Spring Break in Steamboat

I had an awesome opportunity this spring break to head to Steamboat Springs, Colorado with a friend and going skiing! I had a wonderful time on the trip skiing, meeting new people, cooking fun meals, exploring the local town, and remembering why I love Colorado so much.

We stayed at a resort right at the base of the mountain and were able to literally walk outside and get on a ski lift. It was awesome and super convenient.

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The resort condo had plenty of room, a huge kitchen table, two fire places, a balcony, and extremely comfy beds. :)

We skied two full days. The mountain had so many different trails so I stuck to greens and blues. The views were breathtaking.

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I didn’t take many food pictures at all but managed to grab a picture of a cheesecake ball (WHAT? Cheesecake ball? I know. We had about five.) The last day, we went into town to grab breakfast and went to the cutest local cafe. Now that is what I call a veggie omelet (avocado on top) and a fresh fruit cup.

One night we ate at a Mexican restaurant in town and the other nights we cooked dinner at the condo and had a great time socializing over spaghetti and chili.

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Needless to say, it was an awesome trip and I still managed to have about three days home with my family with was great. Definitely a spring break for the books. ;)

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I currently just finished unpacking everything from spring break back into my dorm room and am getting ready for the week ahead.

Next week is the spring musical so this week is going to be insane. And so much fun. We have practice everyday this week and then all day Saturday and half of Sunday. Here goes!

What did you do for spring break? Any fun plans for Easter weekend? 

Tiny Towns: Colorado Part 3

Tiny Towns: Colorado Part 1

Tiny Towns: Colorado Part 2

The last day of our trip (and quite possibly one of my favorites!) we went to the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado.

If you have never been, please but it on your bucket list. Or just plan a trip right now.

{Don’t they look like natives? To fun.}

It was my first barefoot “hike” and so much fun! I love the feel of sand in my toes and running up and down the hills were a blast. {Ok, and a bit tiring.}

We went in the middle of the day so we didn’t go all the way to the top but we made it very close. We put it on our bucket lists to someday climb all the way.

So overall, the trip to Colorado was awesome! A big thanks goes out to my awesome parents for planning and funding the whole trip. :)

Colorado. Is. The. Best.

Where is your favorite vacation spot? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Tiny Towns: Colorado Part 2

After we left my sister and headed to another little town, we spent the next couple days in a quaint little cabin.

The first two days we went on two beautiful hikes. The first trail was called “Mill Creek Castle” and the second trail was “Oh Be Joyful.” “Oh Be Joyful” was our personal favorite.

{Finding the worlds largest dandelion guaranties your wish to come true.}

We also visited the Blue Mesa reservoir in Gunnison, Colorado that was breathtaking. Pictures can not do it justice.

How did we fuel for these activities? For breakfast most mornings we made eggs with toast and drank some 2% milk {a yummy treat and good for some extra fuel}. Lunch we packed which consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apples, carrots, and trail mix. Then for dinner each night we went out to eat.

{These were the only meals I remembered to take a picture of.}

Yes, fries or chips were present at every dinner but hey, I’m not complaining.  From top left to bottom right~ Chicken Gyro, Fried Fish Sandwich, Spicy Chicken and avocado Pita, and Powerhouse Hamburgers.

{That was my first Gyro ever and I LOVED it.}

Dinner tasted amazing {and every bit was eaten} every night because of all we did throughout the day.

One of the last days there was also went mountain biking. It was fun but physically challenging…going uphill those mountains was tough! But we rented the bikes for a day so after we were done biking through the mountains we drove through the town and explored. {And got ice cream, our bones needed some calcium.}

Lastly that day, we rode the ski lift up to Crested Butte Mountain because it was free lifts that night.

It was the longest ski lift I have been on {which I liked!} and the view at the top was awesome.

See you tomorrow with the last part of the trip!

Tiny Towns: Colorado Part 1

I’m back! Back from breezy, lovely Colorado. Boy was it hard to leave. Nothing like coming home to 100+ weather.

I chose to call this blog post series about my vacation “Tiny Towns” because that’s where we were the whole time in Colorado. Denver, Aspen, and Colorado Springs never got a visit from us. Instead, small, quiet towns were on our map quest. A good choice, if I may say so myself.

We left last Friday at the ripe hour of 4:30 AM and set out to a small town about an hour and a half from Colorado Springs. My sister works on a ranch out there each summer and leads pack trips into the mountains + horseback rides {and performs all the other many ranch duties}. Pretty awesome, huh?

Some people say we look-alike.  {However, you can tell who has seen the Colorado sun and who hasn’t.}

We spent the weekend with her whenever she got a break from work. She took us to some local restaurants and most importantly, caught us up on her life.

If you are not aware, I LOVE Chai Shakes. So obviously when a local deli has them, we will stop. {As you can tell from the picture it was a little windy…my sister likes to call it “The Windy Wild West.”}

My parents went with ice cream.

Saturday night, we went to Cowboy Camp at my sister’s work which is a big cook-out complete with singing, campfires, and good cookin’. I assisted my sister in making her famous fruit salad.

Cowboy camp was a blast and my goodness, some people can sing and play the guitar so well! I could have listened all night.

The next day we went into Canyon City and found the cutest place to eat. You literally feel like you just stepped off the streets of Italy into a little paradise.

Michael’s on Main was a restaurant, coffee shop, and chocolate heaven. We got lunch and chocolate. I went with a spicy chicken and avocado pita wrap with chips that werefantastic. For my choice of chocolate, I went with the dark chocolate salted caramel square.

If you are even near Canyon City, I highly, highly recommend this little oasis.

Last but not least, we enjoyed some Brown Butter Cookies from a local Amish bakery.

You think cookies can’t get any better and then, you put icing on them. It’s a done deal. {Oh, and it also helps when the cookie is the size of your head.}

Anyways, it was awesome to catch up with my sister but also sad to leave because we won’t see her till Christmas. The only bad thing about Colorado’s beauty and awaiting adventures is that my sister quickly lost her heart to the mountains there.

And that concludes the trip weekend. See you soon with part two!

April Showers & May Flowers

April was so busy, yet fun. And now, May is flying by too!

In April…

I turned 18:

It’s a Whole Foods birthday gift card! Get it? I think its beyond creative.

Spent my birthday weekend in the amazing state of Colorado with my favorite outdoor guide:

I also ate some yummy food on the trip, including a roasted veggie pizza that was to die for. Naturally, I remembered to take a picture after I finished my fourth piece…

I did manage to snap some pictures of my airport snacks (how exciting) and my last breakfast in Colorado at a local cafe.

Veggie omelet, hash browns, home-made biscuits, giant chocolate chip pancake, and coffee.

 This weekend, I attended a church conference with my mom which was AWESOME. Not to mention we got chocolate bars the first night, spa gift cards the second night, and had a make your own smores bar the third night! (Plus cupcakes, popcorn, lemonade, and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.) A foodies’ kind of conference right? ;)

So basically, April came and went within 2.5 seconds. Plus, I am thinking May is going to be pretty busy also with classes finishing up, relatives and friends coming in, graduation shenanigans, and making summer plans. At least it is all things to look forward too! (And with graduation in two weeks, maybe after I will finally have time to blog!)

Happy May Day,

Nicole

MIA Update

Hey Hey! Sorry for going MIA on y’all! Instead of boring you with the usual “life is too busy” blah blah I thought I would give you an update of what I have been doing for the past 2 weeks-ish.

A spring break trip with friends.

Exploring in the woods with friends.

Getting a cold. That, might I mention, just won’t go away.

Eating my favorite ice cream. (To help soothe my throat, obviously.)

Getting the graduation announcements ready. YIPEEEEEEEE! 47 days.

Chocolate mousse cake to end quite possibly one of the worst weeks.

The Hunger Games. Enough said. Loved the book, loved the movie.

However, you have to read the book before you see the movie. HAVE TO.

I have the next two books in the series on hold at the library. To bad there is an “estimated 33 day wait.”

And that’s that.

Make today a good one.

Goodbyes & Hellos

Goodbye school, hello SPRING BREAK.

Time to trade in the homework for…

A trip with friends.

A kitchen full of baking.

Sleeping in past 6:00.

Reading a book in my snuggie while rain dances across the windows.

Organizing to my hearts content.

Blogging.

Eating.

Enjoying a week of rest and rejuvenation.

Tomorrow I will be taking the SAT test in the morning and working on an Anatomy and Physiology project in the afternoon with my group, but after that, my backpack will remain in my closet until next Sunday night.

What are your Spring Break plans? If you don’t have a Spring Break (sorry!!!), what are your plans for the weekend?

A Gluten Free Weekend

A couple of weekends ago, I spent the weekend with my sister who drove me all around Dallas to try many gluten-free goodies.

I wanted to share some of the places we went, so keep reading! I typed up half of this post earlier then it deleted itself so I am going to keep this short and sweet. :)

First stop, Wholesome Foods Bakery

Cake balls, granola bars, and pumpkin walnut muffins 

Everything was delicious (especially the muffins!) and highly recommended. If you are ever in Dallas, this should be on your list of places to eat.

Next was Patrizios for pasta!

(sorry for the not so stellar lighting!)

Needless to say, this was some of the best pasta I have had AND it was gluten-free! Patrizio’s has an entire gluten-free menu with a lot of variety…delicious.

We then stopped at Whole Foods to get some supplies for a night of baking!

Almond Butter  & Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice Treats (we used peanut butter instead of almond butter) 

Luscious Layer Bars  (I don’t even want to think about how many of these I consumed in two days!)

The next day we went to Costa Vida for the first time (YUM!) and also to a cupcake bar with gluten-free red velvet cupcakes (forgot to take a picture!).

Chipotle might just have some competition now….

To finish off the day, we went to a HUGE farmers market that is open every single day! It had so many goodies and was so inspiring to eat fresh food. :)

And that was our big gluten-free weekend! I have a pretty awesome sister. ;)

What is your favorite way to spend the weekend?

What is the best gluten-free food you have ever tried? 

I would go with the pasta from Patrizios or any yummy gluten-free cupcakes. I love cake.

Elk Brats

Colorado was amazing. I will live there when I am older! Being surrounded by mountains never felt so free (ironic, I know).

Many things occurred like rattle snake hunting, white water rafting, horseback riding, rock climbing, cowboy camp, cowboy church, bonfires + music, and some quality time with my cowgirl sister!

I also tried elk brats because now I can say I have had them! They were okay, but not my favourite.

 

Hopefully I will be back soon with some new recipes and stuff but with school starting Tuesday and starting a new job, things could get crazy! I will do my best though.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this post that I really liked. I think sometimes as “foodies” we can get a little too obsessed with eating healthy and never enjoy sweets or fast food. It’s called Orthorexia. Check it out here.

Better Breakfast Challenge: Day 4/5

So, I have really enjoyed this breakfast/workout challenge. It’s just what I needed to get me back into my groove :)

Last night I spent the night with my sister at her brand-new downtown apartment where we enjoy a gluten-free dinner, Soul Surfer and….a great breakfast to go along with my challenge!

BBC Day 4

2 slices gluten-free french toast (on Udi’s GF bread) plus a side of un-pictured eggs

 

Can anyone else not believe that summer is almost over? I have 3 weeks till school starts and am dreading dreading dreading it.

On the bright side though, I am ending my summer with a great adventure in Colorado with my cowgirl sister!! I leave tomorrow morning and am beyond excited. (So if you don’t see a post tomorrow, you know what happened. I will eat a creative breakfast but as for the workout…I’m going to count running from one airport gate to the other to catch my next flight as my final workout of the challenge.)

Happy Thursday!