When I Get Bored: Part 1

I don't know about you, but I don't do so well with idle time.  I can only watch TV for so long before losing interest and brainstorming what fun creative project I can pour myself into.  

Well, last night I found myself extremely bored and with no other options appealing to me, I busted open our little stock of chalk paint and began my latest project.  Full before and after photos to come once I finish, but here's a little sneak peak of what I got up to last night... (apologies for the poor lighting.)  If you squint, it almost looks finished. :)

Ahhhh the joy of painting while listening to Chris YouTube videos of people playing the harmonica and the Native American flute. (Two things.  One, can YouTube be used as a verb? And two, I'm not kidding.  This painting was done to some seriously relaxing, meditation-worthy tunes.)

On a completely separate (and WAY in the future, if ever) note, I also found myself daydreaming about a major renovation with our kitchen/dining room area.  What do you think of my vision? (what?  I did warn you that I was bored out of my mind last night...)

It involves combining our kitchen and formal dining room, and moving the dining room to the front room (which is a totally awkward space that we never use).  I'm kind of in love with this space.  Not so much, however, with the price tag of such renovation.  But hey, a girl can dream.  Just look at that gorgeous island...

Happy Wednesday!

Veggie Life: Protein Pasta?

Okay, I feel like I have an obligation to share something with you, my three loyal readers. :)

As a vegetarian, I am often struggling with getting enough protein into each meal of my daily diet.  I really do try to incorporate it wherever I can, but am always eager to find new and healthy ways to do so.  Well, last year I found Ezekiel Bread, and it literally changed my life.  Not only does it taste great, but it is also a complete protein!  Meaning it provides all 9 of the essential amino acids your body needs to function properly!  Double win!  Yes, it still has carbs... let's not get ahead of ourselves here.  But our bodies need carbs of the healthy variety, people, so let's call a truce.  Chris and I enjoy this bread all the time.  And then, I found out that Food for Life do loads of other things as well: pasta (gasp!), tortillas, buns, cereal, english muffins (!), etc.

Pasta is not a common dish found in Chris and I's diet, but who doesn't love pasta?!  We usually opt for spaghetti squash instead, in an effort to fool ourselves into thinking we are eating the delicious comfort carbs we crave. But finding a way to add the real thing in such a healthy way is certainly a win for me.  And the best part is, that they have a few different types of pasta including, spaghetti, fettuccine, elbow, and penne. What more could you need?  Add a healthy (homemade?) sauce and some tasty grilled veggies and you are good to go!

A veggie blog that I love, is Naturally Ella, and she has some very tasty looking pasta recipes that I just might have to match up with our new pasta friend, Food for Life.  A few of my favorites from her site...?

Chris and I are enjoying being in the kitchen together as of late, so I might have to suggest a date night in sometime this week to make one of these tasty recipes!

On a side note, if you are scouring your grocery store trying to find it... the bread is located in the frozen section, and should be stored in your fridge once you get home (unless you plan on saving it for a while, then it can go in your freezer).  The pasta is typically in the "health food" section of Safeway, etc. rather than on the regular pasta aisle.

Happy Sunday!

It's That Time Again { laundry room edition }

Remember when I said I was daydreaming about how to makeover our laundry room?  Well, after a few months off since our last indoor DIY project, I have regained my enthusiasm for painting and all things creative.  So... I decided to put together a little "vision board" of my ideas to help me bring it all together.  

I am also aiming to do this on an extreme budget, so whatever I can get used (hello, ReStore!) - or super inexpensive - I most definitely will be.  I am hoping that the paint is the only thing that I have to buy, or at least that I have to buy new, but we will see how good I can be at this..

Replace the existing blinds with white wooden blinds...

Paint the cabinets white and spray paint the hardware black...

Add a shelf above the already built-in coat rack. top with wire baskets to wrangle our hats, mittens, scarves, etc.

Add a bench below the coat rack (this is a tricky one, but I would like to build my own. scary!)...

Again, this will test my DIY skills, but I would like to build my own wooden "countertop" to go on top of the washer and dryer...

We plan to remove the washer and dryer "lifts" as we don't use the storage underneath anyways, and could really use a hanging space above like this room...

I love this paint color (or something similar)...

Chris also wants to swap the enormous fluorescent light currently in the space for a few recessed lights, which I am totally on board with.  So we shall see what we can actually make happen in our laundry room!

Stay tuned...

Mountain Fix # 3,976

I really should start keeping track of how many "fixes" we actually seek out in the mountains...

As I mentioned in my last post, Chris has had an insatiable appetite for the mountains lately.  And who am I to complain about exploring new hiking trails?!  So we set off towards one of our favorite mountain towns, Evergreen, in search of a new-to-us trail.  It was pretty roasting hot, and errands in the morning meant we didn't reach the trail head until almost 3 in the afternoon!  Not the best decision for a summer hike in Colorado, but we managed all the same.

Love finding random photos after hubs steals my phone on a fun adventure.

We couldn't come that close to Evergreen without spending some time in town, so we cleaned up and decided to enjoy dinner and live music in a super quirky and fun pub downtown.  The music was fantastic and we went home with full tummies and lots of energy from the lively pub atmosphere.

Sunday was much more low key, spent snoozing during power outages, daydreaming about decorating our laundry room (ha! how boring do I sound?!), and hanging with hubs before a sleepless night for the both of us.  Zzzzz......

I am gearing up for a busy week at work, followed by a weekend back in Washington celebrating a new babe and catching up with family.  Bring on the coffee!

How did you spend your weekend?

A Little Fresh Mountain Air Therapy

We spent the week of July 4th visiting one of the most beautiful natural landscapes I have ever seen: Yellowstone.  I expected it to be great, but having spent a lot of time in the mountains, I didn't expect it to be that different than the other wonderful places we have frequented.  Boy was I wrong.  It was absolutely stunning, unlike anything else I have ever experienced.

Let me back up.  Yellowstone is about a 10-11 hour drive from us here in Denver and we decided to make a proper road trip out of it.  We were under no illusions that we were going to find any big tourist towns/cities in Wyoming, but we are game for exploring cute small towns, so we began researching towns that were about halfway to Yellowstone.  We ended up stopping in Riverton on the way up.  Cute little town, but apparently everything is closed on Sundays... which also happened to be the day we arrived.  We found one restaurant open for dinner (thank goodness!) before going for a little drive around the area.  The next morning we found a super cute coffee shop to grab a quick breakfast for the road.  The owner was an older gent who gave us a little tour of the coffee roaster in the back (sounds creepy, but he was a super sweet grandpa-like man!).  He gave us a really good impression of what the people were like there.

Wyoming also had a lot more rolling hills than we expected, and of course we had the promise of the mountains looming in the distance.  We drove the final 4 hours on Monday morning before landing at our final destination: The Old Faithful Inn.

Instead of trying to tell you how amazing it was, I will let the photos speak for themselves...  and I apologize in advance for the photo bonanza (overload) that follows..

long drives require lots of caffeine... 

blurry husbands...

the stunning, rustic Old Faithful Inn.

nightly live music, including two of my favorite instruments: piano and violin.

 the one and only, old faithful.

the view from our room when we checked into our hotel. 

early morning lake views. 

just missed spotting three wolves. super disappointed we didn't get to see them. 

playing spot the wildlife... 

beautiful crystal clear water. 

misleading the guys to a "viewpoint" of Grand Prismatic Spring only to find out you couldn't see it from there... 

second times a charm. the breathtaking grand prismatic spring. 

taking some back roads... 

and the creme de la creme... mama bear and two cubs spotted on our last day! 

babes are a bit harder to spot.. 

ah ha! there he is crossing the log. so cute.

tuckered out after all the excitement.. 

a quick visit through grand teton national park on our way home.. 

definitely a first. does one person even qualify as a "town?" apparently so.. 

 lunch in a cute little town on our way home.

 altitude much? 

It was just the mountain adventure we were looking for, and so much more.  Great company, stunning scenery, and fresh mountain air.  Does it get any better?

Chris is now craving the mountains every. single. day.  Literally can't get enough.  :)  So we have been doing lots of hikes to satisfy his craving for higher altitudes.  

I don't know about you, but I plan on taking advantage of a lot more of these fun adventures before the Summer slips away!

Happy Friday!