Buena Vista Boutiques

 

While in Buena Vista on vacation, my friends and I decided to do some shopping–shocking I know!! I happened to find the two cutest shops on South Main that had very unique items. The first boutique we found is Sundance. They make their own shoes-Moccasins, house shoes, and full boots all hand sewn and beautifully crafted. We all decided to buy a pair after putting our feet in them–absolute heaven! In fact, one of my girlfriends bought 3 pair of moccasins and a pair of house shoes! Lucky duck! These will literally be shoes that I live in during the colder months. The moccasins cost around $120, but they come with a 1 year warranty and they will replace the sole for $25 after that. Seriously, you need to get some, they are incredible and one-of-a-kind!

sundance

moccasins

The second boutique is called Made. An adorable clothing and accessories boutique, when you walk in you feel like you stepped into a whimsical fairy tale full of unique, boho-chic clothing. You’re also greeted by the owner’s sweet dog who likes to help the customers find cute outfits. Blue has very good fashion sense.

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They have lots of gorgeous handmade jewelry by local designers.

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DSC_0721-1My favorite buy at this boutique was this unique sweater/caftan by Aratta. I love the colors and it’s extremely comfortable and versatile.

Mine Annie

Here is another cute top that my friend bought. It covers her early little baby bump perfectly!

Mine Erin

 

Colorado

 

We had an absolute blast with our small group in Colorado a couple weeks ago! There’s something special about the mountains that just overwhelm me with a sense of gratitude for nature’s beauty. We stayed in an amazing house in Buena Vista right at the base of Mt. Princeton, skied at Monarch, shopped in Salida and Buena Vista and cooked A LOT of food at the house. We played games, hot tubbed and grew closer together as a small group. I can’t wait for the next trip!

Here are some of the pics from our time in the Rocky Mountain state:

This is our scenic drive up to the house we stayed in.

BV drive to house

Our shack for the weekend :) Basically the nicest house I’ve stayed in thus far in the mountains. Not too shabby!

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Our view of Mt. Princeton from the living room. Pretty amazing view to wake up to!

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This is downtown Salida. It’s charming and quaint and has some really great shops and restaurants that you need to check out if you’re in the area!

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DSC_0717Skiing at Monarch with part of the group…

BV skiiersYou can’t tell it from this pic well, but this lift was so steep it really freaked me out! At least it was gorgeous so that took my mind off of it for a bit. It seemed like the longest lift ever!

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Here are some pics from the picturesque town of Buena Vista in the South Main area. Little fact: It’s located in the Banana Belt, so it actually doesn’t get much snow each year.

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The Buena Vista Roastery where I had an awesome drink–a Dirty Hippie. It’s a chai latte with a shot of espresso. This place is eclectic and has great pastries (even gluten free!)

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The Brown Dog Coffee Co. also had great drinks and gluten free pastries. I basically really love eating in Colorado because you can find GF everywhere! I’m partial to this one because of my own big brown dog!

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Riding ATV’s on Mt. Princeton after our near death experience! We hit a huge patch of ice near the top of the mountain and I leaped off that ATV faster than lightening! Luckily no one was hurt and we had ropes that we could tie to the ATV to get it back on the path.

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Pretty pics…

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BV sunset

Are you dying to take a trip to the mountains now??

 

Vision Boards

 

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I love to create vision boards! It’s therapeutic, it’s a great visual for what you want to accomplish, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it so it can’t be messed up. They only have to make sense to you and no one else.

This is the first year that I decided to host a vision board workshop. I thought it would be nice for women to come together and create something independently within a group. It was powerful and inspirational.

There’s a few things to do in order to prepare for your vision board experience:

  1. Set the mood. You can burn a candle, diffuse your favorite oil, play calming music, wear something comfortable, make a chai latte or whatever your beverage of choice and just relax.
  2. Take some time to think of your overall vision for the year. What is one word that sums up your desires and dreams? A theme for the year? You might want to take some time to pray about it or reflect on your thoughts and feelings.
  3. Gather all the supplies you will need.  Most likely you will want poster board, magazines, scissors, glue, markers, ribbon, and craft paper. My supplies:vision board
  4. In order to know what things you will need, here are some things to think about when planning for your vision board:
  • Design (words, pictures, color, layout)
  • Static or moveable
  • Areas of focus (personal, family, work, community, friends, mind/body/spirit)
  • Quotes, scriptures, sayings
  • Visibility
  • Accountability

The next part is the fun part~creation!vision board 2

  1. Start with the background (if you want a background)
  2. Add all your creative pieces! I typed out my 4 major goals for the year with a little about each one. Then I found words in magazines that represent other desires for me. I want to memorize more scripture this year, so I have moveable chalkboard labels that are clipped with mini clothes pins. Design yours to represent you!
  3. I like to keep a blank space to add to my board if there’s any delayed inspiration or growth that comes out of another vision.

How will you keep yourself accountable to your resolutions?

Will you tell a friend? Post your board in a visible place as a reminder? Have a special time each week or month that you take the time to reflect on your visions? Take a picture of it and use it as the wallpaper on your phone or computer?

Make sure you have your action plan in place to hold yourself accountable along with motivational quotes or verses to keep you going. You know tough days will come but you will get through it as you have many times before. Keep in mind that goals and visions are about the growth process not always the end result.

Happy vision boarding!

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Potato Soup

 

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This is a hearty, easy to make soup that you can enjoy on those cold winter evenings. Caution: This is not a low calorie soup! You can always substitute the half and half for skim milk and skip the butter…but it won’t taste as yummy!

Ingredients:
4 Russet potatoes
½ stick butter
1 cup half and half
2 garlic cloves grated
1 tbs. parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

potato soup 2

Optional ingredients:
Shredded cheese
Green onion
Bacon bits

potato soup 3

Directions:

Peel and cut up 4 potatoes and put in pot. Add enough water so that the potatoes are covered. Boil potatoes until soft. Mash the potatoes a bit with a hand masher. Don’t mash completely, just enough to thicken the soup. You still want to have some potato chunks. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add your optional ingredients to your desired taste and enjoy!

Yields approximately 6 servings

Motivational Quotes for 2015

 

CS lewis quote The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. ~Confucius

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. ~Confucius

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~Thomas A. Edison

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. ~Og Mandino

Either I will find a way, or I will make one. ~Philip Sidney

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow. ~Albert Einstein

If you can dream it, you can do it. ~Walt Disney

Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life, the evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with a prophetic ray. ~Lord Byron

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do. ~ Pope John XXIII

Hope is the dream of a soul awake. ~French Proverb

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever. ~Neil Gaiman

2015 Resolutions

 

NY 2015Well, it’s that time of year again! I have made several resolutions for 2015, but I wanted to share my top four with you today. These are goals that I will strive for throughout the year to make me a healthier, happier individual. I put some things in place to ensure that I won’t forget about them once February rolls around. I will include them on my vision board for 2015, remind myself of them weekly during my reflection time, and tell a friend who can hold me accountable to them. Plus I am putting them on here for you all to see, so please check up on me! They are not easy tasks. I know I won’t magically be able to implement them in my life tomorrow, but I will work on them a little each day knowing how beneficial they are to my overall health and wellbeing.

No expectations. My entire life I have had high expectations. I always thought it was a good thing. In some respects, it is; however, a lot of my expectations only set me up for heartache and don’t allow me to enjoy the moment…what IS. I’m too busy getting upset about what didn’t occur that I’m totally missing out on what is happening. That current moment could be the best part of my day! So, I’m letting go of all expectations to fully live and enjoy all the little moments that life has to offer. And in the case that I accidentally sneak in an expectation or two, I can always control how I respond. I will do my best to accept reality and enjoy it!

Intentionality. How many times do I absentmindedly go about my day doing things to check them off my list without really taking time to be present? I have a lot of great ideas and reason behind my actions, but am I really living intentionally? This year, I want to be more aware and mindful of what I’m doing. When I have my quiet time or work out, I want to be fully present, savoring every minute. Having intentional relationships is one of life’s greatest gifts, and I desire to experience them fully. So often, I book my calendar full and fit coffee dates in an hour window between appointments. This year is a new start for me to be a more intentional, purposeful person, and I’m looking forward it!

Transparency. I’ve felt called to be more transparent and broken before others in my life. In our social media hyped world all we see is perfection. It begs to ask the question, Why…Why do we do that? We are human; therefore, our lives are never perfect. We know this; yet, we continue to flaunt our flawless selves. If you think about it though, who wants to befriend a perfect person? How deep can that relationship go, and how much of an impact can you have if you never reveal your battle scars? A large part of the healing process comes through sharing your hurt. It’s time we get real with each other and bear one another’s burdens.

Letting go. I am a control freak. Yep, I admit it. I like to be in control of every situation that I possibly can in my life and that is so incredibly stressful, not to mention extremely unhealthy. As a believer, I have dedicated my life to God, but, truth is, I don’t live like that on a daily basis. Instead of allowing God to have control of all my thoughts and actions, I hold it so tight that He has little wiggle room at all, if any. So this year, I’m letting go and letting God take over to allow for more freedom and opportunity in my life.

What are your resolutions for 2015 and how will you hold yourself accountable?

Popcorn Bark

 

popcorn bark bagThis recipe is super quick, easy to prepare and fun to have around for the holidays!

Ingredients:

4 cups of popcorn
1 lb. of dark chocolate
½ cup of toffee bits
1 cup of Craisins
¼ cup of chia seeds
1 Tb. of sea salt

popcorn bark ingredients

Directions:

  1. Cover a 9” X 13” pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler.
  3. Spread the majority of the chocolate on the parchment paper. Leave about ½ cup for to drizzle on top.
  4. Throw on your popcorn, Craisins, toffee and chia seeds.
  5. Drizzle the remaining chocolate on top.
  6. Sprinkle the sea salt over all of it.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting.

popcorn bark

Deep Dish Ultra Rich Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

 

Phew…that’s a mouthful to say! This is the pie that I made while at my parents house for Thanksgiving, and it was delish!

Ingredients:
Crust:

  • 2½ cups GF flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup ice water

Filling:

  • 1 16-ounce bottle light corn syrup
  • 1½ cups packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cup chocolate chips
  • 3½ cups pecan pieces

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Directions:

  1. Mix together flour and salt in food processor or large mixer. Add butter and mix until it resembles coarse meal. Gradually add in enough ice water until dough clumps form. Gather dough into a ball. Roll dough on lightly-floured surface until it’s 13-inches around. Transfer to a greased pie pan and chill for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine corn syrup, brown sugar and butter in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, bourbon and salt with a wire whisk. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans.
  3. Pour mixture into pan lined with uncooked dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 2 hours. Cool completely.

As you can see I had a little extra filling, so I made a couple little crustless pies!

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True Food Kitchen

 

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Organic…farm-to-market…healthy…All reasons why I love True Food KItchen! This restaurant located in Preston Center has dishes and drinks based on the anti-inflammatory diet created by Dr. Andrew Weil. They also have locations in Scottsdale, Santa Monica, San Diego, Phoenix, Newport Beach, Denver, Atlanta, Houston and Fairfax.

TFK makes eating gluten free easy with their labeled menu. They label their vegetarian dishes as well. It’s hard to get a GF sandwich basically anywhere, so I love ordering the shaved turkey sandwich with provolone, tomato, onion, grapes, and yogurt dressing all on a gluten free pita with a side of sweet potato hash and kale. Their brunch scrambles are incredible and drinks…fabulous! It’s definitely one of my favorite go-to restaurants in Dallas at any time of the day. Check it out and tell me how you like it!

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Butterflies

 

Butterflies have always been special to me. They’ve represented renewal, change, and rebirth. The lowly, ugly caterpillar confined to the ground eventually becomes this beautiful, unique creature that flies around freely wherever it chooses. It reminds me of Gungor’s song “Beautiful Things” where he speaks of how God makes “beautiful things out of the dust.”  He takes the ugly, the broken, the rejected, and He makes them beautiful, whole and abundantly loved.

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During my time at the beach, the monarch butterflies were migrating south. It was amazing to see so many butterflies at the ocean everyday. I don’t know about you but my vision of heaven includes sun, sand, saltwater and butterflies! It was so sweet to be able to experience this journey at the beach and be reminded of the precious transition from caterpillar to butterfly. God is continually making us more and more beautiful as we allow him to work in our lives.

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I challenge you to take time to think back on your life~where you’ve been to where you are now. Be grateful for and appreciate the journey that has brought you to your current state. Choose to see the blessings in your life and what has been transformed from old to new, ugly to beautiful, weak to strong, or broken to whole. Write it down, paint it or create a movement of gratefulness as an offering of thanks to the Lord. When we are in the middle of the mess, it’s hard to see the beauty, but fortunately, grace allows us to see the sliver of hope…the butterfly in the making.

coffeeshop butterfly

 

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