Dear Baby.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

It took me 3 weeks to open an empty blog post and write this title. I changed the title 4 times. It took me three weeks to say the word. It took me 6 weeks to come to terms with what was happening. I closed it, I deleted it, I started over. I stopped writing and I started writing again. Ten tissues, three re-starts, 4 texts to Adam and here we are.

I write about everything. I've shared a lot of great times on here but today's post is not a great one. For me, I wasn't sure I even wanted to write this post. But, writing this post is my version of therapy. It's what pushes me through the sadness and helps me deal with what I'm feeling. Grab a coffee, or if you're like me, a bottle of wine.

Let's start at the beginning.

Labor Day started like any other holiday weekend. Saturday was a day for sleeping in except I couldn't sleep because I felt nauseous (despite not drinking the night before) and I had to take the dogs out. I tried to make eggs but they made me puke. Coffee, puke. Thirty minutes later and two pretty blue lines and all of a sudden this labor day was not so typical.

Adam and I spent the weekend doing new parent-to-be things. We picked out names (call us presumptuous), we told our parents (call us excited beyond belief) and we already started making summer plans for our first summer with baby. Safe to say our dreams had officially come true.

We had the "do you want a boy or girl" conversations. We talked about daycare. I even made a private baby room board on Pinterest. Things were becoming so real. I stopped drinking coffee, eating sugar and I was loading up on all the good things. Except for an occasional starburst, I craved them so, I was prepping my body, heart and mind for baby.

Five super short weeks later our dreams were dashed and our baby was gone. "The heartbeat at the first ultrasound was strong." "We had no reason to worry." "At least you know you can get pregnant." "You can try again soon." "You will move on."

These are all very comforting words to everyone except the mom and dad who were just told they weren't going to be parents. They are anything but comforting when you're told you just lost your baby. When the doctor said there was no heartbeat it was as if she ripped mine out too.

The part that comes next is the worst so I'll save you the gory details. Words like DNC, naturally pass and miscarriage pills are thrown around casually like girl-talk at brunch. Talk of what comes next is gross and difficult to stomach. I was so cold, but so hot and crying so hard that I didn't process a word my doctor said. I sat there in a blur, crying. One minute, I was buying winter pregnancy clothes and the next I'm just supposed to move on. I went through the next week in a blur, crying. Sometimes I still feel like I'm in a blur. My body hurt. It ached. My heart actually burned with pain. I went seven days without dry eyes.

The worst part is not knowing what to say or what's next. My friends would ask me how they could help, they would send flowers, text messages and their prayers and I felt so grateful but also had no good response to their outpouring of kindness.
But here's the best part, the silver lining, the light; I have the best friends and family. Coti called (and still calls) me every single day making sure I'm okay. My Omaha girls text me hourly to make sure I'm getting through. My family, oh my family. And my sister-in-laws - don't even get me started on how wonderful they are.
A lot of people have asked me if this is something I'm going to blog about. My response then and still today is how do you communicate a pain you've never felt before? How do you find words to explain how you're feeling when words haven't yet been created for the pain. How do you blog when your heart breaks with every word.

I've been through breakups and blogged about them. I've dealt with death and blogged about it. I've failed, blogged. I've been hurt, lots of blogs. There aren't words for this kind of pain, but I'm a writer, and writing is the very least I can do. Even when I don't have the perfect words to write.

Luckily for me, I married a superhero. A superhero husband who knows exactly what words to say, when to say it and he knows when flowers and wine are the perfect kind of unspoken words. Adam reminded me that throughout my 10 short weeks of pregnancy, every day I prayed for a healthy baby. I prayed for our peace and our understanding but mostly, I prayed for a healthy baby.

God answered that prayer. Even if it wasn't in the way I wanted that prayer answered, He did.

Today is a hard today. Yesterday was a better day. I'm sure tomorrow will bring a whole new set of emotions. I find myself leaning in to the people around me a little harder, leaning into God more than I thought I could. I'm trying to find my balance again.
I have learned to live this part of my life as a season. One of my friends explained how to live life in seasons. We move through them, they change, the flowers bloom, the leaves fall off and winter comes. But the important part is that we keep moving through them. Grief is my current season and for now, that is okay. I will embrace this season and learn what I need to learn from it. Because I know, the flowers will bloom again and this season will change. 
I never thought this would be my story. I always saw others dealing with this pain and could never quite grasp it. I could emphasize but never grasp it. I never thought it would be my story to tell.

The thing I realize most in all of this pain, is that this pain is also my husbands. I hate to say this but so many times he has gotten lost in this. I'm the one who physically lost the baby, but he lost one too. I'm the only physically dealing with this but he has to not only comfort me, but himself. I'll tell ya again, I married a superhero. A superhero with a strength I can only envy and a heart I'm so glad is mine. This pain is real and this hurt and confusion is hard but it's so important to have someone to lean on. I'm so glad he's letting me lean.

When I found out I became a statistic, yes that's right, one-in-four women will have a miscarriage, I immediately went numb. I still can barely stand to say the word.  I felt so guilty, so ashamed and so embarrassed. I made Adam call his family because I didn't have the strength. I made my mom tell my siblings, I couldn't bear to hear it in their voices.

Even though it seemed impossible, I found that when I told those close to me, the pain lessened, even if just by a little. I heard others stories of loss and sadness and how they grieved and again, the pain lessened. But then I heard the stories of rainbow babies and huge families. I heard about the next time people saw those two pretty little blue lines. These are the stories that bring a smile to my face and in my heart I know we will see those two lines again and eventually a beautiful rainbow baby.

A little over six weeks I had a miscarriage and I know that while this pain burning in my chest may never fully go away, it will lessen. I feel my heart lightening. I feel the embarrassment dissipating. I feel the joy returning.
Dear Baby, you are loved, you are wanted and while we never got to officially met you, we are blessed by the 10 short weeks we had with you. I'll never forget hearing your heartbeat or seeing your little picture. <3 
I know this isn't the end of our story.

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Sing For Hope Accepting NYC Donated Pianos

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Oh hey friends! How the heck are ya? I know, I've been MIA. If you're wondering why, I'll be spilling the details later this week, so stay tuned. But, little by little, I plan on catching you up.

Two weekends ago, I spent the weekend in Michigan helping my mom and dad pack up my grandmother and grandfathers house. They are getting old, despite me praying otherwise, and needed to move in where they could have some help. Is there anything worse than watching grandparents get old? Ugh, I don't think so. Anyways, we spent the weekend, sorting through clothes, dishes, pictures and tons of books.

One of the things my grandmother has that is nearest and dearest to my heart is her piano. It's her mother's piano and is the cutest little wall piano you've ever seen. It's gorgeous. She always had it full of sheet music and I can remember her playing on it. She is an incredible piano player.

The piano is the one thing I was hoping we could save. Sure, we got pictures and some china, but this piano is one of my favorite memories of my grandmother. The only problem? The piano is in Michigan, I am in Denver and the rest of my family is in Arizona. Unfortunately after all the sorting, the piano did not make the cut. Turns out, shipping a piano costs wayyyy more than it's worth.

We then tried to figure out what we could do with this piano. Donate it, give it away, have someone come pick it up? We really wanted this piano to go someplace where it was wanted. Ideally, a school or a church. That's when I found this amazing charity Sing for Hope. It's absolutely incredible. This charity is based in NYC and wasn't available for my grandmothers piano, but it's helping so many others in the process.

This New York City based charitable organization is accepting pianos and more for under resourced schools and neighborhoods. Sing For Hope's donate piano NYC drive is ongoing with plans to expand beyond this organization's target areas. This well liked and appreciated group believes that the wonder of the arts is a given right for all individuals. New York City has phenomenal arts programs and shows. It is sad that some residents within this huge metropolis do not have opportunities to enjoy the arts or play an instrument. This volunteer organization is striving hard to change this lack of available music and arts programs.
School children are ecstatic when this organization provides their school with a fabulous piano. The organization works closely with many volunteer artists working within the city limits. These music and art volunteers put on performances and give valuable instruction to people ordinarily left out of such rewarding arts opportunities. The organization pairs amateur and well-known professionals proficient in some art category volunteers with needy New York City inhabitants. These performances and classes are available in many schools, nursing homes, hospitals and other places to the sheer delight of the recipients. Sing For Hope is reaching countless new music and art lovers every day. The donated pianos are usually painted in vivid designs and colors by talented artists. Some pianos are placed in high-volume areas during special event drives to promote this organization's worthy causes. Many volunteers are involved, and the volunteers often reflect that they get back something far more valuable from their volunteer service. Any art form is desired, and these include various instrument players, actors/actresses from little known to Broadway shows fame and talented singers in every musical genre. This includes opera, jazz, blues, folk and country. It even includes rock and various alternative music styles. It is refreshing to see so much compassion from many New York City residents lending time, talent or monetary funds. This sense of shared community is one reason why this program is so popular. When individuals living in gang territories and isolated nursing home resident get a chance to experience and express an art form that they are interested in makes all of the hard work pay off. Since the arts programs are typically the first thing that educational institutions cut out when budgets are tight, the organization tries to fill the gap with excellent music and art programs and performing arts classes. The organization's founders never dreamed that their simple music and arts propelled services would grow to become a massive outreach program. Sing For Hope is constantly looking for new ways to promote the joys and satisfaction of their volunteer efforts. More New York City residents are now able to take advantage of Sing For Hope's many outreach fine arts programs. It is hoped that they will remain a powerful voice of love and community spirit for many years to come. In keeping with their mission statement, Sing For Hope strives to create arts programs that will uplift and totally transform recipients lives forever. The smiles and appreciated thanks from these individuals is worth so much to those that have volunteered. Sing For Hope is continuing their piano donation drive to extend their program's long reach into forgotten areas.

Happy Tuesday Friends. I hope it's the best ever. 

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Recipe: Paleo Lemon Coconut Cream Cookies

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Did you know if you go to a paint store, you will find no less than 45 different shares of grey and beige? You'll even find a multitude of greige (yes, that's the actual word for grey + beige). The best part is bringing your husband to a paint store and asking him to spot the difference in the 10 different whites you show him and ask him to care. Babe, white dove IS different than alpine snow!

It's a battle. Anyways, Adam and I are slowly but surely updating our house and doing new stuff to it, including painting. Currently, our entire house is like living in a sandbox. I'm pretty sure when our old owners moved out, they picked a neutral color at Home Depot and painted very single wall the same exact color. It's a pretty sandbox but its one that needs a little Kristen touch, and a little greige.

First things first, the master bedroom. I am in love with this Benjamin Moore color White dove. I stole the idea from my blog crush, Arielle at Something Navy. She painted her master this color and I'm obsessed. I'll be sure to share all the before and after photos.

Let's move on to the cookies. You fabulous Everyday Grace readers LOVED these cookies on Insta-stories. So, this is my thanks for reaching out. You asked, I blogged.

It's fall in Denver finally and the cool weather and the pretty leaves have inspired me to bake. Last Sunday I spent the entire day trying out new recipes with Adam as my taste tester. There's nothing like a cool Sunday with a glass of red wine and some cookies, amiright? I am all about these kind of weekends.

I've never been a cookie fan. If it were up to me, dessert would consist of candy and ice cream. Cookies, pass. Cake, hell no. Cupcakes, I'd rather save the calories. And then I tried the vanilla oreos. If you haven't had these cookies, you are missing out on life's littlest treats. If I had no discipline I would literally eat the entire package of Oreos. I'm not lying here.

When I saw these cookies, I thought hmm... sandwich cookies, yummm. Plus adding the extra layer of coconut cream is the best ever. They are especially the best fresh out of the oven with lots of the fresh cream. Adam told me these are his new favorite cookies and I just might have to agree.

These seem like a lot of work and they kind of are, but look at those ingredients - they're all the ones you'll already have in your pantry. Let's get backing.

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1./2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cold coconut milk - scrape the cream off the top
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
How to Make: 
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, almond butter, honey, lemon juice and vanilla. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 
  4. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 
  5. Form the cookie dough into 30 balls and flatten each one. The thinner the crispier. 
  6. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes until they just about brown. Allow to cool. 
  7. While the cookies are cooling, making the filing! 
  8. Whisk together the vegetable oil, honey, lemon and vanilla. Beat in the coconut cream until a cream forms. Put in the freezer for about 10 minutes. 
  9. Once the cookies are cooled and the cream is cold, scoop those babies up. 
  10. PS. Store in the refrigerator! They make the cookies a tad soft, but you want that cream cold. 
  11. Enjoy! 
Let's be best friends - pin the image below!

Happy Wednesday friends!

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Recipe: Callie's Paleo Chocolate Banana Muffins!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This post was originally posted back on October 22, 2014. That seems like ages ago. We were still living in our tiny little townhouse, we had just started eating paleo and we weren't even married yet.

We were just little babes trying to figure out how to be adults in a brand new state. It's crazy to me to look back on old posts and see how much has changed.

One thing that hasn't changed is our love for these muffins. They are super easy to make and legit taste like dessert. I found that eating paleo and cooking for Adam is way easier when I plan ahead. It usually keeps us on a better meal plan and not so many snacks if we do this.

Adam and I are always looking for new breakfast options, so when Callie told me about these, we knew we had to try them! They're super easy to make and oh. my. gosh. they are so delicious. I hope you all enjoy!

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (for paleo, make sure they have no added sugar or milk!) 
How to Make: 
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line a muffin tin with papers. 
  3. Beat the 3 ripe bananas with a mixer until well blended and no chunks. 
  4. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, egg and vanilla, mix on medium. 
  5. Add the almond meal, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and mix on low. 
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips. 
  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. 
  8. For extra, sprinkle chocolate chips on top! 
  9. Bake for 18 minutes (or high-altitude baking for 23 minutes!) 
  10. Enjoy! 
 The batter, try not to eat it all before you bake it :) 

Thank goodness we got married and got new pans! 
 All ready to go in! I forgot the papers, but I sprayed it. 

Thanks for the recipe Callie! 

Happy Tuesday!

Printiki: The best way to print your Instagram photos

Monday, October 23, 2017

Last weekend I spent the entire weekend going through boxes my parents brought from their house full of all my childhood belongings. We are talking notes from high school boyfriends, my letterman jacket, tennis trophies, diaries and tons and tons of picture albums.

I have over probably 30 photo albums dating from 6th grade through college. I was that girl at parties. I always had my mini-canon camera hanging around my wrist. Trust me, what happened in high school didn't stay in high-school and I've got the pictures to tell any story you wanna hear.

To me, that is the problem with iPhones and everything being digital. I haven't printed a photo in at least the last year. The last time I vividly remember printing photos was after our wedding. I crave holding pictures in my hand and framing them all over my house. My kids are gonna think life ended after college because I have no more photos to show them.

This is where Printiki comes in. The easiest way possible to print Instagram photos. I am absolutely hooked. You go to Printiki, login in to your Instagram and them boom, select any photos you've posted and print. You can add borders, make them matte, glossy, create books, prints whatever you choose. The best part, in less than a week you have your amazing Insta photos in your hand and ready to share.

I am seriously obsessed with my prints. I've already sent some to friends, hung them at work, posted them at home. I'm starting to feel like my high school self all over again.

The best part, today (and whenever) you get free shipping on any order! Use the code:
WJYF9E2A at checkout on any order and boom, great photos and free shipping. 

I'm so excited for your guys to try out Printiki. you'll be absolutely amazing with the convenience and ease of the site. Just remember guys, christmas is quickly approaching and what do moms love more than photos? 

Now, normally I would never tell you to leave my site, but head over to Printiki and get printing.  Happy Monday friends! 

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Guest Post: Five Awesome Places To Travel If You Hate Crowds

Friday, October 20, 2017

Popular travel destinations, especially during peak seasons, can be packed with endless crowds. Going to such vacation spots when you hate crowds can be counterproductive. To truly unwind, you need to head to one of the under-the-radar destinations that have yet to be discovered by the average traveler.

You will definitely enjoy being one of the few travelers in the world who have taken the time to explore these gems. Many of these vacation spots offer the usual touristy activities but a few offer quite the exotic experience. 

It’s time to wander off the beaten path and explore new grounds. Here are some awesome crowd-free travel destinations you can visit.

Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Rwanda, Uganda and D.R. Congo are the only places in the world you can see mountain gorillas
On any given day, Rwanda allows a maximum of 56 people to trek to go see the gorillas. There are seven groups of gorillas in the mountains with each group living some distance from the other. Since permits are given for the 7 mountain gorilla groups available, a trekking group cannot have more than 8 members. The trek up the mountain to spot a group of mountain gorillas can take anything from half an hour to a couple hours depending on where the gorillas are on that given day.

That’s pretty awesome if you don’t want to go to a tourist spot and have tens or hundreds of people at the same spot. You must have a permit to trek the mountains to go see the mountain gorillas. You can secure a permit from the Rwandan authorities or you can have a local travel company buy one for you.

Gorilla trekking trips are usually guided trips with the travel company you’ve booked with giving you a tutorial on safety and offering a guide to take you up the mountains. Good accommodations are easy to find near the parks. 

Peaceful Escape in Anguilla

The Caribbean is a popular beach destination. One of the best low-key destinations in the Caribbean is Anguilla. Anguilla maintains a relaxed atmosphere all year round as the locals highly value privacy and tranquility.

Anguilla’s greatest attractions are its tranquility, beaches, food, elaborate villas and resorts and several opportunities for tourists to pamper themselves. As you would expect of any Caribbean destination, finding a great place to stay is not hard. 

The Caribbean has great tourists’ villas, resorts and hotels. You can find both budget and luxury accommodations. If resorts are your thing, you won’t be disappointed as the Caribbean has some of the most elaborate all-inclusive resorts in the world. Just be sure to pick either a family-friend resort or a couples all-inclusive, depending upon if you’re traveling with friends, family or your significant other. 

You will love the local music scene if reggae fascinates you. Bankie Banx, a local reggae star often performs in various joints in the island. You can go to a low-key club called the Duve Preserve to sample music at night.

Find Peace in Koh Lipe, Thailand

Located in the South Andaman Sea, Koh Lipe is a beautiful island that boasts extensive white sandy beaches, great budget hotels, tranquility and a decent selection of both Thai and Western food.

You can get to Koh Lipe by boat only. If you are flying in from Malaysia, you can take a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi and then take a boat to Koh Lipe. You can also fly in from Bangkok by taking a flight to Hat Yai then taking a bus to Pak Bara from where you can take a boat to Koh Lipe.

Besides relaxing at the beach, you can enjoy other activities such as snorkeling, diving, taking boat trips, and hiking.

Take an East African Safari during the Low Season

East African safaris are often determined by the dominant weather seasons and not by the location or availability of animals. The peak season is usually from June to October and then from December to January.

In Kenya and Tanzania, the heavy rains usually come in the months of March, April and May. The rains do not rain week after week but the safari companies, just to be cautious, still make few bookings during these months. This means that the game parks usually have just a handful of tourists during this season.

You can make arrangements with a tour operator to go to parks that aren’t affected by the rains and do so at very affordable rates. Your game drives won’t be affected much by the rains as it usually rains late in the afternoon.

Marvel at the Breathtaking Landscapes of County Donegal

If you want to visit Ireland and want to stay away from the destinations that tourists frequently crowd at, County Donegal is the place to be. Donegal is the least commercialized county in terms of tourism in Ireland.

Unlike County Galway and County Kerry, County Donegal isn’t very tourist oriented. Nonetheless, the attractions it offers and the hospitality provided to the tourists who do make it there is worth the trouble of going there. 

This destination offers you the chance to experience unspoilt attractions at very affordable prices. Some of the activities you can engage in include golfing, walking, rock climbing, water sports, and fishing.

You can fly in directly into Donegal International Airport from Glasgow and Dublin. There are daily flights to the destination. You can also go by bus by boarding one from Sligo, Dublin, Derry or Galway.

9 things you may not know about me

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Happy Wednesday friends! The other day I got asked via Instagram, if I would ever consider writing a post about "how to blog." How to blog? I wouldn't even know where to start. Blog because you want too. Blog because you have something to say. Blog because you want someone to listen. Blog because it makes you feel good.

That's why I do it. I started blogging because I honestly love to write things down and somewhere along the way, people started listening. I would do this whole blogging thing even if I only had 1 follower and that follower was my mom (she was my first follower, shout-out!).

I'm not a blogger who blogs about blogging. Wanna know why? Because, here's the deal; yes, I've been doing this a while. Yes, I've learned a tonnnn since I first started. Yes, I love sharing things with people (if they ask).

But, I think blogs that only tell you how to do things are incredibly boring. Listen, I appreciate this game of blogging and how it is ever changing and how I'm constantly having to figure new stuff out. But you readers come to this space for something and since I've never blogged about bogging, it cant be for that. Here's hoping its because you like what you find here.

So, today is not about teaching you how to blog, it's throwing it back to the good old days of blogging. Let's get back to the way blogging used to be. Lists of random facts. These are my favorite posts to write and to read comments on because I LOVE hearing what my readers think. And, it makes me feel like I actually know the people on the other side of the computer screen.

Without further ado --

1. My biggest fear in the entire world is that my animals will die. I know this is a bad fear because it will happen one day, but it doesn't change the fact that it absolutely terrifies me. One day I came home and Henry didn't come downstairs. I called Adam and made him come home from work early to check on Henry cause I was sure he was dead in the closet. True story.

2. My dad is my conscious. Everyone has that voice in the back of their head right? Well when I hear mine, its my dads voice. He's my voice of reason, it's slowly becoming mine, but he's the one that installed all those good vibes in me. Capeesh?

3. My go-to photo shoot face is a huge smile. I'm not sure what else to do. I am not one of those pretty girls who can smize. I'm one of those girls who always has a resting bitch face if I'm not smiling. I've been criticized for it before, but bleh, who cares.

4. I gave up drinking two weeks ago. Not forever, I actually plan on celebrating my sisters coming to town this weekend with adult beverages, but just for a while. And, I've lost weight! When they leave, I'm gonna give it up again. I've never felt clearer headed. Oh and my eating out bill is cheap!

5. I'm a jealous person. I didn't used to think this, probably because I was naive. But I'm a jealous person. I'm jealous of all kinds of random crap. Ask Coti, one time in college I got jealous of her old BFF and cried. It's the truth. It's stupid and it's something I work on every day.

6. I am very paranoid about letting people down. That's pretty self-explanatory. I got so nervous once I gave myself a cold sore, pretty huh.

7. I love celebrating love. A lot of people consider weddings to be a burden (time, travel, cost) but I absolutely love weddings, engagement parties, showers, and generally just parties. There is no greater honor than someone thinking you're worthy of watching them get married. I love it. Now, I just need some more engagements because we're out of weddings!

8. I'm ready to have kids. BAH. Betcha didn't see that one coming since all I talk about is animals. But, I'm ready to expand the Kavan clan (and no this isn't an announcement). But, I'm not getting any younger. Bring on the babes.

9. Turning 30 terrified me. I'm not sure why but I was so nervous to turn thirty. Once it happened, I couldn't believe how nervous I was for nothing. So far, 30 has been pretty dang awesome.

Tell me one thing no-one knows about you in the comments!

Happy Wednesday friends!
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7 Best Locations for a Girls Trip.

Friday, September 8, 2017

I love a good girls trip. While most of my girls trips are actually considered bachelortte trips, they are full of girls regardless. I don't live in the same city as my best friends or family so it's super important to me to be intentional with my time with them. If that's planning dinners when I'm home or trips with them, I tryyyy to get together with them.

Last year, two of my girlfriends came to Denver for the most epic girls weekend. We toured the city, ate our way through the restaurants and drank all the wine.

This year, my sisters are coming to visit Denver for another girls weekend. There will be FIVE of us, so the adventures are bound to be incredible.

My best friend and I are currently in the states of planning another girls trip for fall and I cannot wait. What's better than three days with your best friends, bonding over great food, a great city and quality time.

1. San Diego, California: The best weather, sunny days, the beach and cool ocean air? Deal. San Diego is the perfect spot to take all your girlfriends, spend the day on a boat and then go dancing at night.

2. Austin, Texas: Did you know Austin has wine country? Truth be told, it's pretty dang good too! Book a VRBO, grab some friends and go wine tasting, boating on the lakes or out on the town. Austin has great food plus a great vibe. The city is packed full of things to do and places to see.

3. Napa Valley, California: Is there a better location than wine country for a girls trip? It's an easy flight to SF, a quick drive to wine country and before you know it, you're enjoying some of the best wine in the world. Plus the views are perfect for photo-opps.

4. Grand Cayman: I know what you're thinking, isn't Grand Cayman for couples? Hear me out. It's easy to get too, beautiful, has great food, shopping and a night life. Sure, it can be a couples local, but grab your girlfriends, rent a VRBO and hang out all week drinking pina coladas. Sounds like an excellent girls trip to me!

5. Denver, Colorado: Yeah, yeah, I'm totally biased. But, mountains, city life, hiking, drinking, eating. You can literally do it all. Hour and a half drive gets you into the mountains and on the ski lifts. Denver is known for having the best craft beer selections in the country and don't even get me started on the food scene. We've been here three years and have barely touched on half of the food Denver has. Plus, our weather is the best.

6. Charlottesville, Virginia: Charlottesville has been in the news for not the best reasons, which is so sad. I went to Charlottesville for the first time last summer and I cannot wait to go back. I was so surprised at this darling quaint little town. Plus, if you are a history buff there is so much to see and do. The main drag is so darling. It's an open walking mall with shops, restaurants and bars. Another great place for wine tours :) Are you seeing a pattern here?

7. Scottsdale, Arizona: Yes, yes, again, I am bias, I grew up here. But, Scottsdale is the best. It's full of amazing hotels, restaurants and is the perfect spot for a girls trip. Grab your girls and hit the spa. After that you can hike and then head to old town for dinner, dancing and drinks. Hint, go anytime after September and before June. You'll thank me later. And, if you need more tips, message me, I've got all the goods.

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My current Instagram obsessions

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Do you know that last weekend was the first holiday weekend we've been in the state of Colorado since we moved here (over 3 years ago). If you've been following on Insta (hint hint) you've seen Adam and I all over. San Francisco twice in once month, Estes Park, Milwaukee, Arizona ect. We'd had the joy of celebrating weddings with best friends, trips with family, but man alive, traveling sure takes it out of you. We wanted labor day to be spent at home, doing whatever we wanted. And that is exactly what we got and it was glorious.

Now, we're gearing up for more trips and more visitors, bring on September. But, before we travel, let's chat Instagram.

Oh Instagram, what a tricky little game you play. It's a game I can never win, but can't stop playing. I'll be the first to admit it, I frickin love Instagram. I love scrolling through pretty pictures of pretty people in pretty clothes, I'm a sucker for cute dogs and I love crying at tributes to loved ones.

While the Instagram algorithm is still a myth to me (don't worry this is NOT a post about how-to win at Instagram) I still love it. I love finding new accounts and recently I've found some GREAT ones.

These are some of my favorite Instagram follows. You know the ones where when they pop up, you're instantly wanting to see what they have to share and say. Plus they are all bad-ass girls killing the Insta-game.

Posie + Co: This is where I get all my cute graphic tees. She has the cutest store and tops (& shes my BFF!)
Everyday Chiffon: Courtney and I met at a Denver blogging event and have been friends ever since. She's happy, funny and has great style. 
Brandi: I just found her and she has amazing style and is the nicest person.

Lauren: I just found her blog a couple weeks ago and I am obsessed. She is my current blog and Instagram crush. I love everything she does. Plus she's from Denver!
Gracefully Taylored: Taylor is one of those girls who you instantly want to befriend. Her Instagram is the perfect theme of beautiful photos and honesty.  
Sidney: I "met" Sidney through my BFF at Posie + Co. Her page is so colorful just like her. 

That's So Darling: Lisa and Ashley are friends and have the cutest insta. They have amazing taste but they are both stunning! 
Karlie Rae: She's a dog mom, has great style and incredible hair. I love her Instagram because it is so full of positivity and love. 
Samantha: An Arizona girl who is also a sommelier? Done and done. I've been following stalking her for while now :) 

Well, there you have it. My newest Instagram obsessions. Grab your phone and go check them out, I promise you won't be disappointed! 

Who are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow? Tell me in the comments!

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Happy September + An Instagram Roundup

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Holy September! Is anyone else seriously freaking out that it's already September? I mean, the closer we get to Christmas the better but before you know it we'll be ringing in the new year.

I'm not sure about you, but the Tuesday back after a long weekend is the worst. It's so hard getting back into the swing of things. But, this week, football actually starts. I know what you're thinking, football has been back for a month. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but preseason does not count as real football. 

I have THREE fantasy teams and I think I might have bitten off a little more than I can chew. Go big or go home right? Here's hoping I can win at least one! 

Welcome back to another addition of Instagram roundup. Just a little mini-catch up of all the good stuff that's been going on these last couple weeks. Plus, all the places you can shop these outfits.

Happy Tuesday friends!

I mean is he not the dreamiest wedding/forever date you've ever seen? 
I loved this dress, super flattering and so comfortable. 

If you know me, you know Arizona will always be my home. 
These Target mules got me through summer and I'll imagine they'll take me through fall too. 
This cactus shirt is one of my favs and you can purchase it at Posie + Co

Another wedding with this dream boat. 
This dress is the perfect dress and the back is totally open. 

I'm trying to get better at wearing color both in clothes and lipstick. 
This pink lip is my go-to. 

This crop says Staycation and its my life motto.
Stay home with the hubs and dogs and drink wine. Sounds perfect right?

Ya know when you're at Target for toilet paper and walk out with $100 in clothes and shoes. 
I know the game all too well. 
BUT this jacket is the best and these shoes are a dream. I'm a sucker for great clothes and a deal. 

I'll be spending my Tuesday online shopping and dreaming of the weekend. It's almost fall and I totally need some new clothes, right?

Have the best week friends.

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End of Summer Reading List.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2017 has been the year of the books. I cannot get enough. I find that I go through phases when it comes to reading and this has been my year. Call it a good season for publishing. Traveling and bed time are my two favorite times to read. There is nothing worse than getting stuck in the airport with little or nothing to do.

I know what you're all thinking, gosh I hope this girl has a kindle. Yes, I do... but there is something about physically holding a book that gives me all the joy. Sure, a kindle is great, much easier to travel with and you can even get one of those handy kindle lights, but I just don't enjoy it as much.

Wanna check out some other reading lists? I've got them. You can find them here and here.

Paulo Coelho // The Alchemist: My girlfriend gave me this book in a time in my life when I really needed to find my way and my place. I read this book in like 2 days. It was a quick read and so good. Plus, its a classic.

Anna Kendrick // Scrappy Little Nobody: Funny, quick read and made me even more obsessed with Anna Kendrick. This book details funny stories in her life but it also an honest take at her life.

Amy Schumer // The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo: This book is an easy, hilarious read about Amy and her life. Its hilarious, dirty and will actually make you laugh out loud.

Bill O'Reilly // Killing Patton: Not by usual style, but I couldn't put this book down. I took this one off Adam's bookshelf and I'm gonna have to start trusting his taste from now on! Its focus is on how Patton died and the mystery around it. I am not a history buff an had no idea his death was suspicious. This book was great.

Elin Hilderbrand // The Identicals: If you know me at all, you know how much I love Elin. Her books are based in Nantucket which is why I am currently planning my trip there. This book per usual took me all of 5 days to get through. I couldn't put it down. It was a little different than her other books because it takes place in both Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. It was so good.

Jane Corry // My Husbands Wife: This book was hard to get in to. I could tell this book was going to be great, so I'm glad I forced myself to get through the first few chapters. Once, I did, I was absolutely hooked. I couldn't stop. The twists in this book are insane and had me wondering what was going to happen until the very last page.

Liane Moriarty // Truly Madly Guilty: Liane is another cult-following author for me. Just like Elin, I love her books. This book held my attention the entire time because it starts with you knowing something horrible and sad happens, but you don't know what that even is. It's not until more than half way through the book that you find out what the event is.

What are you reading? Tell me everything. I'm always looking for new reads. Send me your recs!

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5 Days of Clean Eating.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Happy Monday and Happy Eclipse Day! I hope you have an awesome weekend. Welcome back.

The last few months of our lives have been full of constant travel. Don't get me wrong, traveling is so fun but traveling creates a crazy life. Travel for us means eating out, drinking cocktails, little to no sleep and just busy busy busy. We are gearing up for one more summer wedding and then we are done traveling for a while.

To get our lives and bodies back on track, we're doing a mini cleanse/strict clean eating starting today. I don't call it a diet because I'm eating, and eating a lot. I am just being very choosy about what I am eating.
 Please know I am not a doctor. I cannot tell you what the best thing for you is. But this works for me. It's a great re-start after eating like crap for months. I usually incorporate certain rules when I start super clean eating. Keep in mind, if you're doing hard workouts or extra long days you may need to modify this. You don't want to starve your body. Clean eating doesn't mean no eating. 

My top 7 rules for clean eating: 
  1. Choose Fresh Foods over Refined Foods. You'll see in these recipes that everything is fresh. 
  2. Stock Up on Protein. This is where you'll get your energy. I usually stay away from red meat and stick to fish and chicken. 
  3. Stop eating sugar
  4. Feed yourself. 5 small meals during the day rather then one large dinner or breakfast. 
  5. Don't Drink Your Calories. I'm talking to me here. No booze, no pop, no coffee, just stick to water. I usually give up coffee when I first start and drink green tea but usually get back to black coffee later. 
  6. Listen to your body. You may find yourself a little hungry since you are regulating meals, but if you go on a 10 mile run and are starving, you gotta eat. Just keep it clean.
  7. Cook with a friend/spouse. The key to success with this is prepping your meals and snacks. Life is so busy during the week, don't make it harder by not being prepared. Also, if you've prepared everything, it makes it easier to stick to your meal plan.
I usually do clean eating for 21 days straight. Its the easiest way for me to see results and feel better. This is a mini meal plan. But, if you need more recipes, be sure to check out my paleo tab and this other meal plan

Get creative, clean eating doesn't have to be gross. Here's a quick shopping list. Keep in mind, again, I leave out red meat and pork when I first start a reset. 

 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt or for dairy free, So Delicious coconut milk yogurt
• 1/4 cup muesli
• 1/4 cup blueberries

A.M. Snack 

 2 clementines


Avocado-Egg Toast with a Garden Salad
 1/2 medium avocado,
 2-3 large eggs, cooked in 1/4 tsp. olive oil 
Season egg with a pinch each of salt and pepper
 1 1/2 cups mixed greens
 2 Tbsp. grated carrot
 1/2 cup cucumber slices
Top salad with 1/2 Tbsp. each balsamic vinegar and olive oil.


 4 oz. cooked chicken breast, cooked in 1 tsp. olive oil and seasoned with a pinch each of salt and pepper
• 4 zucchini, sliced into quarters; Zest of 1 lemon; ½ tsp. dried oregano; ¼ tsp. garlic powder; Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all zucchini ingredients and grill for 2-3 minutes


Avocado-Egg Toast
 1/2 medium avocado
 2 tomato slices
 2-3 large eggs, cooked in 1/4 tsp. olive oil 
Season egg with a pinch each of salt and pepper

A.M. Snack 

• A handful of Kale chips

 Grab a can of tuna and an avocado with some salad greens, oil, and vinegar, and mix it all up.

P.M. Snack 

• 1 cup blueberries with 20 raw, unsalted pistachios


• 1 serving chicken soup (great for leftovers)

 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt or for dairy free, So Delicious coconut milk yogurt
• 1/4 cup muesli
• 1/4 cup blueberries

A.M. Snack 

 Frozen berries with a drizzle of coconut milk and honey 


Veggie Sandwich
• 2 slices sprouted-grain bread
• 1/4 medium avocado, mashed
• 1 Tbsp. hummus
Add veggies of your choice (try cucumber, tomato, carrots and greens).

P.M. Snack 

• 1 plum
• 5 walnut halves


• 2 chicken tacos 

• Breakfast scrambler. Store in an air tight container and use it for leftover lunch/dinner or breakfast.

A.M. Snack 

 8 dried apricots


Veggie Sandwich
• 2 slices sprouted-grain bread
• 1/4 medium avocado, mashed
• 1 Tbsp. hummus
Add veggies of your choice (try cucumber, tomato, carrots and greens).

P.M. Snack 

• hard-boiled egg


• 1 serving of baked mushroom chicken

• Breakfast scrambler. Store in an air tight container and use it for leftover lunch/dinner or breakfast.

A.M. Snack 

 Half an avocado sprinkled with sea salt and balsamic vinegar


 Salad with roast chicken, dried cranberries, pecans, apple slices, and vinaigrette

P.M. Snack 

•  2 Tbsp. hummus
• 1 cup sliced cucumber


• 1 serving of salmon with avocado salsa

Happy eating friends! I hope this meal plan helps get you back on track to healthy and delicious eating!

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