brother change into Dad-mode the second she was born.  I can barely talk about it without getting weepy.  And then a few other of my close friends had super adorable little babes and I fell in love them too!  One of my best friends has a beautiful little red headed, blue eyed baby girl and I may end up stealing her- watch out Carr’s 😉   By the end of this year another one of my best friends and my cousin will both have babies, and I am over the moon!  G2g crochet all the things now 🙂

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6. California  When Chris went out for his interview, we had the opportunity to stay with our friends in Oakland and do a bunch of sightseeing!  We went to the Farmer’s Market, hiked around Lands End, saw the Golden Gate Bridge (well, half of it), saw dolphins playing in the bay, and had the worlds best Ramen ever. I mean ever. I daydream about it.

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7. Facebook  Back in April Chris got an email about applying for a job at Facebook and what a whirlwind of a few months.  We are excited, and a little nervous about the next step in our lives. We leave in about 2.5 weeks! Yikes!

This anniversary weekend we celebrated with a long beautiful hike, sushi, doughnuts, video games, and a sunset 🙂  It’s all about compromise!

So excited to see what year 2 brings 🙂

California, Here We Come

Almost 5 years ago we hopped on a plane and made our way to Colorado, a place I’d always dreamed of visiting, and instantly fell in love. We came back to visit a second time months later, only to validate my love for the state. I worked almost every single day, 3 jobs, for months to save up enough money to make the move four years ago.

This has been the second best decision we’ve ever made.  We got engaged here, right in Boulder overlooking the city.  We’ve hiked endless mountains. Seen SO much wildlife. Done so many gorgeous trips. Met the most amazing people. I could go on forever.  Really, I could.

In about 5 weeks we take off for a brand new adventure- California! My awesome, and super talented husband just landed a job offer we could not refuse! I’m not going to lie though, I’m a little-ok, maybe a lottle- heartbroken to leave this place that completely changed my life for better;more than I ever thought possible.  Boulder will always, always, always hold a very special (and large) piece of my heart.

I am beyond grateful for all the memories, and most importantly the opportunity to do something not many get to do.  I worked really hard to get here, and Chris has worked really hard to get where he is.  He deserves this next adventure more than anything 🙂

So thank you, thank you, thank you Boulder.  California- I hope you bring just as amazing things!

Now excuse me while I go out there and finish crossing things off my Colorado bucket list!

Weighing In

Two years ago my New Year’s Resolution was to stop weighing myself.  It was probably the one resolution I’ve EVER kept, and you know why?  Because I hate weighing myself. I hate letting a number like that affect the way I feel.

Before I decided this, every Monday I would wake up and hop on the Wii Fit Board, hoping to see positive results. More times that not, I didn’t.  I was so bummed–I was working out, eating (mostly) well, and feeling good…how come my results were not reflecting that?  It took a while, but that’s ultimately why I decided to stop beating myself up.

To me, what matters most is how I feel.  If I can hike that mountain, if I can run that extra mile, do that workout without stopping, if I can put on clothes and feel comfortable in them, then why should I need to jump on that scale?

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I recently got sick with pneumonia.  For over the last two weeks I’ve been coughing almost constantly (until recently- yay for antibiotics).  Due to this and pulling a muscle in my ribcage which now hurts every time I inhale, it’s been pretty much impossible to do any workouts. This rib issue will take weeks to heal, which is a whole different upsetting situation.  Basically, I’m a grumpy monster.

I’ve been to the doctor twice in the past couple weeks, and each time they had to get a height and weight and I didn’t want to look…but I did.

116 (with clothes on).

Seriously not bad considering before moving to Boulder & starting Beachbody I couldn’t get below 123.  Actually, this is the best shape I’ve ever been in, and I haven’t seen 116 since my sophomore year of high school. I have NO reason to be upset or even really worried about this number.  I’ve been working so hard to stay fit and healthy…..well, sometimes the “healthy” part is out of my hands.  It’s just frustrating knowing that I’m still eating the same amount of food, but not doing (hardly) any physical exercise. I don’t want to lose muscle or gain that weight back.  I’ve lost a little focus on how I feel- and maybe that’s because I’ve been feeling awful- and focusing on the number.  Gross, huh?

And this, my friends, is why I do not weigh myself.

Food Obsessions.

About a month ago I started working for an organic sunscreen company.  It’s been very eye opening and I’ve learned a LOT about chemicals that we put into our bodies by using certain make ups, sunscreens, lotions, etc.  It’s only been a few weeks, but I feel like in learning these things, I’ve started to become a little more conscious about what I’m putting into my body, as well as being a little more anal about putting on and reapplying my sunscreen.  You’d think after 28 years I’d have gotten that down by now.

For all of you who know me, I could never give up my Ben & Jerry’s or Swedish Fish, BUT I have been much better with my meals and snacking.  I’ve been prepping my meals every week- this week is grilled turkey burgers and steamed asparagus! So easy to prep- it really only took about 15 minutes total.

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I can’t even tell you how much time this saves me in the morning- but it has to be at least 30 minutes because I can get in a Fix workout!  Now I’ve also thrown in juicing and a dog in the mix- I don’t have time to waste even 1 minute!

As far as my snacks go, I pack a little tupperware container of almonds, craisins, and dark chocolate covered pomegranates. Everyone picks on me for my tiny tupperware, but I know I could eat 6 times more than what fits in that container, and some days I have no self control.

I have also recently become addicted to Noosa. It’s a Colorado Australian style yoghurt that comes in a bunch of different flavors and I haven’t tried one I don’t like! It’s so creamy and the fruit is so tasty- easily my favorite yogurt ever. Ever.  Most of their ingredients come from local farmers which is so cool.  Also, for all of you in NH, I checked and they DO sell it in Keene at Target, the Monadnock Food Co-op and the Brattleboro Food Co-op! Go buy some and check them out at http://www.noosayoghurt.com/.  If I lived closer to Fort Collins I would work there in a heartbeat!  I have no desire to work in Sales but I would for them, because that’s how much I love their product.

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This doesn’t include the two I have in the fridge at work- I can’t get enough!

 These snacks on top of juicing, a Shakeology, my tea, and occasional coffee are what fuel me through the day.   Despite all of this, I’ve still managed to get sick.  Germs are super powerful around this time of year- I feel like everyone around me is sick.  It’s been killing me not to work out (I mean, I have been, but just 10 minutes here and there- nothing too intense), but hopefully I’ll start feeling more like myself soon!

Juicing…even your husband will love it!

You guys you guys you guys you guys!

 I LOVE MY JUICER!  

And you know what the BEST part is? My husband also loves our juicer!

A few weeks ago I decided to check out “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” (I’ve been on a documentary kick) and I thought it was awesome.  I’m more likely to take in documentaries that focus on the positives instead of the negatives. I feel like Joe talked more on how juicing has benefited him and others around him, not necessary on the negative side of fast food.So I decided to plop down after a hike a couple weeks ago and watch the 2nd movie, because I thought the first one was so good.  Chris watched this one with me, and immediately after he hit up amazon and ordered a juicer (and of course a toy for Beta too)!

We’ve tried three different juices since yesterday, and I wanted to share our favorite so far.  They are all SO fresh, but we love ginger and lime, and the sweetness of the apples ties it together so nicely!  We’ll be making this one again for sure…many times!

  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 apples
  • 1-2″ piece of ginger
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lime

(This recipe made two pint size glasses of juice)

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Somewhere pigs are flying…

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His face!!

His face!!

We got the Breville JE98XL, which I believe is the same one that Joe used in the movie because it came with the dvd.  It has some serious power- which you can tell by how surprised Chris looks above.  It has officially replaced the blender on the counter, and I can’t wait to try other recipes!! Chris said he felt great today and I think it helped my energy levels this morning.  We’ll see going forward, but I expect great things 🙂

Is anyone really into juicing/done it before and felt a difference??? Any favorite recipes??? I’d love to hear it all!

Balance

Earlier this week I started a blog post about meal prepping, and how it has been a life saver since starting back at work, but ultimately found myself not being able to finish it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing short of amazing because it saves me so.much.time.  But I think overall, my issue lately has been balance.  I can’t find it. I can’t keep it when I do find it.  I’m sure it will get easier, but it’s been exhausting!

Now I don’t want to sound whiny, because I love that I found a job and am working again.  It may not be my ideal job, or even a money maker, but the company overall is SO great.  It’s just been tough to jump back into it all while trying to maintain everything I was doing when I wasn’t working.

I’ve been waking up everyday at 5:45 to do my 21 day fix extreme videos (killer), showering, waking up Beta and taking her for a walk, feeding her, working, running, crocheting, trying to cook dinner, clean up, training Beta, crochet some more and passing out.  I’m literally sitting in a pile of yarn right now because I am too lazy to clean it up.  Sidenote: I’m SO grateful for all the support I’ve gotten opening my etsy shop- I have a bunch of orders to fulfill over the next couple months which has been keeping me busy and motivated!

But I hate feeling disorganized.  Clutter makes me cringe.  Dirty kitchens make me crazy.  But lately these things are a part of my everyday life.  I’ve decided to put together a list to try and help me with this issue, before I go off my rocker.

  1. Disconnect- pros and cons to this. I like being social, keeping up with people, but it is so distracting.
  2. Listen to my body- I don’t actually need to double up on my workouts in the morning and afternoon.
  3. If it can be done in two minutes, just do it- like this yarn I’m sitting in.
  4. Go to bed earlier.
  5. Eat better- I do a great job of eating at work (although it’s constant- it’s healthy) but the second I get home it’s over. I’m such a snacker, and Chris was complaining there are no cookies in the house, sigh.

I feel like I’m on the right track, but I’ve got to just start practicing what I preach!  Hopefully some mountain therapy will help 🙂

Does anyone have any suggestions or want to share ways they keep life in balance?!

Fitness February

Happy March!

February always go by so quickly, but I am so excited for spring & daylight savings time 🙂

Saturday we found out (the hard way) that grapes can be very toxic for pups.  Beta got a hold of just one I dropped on the floor Friday and I thought nothing of it until she was sick the next morning.  We looked it up and (naturally) panicked and rushed to the ER vet.  Thankfully her kidney levels were good, so we have her on a bland diet and keeping an eye on her.  So far, so good (fingers crossed).  How frightening.

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At the vets- so exhausted.

This month we’ve had all sorts of medical issues, so I’m hoping that this is it. New healthy month for everyone is what I’m going for!

With that being said, I took a look at my workout calendar and this has been the best month for me in a while!  I had two rest days the entire month!  One being Saturday because all I felt like was a beer after that whole ordeal.  I finished a round of 21 Day Fix Extreme this month and feel so great!  I’m going to start over this week & try doing the diet (modified most likely) and see if I feel even better!  Maybe then feel more comfortable taking my after pics.

Yesterday I did some snack prepping for the week!  Cucumbers, carrots, celery & hummus…almonds, craisins, & a few dark chocolate covered pomegranates…and some little veggie egg white bites for on the go breakfast!  I LOVE prepping!

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I’ve had a little bit of a sore right knee (probably from all the workouts this month) so I think for the next couple days I’m going to focus on my upper body and some yoga to center myself before kicking my ass again!  I hope everyone has a healthy March!  Spring is right around the corner, which means warmer weather and my niece is almost here!!!  So much to look forward to!

I've found keeping a journal really helps keep me on track :)

I’ve found keeping a journal really helps keep me on track 🙂

Sweet Potato Burgers & Kale Chips

About once a year I crave a big juicy beef burger.  All the other times I crave veggie burgers, because I love veggie burgers.  Last night we tried Sweet Potato Burgers for the first time, which were a big hit and now we have another type of burger to whip up!  I was worried they wouldn’t be very “solid” but they actually stay together really well and are pretty dense, and I was full after just one.  You can find the full recipe here! We used the greek yogurt as the base to the cream sauce, and I liked it, even though Chris wasn’t a huge fan.  I think it’s even better the second day, because this recipe made five burgers and my leftover lunch was de-licious.

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On the side, I made some kale chips because organic kale seems to always be on sale at King Soopers (99 cents!). I’m not sure where I found the recipe for them, but I want to share because we make them quite often and they are SO quick and easy- not to mention fairly healthy.

Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • One bunch of kale
  • EVOO
  • Salt
  • Sesame Seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Break off kale into roughly 2/3″ pieces. Try to keep them all consistent as much as you can.
  3. Drizzle with EVOO (I use roughly 2 teaspoons)
  4. Shake a little bit of salt over the kale (I eyeball this- maybe 1/2 tsp)
  5. Sprinkle sesame seeds- I usually go overboard with these because I love them
  6. Scrunch everything up to even out the EVOO.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes- until a little browned.  I check around 8 minutes to see how they look. You want them a little crunchy, but not completely burnt.
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                  Enjoy!

Exercise & Etsy

It has been snowing here all weekend.  Beta and I got in a quick hike at Red Rocks on Friday before it started because according to the weather, it may be a couple weeks before we can get another one in.  It’s crazy how suddenly the temps & weather can change here.

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Friday….and then Saturday.

I wanted to give an update on 21 Day Fix Extreme as well- I’ve only missed one day, and that was substituting yoga fix for a 3 mile hike!  Don’t worry, I doubled up the next day with Plyo Fix and yoga 😉  Seriously you guys, I’m addicted. I have been doing a terrible job eating well, but regardless I still feel good and strong!  Today I tried the Fix Challenge and I LOVED it.  It’s the “bonus” exercise, which intimidated me.  This exercise is 13 exercises, no stops, four reps of each exercise.  You start with exercise 1, then 1 & 2, then 1 & 2 & 3….etc.  It’s pretty intense but really fun! I have to say though, really tough when your dog wants in on the excitement as well.

Beta doing some worms with me ;-)

Beta doing some worms with me 😉

So onto my other hobby : crocheting. This weekend I made four hats!  Four! It’s crazy how quick I’ve gotten since I started making hats a few months ago. I have about 20 adorable items hanging out on our bookcase.  With that being said, I am so close to getting an Etsy shop open, so keep your eyes open for that 🙂  Hopefully within the next month- once I make some tough decisions, like the name of my shop being the biggest hurdle! Exciting times!

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Hope everyone had a great weekend!