Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Heart Denver

Ok, so if you know me, you know how much I love a great day in the city!  I love going to Denver on my day off.  It doesn't matter if it's to grab a great meal and a movie, a day of shopping, or a day full of errands and appointments...I seem to thrive in the city.

I am so thankful that it's just over an hour to get to the city and that there are so many great things to do there.  Food, concerts, and shopping...

And speaking of shopping...what a fantastic store!  This  is a great place to find fun and unique items, locally created in Denver and 70% of sales goes back directly to the artist.  Located downton in the Pavillions on 16th Street Mall. 

I'm excited to check it out for Christmas gift ideas!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Swan Lake

Last night I had the great privledge of a girls night in Denver.  We drove down the mountain after work to take in a night at the ballet.  Performed in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House by the Colorado Ballet we enjoyed Swan Lake.

One of the greatest classical ballets of all time, Swan Lake was Tchaikovsky's first ballet, based on Russian folk tales.  It is a beautiful story that tells of the love between a young man and a girl that has been put under a spell and turned into a swan.  The only way the spell can be broken is if a man, pure in heart, pledges his love to her.

The second and fourt acts were my favorite, watching the swans dance together.  It was a beautiful performance and I would highly recommend catching a performance before it's over.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Best Is Yet To Come
12-14I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.  (The Message)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Warm Up With Chili

As I see the snow accumulating on the mountains I find myself wanting make a big pot of chili to warm up with for dinner.  Chili is a favorite quick week night recipe or something that can be enjoyed on a weekend of watching football.  This is great meal because it also makes a fast, delicious leftover lunch and you can freeze any extra you don't eat.

Though there are many delicious chili recipes that I enjoy creating, this is my go to recipe.

Quick & Easy Chili

1 pound ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped (sometimes I use red)
1 cup celery chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (14oz) can baked beans
1 (14oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (28oz)can diced tomatoes

In a large stock pot brown meat, drain fat and set to the side.
In the same pot saute onion, bell pepper, and celery until soft.
Add spices to the veggies and mix for a couple minutes to develop flavor.
Return meat to the pot and add canned ingredients.
Simmer for at least 20 minutes, but the longer the better.

My favorite way to enjoy a bowl of chili is with Fritos or Tortilla chips and shredded cheese.  A dollop of sour cream and some sliced green onions doesn't hurt either.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

College Duck Tape

WHAT!?!  This is such a fun find!  I'm a sucker for anything with the Sooner logo, especially during football season.  Check it out to find your favorite NCAA school...COLLEGE DUCK TAPE.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Find Your Passion

This is a beautiful and encouraging quote from my favorite, Julia Child...
photo found of flickr by unraveleddesign

Monday, October 10, 2011

Valley Style

Winter is starting to creep in.  The mountains are snow capped and the temperatures are cooler.  Though I keep holding on to hope that we might enjoy a few more days of fall weather.

One way I know I'm settling into winter is when I pull out my UGG boots and wear a knit hat all day.  That is what I found myself doing this weekend.  It's hard to believe that last Saturday I was out photographing of the beautiful Aspen trees on a sunny afternoon and this Saturday I was brushing inches of snow off my car!

So in honor of trying to stay warm and have a little style, I created this look on Polyvore.  I'd say all of these items are staples in my wardrobe. 
Valley Style

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mmm Cookies

photo by Kelsey from
So I am a sucker for chocolate chip all time favorite!  As I was browsing Pinterest last week I came across this photo of a tower of beautiful chocolate chip cookies and pinned it to my board of Sweet Treats.
Today I had the opportunity to try out this recipe, though I was just a bit nervous because you never know what might happen while baking at altitude.
Whenever I make a recipe for the first time I always follow it step by step in detail.  The recipe is from the blog and she said she had adapted it just slightly from Anna Olson, Food Network Canada.  Here is the recipe she posted:
Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies


3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
4. Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)
5. Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.

Like I said, baking at altitude can often be difficult and I had no idea what to expect.  I typically make the recipe on the back of the Nestle Toll House bag and I can tell you that there is usually inconsistency in the batches that I make, though I don't know why.  But I was definitely happy with the outcome of this recipe.

My cookies turned out perfect!  I followed Kelsey's instructions to not leave in the oven for more than 10 minutes.  They came out beautiful, round and fluffy, just like her photo.  This is the kind of cookie I enjoy most, one that it a bit cake like.  These cookies are delicious and not too sweet.  I couldn't resist tasting one only 5 minutes out of the oven.  I definitely will be holding on to this recipe and making these more often.  I think they would also be good with other added ingredients like nuts, or toffee chips...maybe on the next batch.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Candy Corn

Welcome October!  Welcome Halloween Candy!  Welcome Candy Corn!
Yes, I love candy corn, but only the Brach's brand.  If it isn't Brach's, then it usually just taste like wax.  There are also many variations of candy corn, but I prefer the classic yelow, orange, and white version.

And now some might think I'm crazy, but my favorite way to eat this sweet treat is mixed with salted peanuts.  Yes, you can see the photo above of my favorite October snack.  If you haven't tried this combination, I suggest you try it.  It's the perfect balance of sweet and salty.  Some say the flavor combination can be compared to a PayDay candy bar, but I'd say this is better!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Colors of Fall

I am blessed to live in such a beautiful place.  I am constantly in awe of creation and the majesty of the mountains we live among.  I have shared that fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  I don't love fall just because it is the season to start shopping for boots and sweaters and jeans, but because we have the opportunity to watch the Aspen trees changing colors before they shed their leaves.

View from our Driveway

The weather the past few weeks has been exceptionally perfect.  It can't get any better than temperatures in the 70's, clear blue skies, with lots of sunshine, and the most beautiful fall colors I have ever witnessed.  So finally this week I took the opportunity to get outside and try to capture this season with my camera.

Having Fun in the Leaves
I am definitely NOT a photographer, but I do LOVE photography.  I am getting more comfortable with my sweet little Canon G10 point and shoot camera.  It really takes great pictures!  I don't know anything about Aperture or Shutter Speed or ISO.  I just play with the settings on this guy until I get the result I'm looking for, and sometimes I just get lucky!

I love the layers in this picture...
leaves in front framing the photo, the cluster of trees in the middle, and then the view of the aspens scattered along the ridge.

Beautiful Morning

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