baking & boots

A few weekends ago, I committed to attending the REI Garage Sale with my boyfriend.  This event allows you to purchase slightly (or aggressively) used apparel and equipment at a faction of the cost.  We got a late ticket time, so it was slim pickings by noon.  I was on the hunt for hiking boots and a puffy down coat.  My puffy coat dreams will have to wait, but I did manage to find a pair of Lowa hiking boots for $100!  Colin told me that was steal for that brand, especially since they didn’t even appear to be used at all.  I swallowed the vomit that spending $100 on hiking boots brought on* and made the purchase.

I also found a pair of Smart Wool long johns for $5.  SCORE.

Took these bad boys for a spin around Sloan Lake this morning.


I am one step closer to not dropping loads of dough on hiking and camping equipment.


I also spent the weekend cooking and baking up a storm.  I have a giant bag of Made in Nature dried figs that I purchased from Costco.  They stopped carrying the dried mango (WHY??!  WHYYYYYY!?!), so I thought these would cut it.

Although delicious, they are not, in any way shape or form, the same as dried mangos.

NOTHING is as delicious as these dried mangos.

Except tacos.  Always tacos.

I knew I needed to make something with my JUMBO bag of dried figs, so I present to you…


(gluten and dairy free if you wanna be)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Grease a 9×9 pan with Kerrygold butter (or coconut oil)
  • In a blender/food processor mix
    • 1 cup gluten free oats
    • 1/4 cup raw almonds
    • 1/4 cup pecans
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar (mine was rock hard so I blended it)
    • 2 tablespoons cinammon
  • Mix your oat puree with 1/4 cup chopped up cold Kerrygold butter (or dairy free) to create your crumble.  I used my hands**, but you could also just add this to your blender/food processor.
  • Set aside and cube
    • 3 Fugi apples
    • 1 cup Made in Nature dried figs
  • Mix in 9×9 pan with cinnamon to taste***
  • Add oat crumble to the top of your fruit and cinnamon mix.
  • Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until crumble is browned just the way you like it.


crumble close up

*DISCLAIMER:  I have since learned that these boots retail for almost $250.  This makes me feel much better about life.

**DISCLAIMER:  Don’t be gross. Please wash your hands.

***DISCLAIMER:  I accidentally dumped about 1/4 cup of cinnamon into the pan.  I do not recommend you do this, as it is all you will taste in this recipe.

Paleo Coffee aka: sexy smackers

I remember the first time I made myself a coffee drink that I could actually stomach.  I was a freshman in college and I made the sickliest mocha.  I was a barista, which was ironic, because I didn’t drink coffee.  There was, seriously, so much chocolate in this drink.  Then my love affair with coffee began.  I didn’t drink it every morning, I didn’t need the caffeine to feel alert.  I certainly never made coffee at home.  As time passed, and my career as a barista continued, I slowly weaned off the flavorings.  First it was to a vanilla latte, then it was a white chocolate mocha.  At one point, I discovered that adding white chocolate powder to an americano was a game changer.  Then one day I went cold turkey and started drinking my coffee black.  Okay, so it wasn’t cold turkey and I was actually forced to drink it that way because I ran out of creamer.


I’ve always said that my favorite meal to go out for is breakfast.  There is something really special about starting your day sipping java with someone.  A chance to catch up.  A chance to cuddle up on the couch and connect.  So many conversations over so many caffeinated drinks.  I always order coffee when I go out for breakfast and until recently, that was the only time I enjoyed a steaming cup o’ joe.  Colin drinks coffee every morning, so it was an adjustment when he starting grinding the beans for me too.  But I went with it, always black, except the few times that I would add some almond milk to cool it down.  I became a creature of habit and before I knew it, I was having a cup almost every morning.

I had heard of paleo coffee over the last few years, but never done much research.  I’d tried paleo in the past, without any guidance, and just following the advice “just eat meat and fats”.  Needless to say, it was not a successful attempt and I was a bit turned off when I wasn’t seeing or feeling the results I had hoped for.  When I joined Crossfit Train last year, I just kept hearing the coach talk about her meals, and watching her move, how strong she was, and the fact that she had just pushed a baby out of her only three (3) months prior that I REALLY wanted to know more.  I’m obsessed with self-improvement books, so I bought every cookbook I saw, I read every article I got my hands on and I started following every paleo icon on Instagram.  She kept talking about the Whole 30 and how we should do it as a group, so I did what any normal person would do.  I went to Target, bought the book, read it cover to cover, followed every Whole 30 Instagram account and signed up for their newsletter.  We started the Whole 30 on February 1st.

I figured this would be the best time to try paleo coffee.  There are so many variations and recipes.  My first attempt was blending coconut oil and cinnamon.  It was delicious until the end of the morning and the end of my cup.  A weird slime had come together in my cup and it was a terrible moment when I attempted to swallow this paleo slime.  I swapped out the cinnamon for ghee on my next attempt, since it’s Whole 30 approved.  I blended one teaspoon of coconut oil and one teaspoon of ghee with one cup of coffee.  It was delicious and also gave my lips a sexy sheen!  BONUS!  I still make this version on occasion, but my go to is a tablespoon of coconut oil on a spoon.  Put the spoon in my coffee cup.  Pour coffee over the cup, stir and enjoy!  It’s not nearly as frothy as when I blend it, but it saves me time in the morning.  I’m debating purchasing a frother this weekend.  Even though I have omitted the cinnamon, mixing the two reminds me of my grandmother’s cinnamon toast.  It’s been magical.


I’m really looking forward to trying other variations of paleo coffee after my Whole 30.  Like this Metabolic Paleo Coffee they serve at Honor Society in Denver, CO.



warts and all

Last night, some friends invited me to join them at the Infinite Monkey Theorem and I was stoked!  I work for a company that serves their sparkling wine on tap, and now that I am a resident of Denver, it’s been on my bucket list of places to visit.  This place is ridiculously cool.  As you make your way through the venue, you’ll find yourself surrounded by smiling faces drinking all sorts of “adult grape juice”.  I only tried their Sauvingnon Blanc, which I did enjoy, and a decorative bonus is that the bottle design is rad.

(This is not the bottle design I mentioned, I just think their branding is delicious.)

So, this particular Friday, they had a jazz band and swing dancers offering up lessons.  Apparently, they also offer yoga classes for $20 (glass of wine included…score!!), and all sorts of other delightful events.  My friends and I march to the beat of our own drums, and although we enjoyed either watching or participating in the dancing, we eventually made our way back to the front room.  I just so happened to walk in on a game of Truth or Dare.  Oops.

These peeps of mine can be crazy.  Actually, we ARE crazy, but in the best kind of way.  I love them. So, when it came to be my turn, I chose truth.  “SO BORING”, you might be saying…but c’mon.  Let me have a warm up round!  At this point we were daring each other to do the grocery cart dance move through then entire venue solo, or to sit alone and yell, “PENIS!!”, as loud as possible across the room.  I wanted a warm up.  My question caught me by surprise.  “Do you like living in Denver?”, she asked.  Gosh.  I really didn’t know what to say.   I hadn’t really thought about it.  I mean, I’ve only been in Denver for three months.  “Not yet.”, I replied.

Don’t get me wrong.  Denver is amazing, and I’m sure the rest of Colorado is too, and I know that I will love it in good time.  I’ve never seen a state show so much pride.  The only exception might be Washington, where I’m originally from.  The Seahawks winning the Superbowl in 2014 was life changing for us.


But, I digress.  Back to Denver.

Let me explain.  I have already uprooted myself once before.  Back in 2008, I moved to San Diego, CA.  Prior to that move, I had never lived more than two hours away from home.  It was a big deal, moving to California, and incredibly hard to feel settled.  I’ll never forget my college sweetheart telling me to “do something”.  Well, I certainly did!  The transition from Washington to California was brutal.  It took me three years to feel like I had built a home there, and three years after that, to feel like I was actually home.  I wasn’t always the best version of myself there, I always knew I would leave at some point, and I made a lot of mistakes…but just when I had begun to fall in love with not only myself, but my life in So-Cal…BOOM!  Life happened.

I had/have been work for an amazing Colorado based company, and my job offered to bring me here…to Denver, Colorado.  P-R-O-M-O-T-I-O-N!!  Woo!!  THIS move has been much easier, and I’m lucky to now be working with many of the people I have built relationships with over my last three years with this company.  But, relocation still isn’t easy (no matter how many people you already know). and everyday I have to remember that it takes effort to maintain these friendships.  I didn’t think I would miss San Diego as much as I do and I also didn’t think I would be this lonely, especially when I’m surrounded with an amazing group of people that I have already known for years.

But this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now.  And all of the moments in my life have lead me here.  I’m forever grateful for all the people here who, I’m sure, will make me FALL IN LOVE with Denver and Colorado in no time.  And I will certainly never forget all the people and memories that have brought me to this point.

Anyway, this post got a little too “Lifetime Movie Network” for me, because sob story this is not.  But life is about the journey and right now, I might be lonely sometimes, but I’m kicking some serious bootie!! I’m super thankful for my friends, near and far, new and old, and my amazing family.  Even an old flame has recently helped me see that all I have to do is open myself up to all the amazing things this life of mine has to offer.  I finally see what it means to be the person I want to be, and now I just need to let myself be loved and seen for the person I am.

Warts and all.