We bought a house!

We bought a house!

We bought a house! We’ve been living here now since December 23rd! Probably the worst time ever to move, but Merry Christmas to us! It’s a 3 bed, 2 bath, and it’s got a 2 car garage. It’s on a little under half an acre, and it’s not fenced on one side, but we will handle that as soon as the ground thaws so that the dog can run freely. We don’t have it all the way set up yet, so I don’t have any images of the house since we’ve been living here. Even though our housewarming party is on Saturday and I need to get on that. I do have real estate photos though! The kitchen is totally gorgeous, too. And bright! I am so excited to be able to take real blog photos. And to be able to post more about things which I don’t need to plan ahead to be done in the brightest of daylight so I can take it over to the window to take pictures. And I’ll be able to take real progress photos or videos, which will be awesome. I’m looking forward to our new lives in this house! Our new kitchen with two pantries! And also all of the living posts I will be able to make and hopefully gardening too, this summer! Now, time to look at some...
DIY Beauty Kit Giveaway

DIY Beauty Kit Giveaway

Think about your daily routine. Do you wash your body, hair, and face? Use lotion? Deodorant? Makeup? I’m thinking yes to most, if not all, of those. But what a lot of people don’t think about (including me, sometimes) is that all of these substances are absorbed into your skin and all of the toxins in them culminate in your body. Have you ever heard of a lidocaine/analgesic cream, motion sickness patch, birth control patch, or a nicotine patch? They work by passing a medicine through the skin and entering the blood stream to cause a given effect. Even your laundry detergent has an effect on your skin. Although I admittedly do not make all of my own beauty products, I do condition my hair with coconut oil (in each shower), do oil pulling on my teeth (when I remember), and make my own deodorant. If you’re curious about the products you use, try: The Skin Deep Database. I have very sensitive skin, so I have to be aware of what I am putting on it, and I would LOVE to be able to make more of my own beauty products. That’s why I’m so excited to be hosting this Natural Beauty Giveaway with some fabulous bloggers to help you on your DIY Beauty journey! One fabulous person will receive the following in their Beauty box! (Valued at over $120!) Organic Coconut Oil 5 ml bottle of Lavender Essential Oil Beeswax Shea Butter Jojoba Oil Epsom Salt Homemade Mommy’s Beauty Essential E-book Salve Jar Small Glass Jars What I love most about this giveaway is that you can make so many things with...
Jackson, WY: Granite Hot Springs & Granite Creek Falls

Jackson, WY: Granite Hot Springs & Granite Creek Falls

Quick Little Disclaimer: Most of these pictures are from last year. We did visit again this year, but it was raining, so I left my camera in the car. But it’s still lovely in the rain! Granite Hot Springs is in Brider-Teton National Forest, and it’s way up a mountain trail, and it’s only accessible in the Winter by Snow Cat, and hardly anyone knows about it (best kind of springs!), and it’s beautiful! And I would like to mention that I was terrified of two things this trip: 1. A bear. This was the day after we saw the bear and I was having none of that Bears-In-Nature crap. 2. The eco toilets. Am I the only one who is freaked out by peeing into a black hole? When you go there, after you drive up the mountain, on your right side there will be a little pull off and you can visit Granite Falls. It’s very pretty and you could go up and stand in it if you wanted to! And then you go a little farther, and there’s a parking area, so you can park and then walk the rest of the way (not that far) up to the pool. Once you’re there you’ll see some bathrooms, a few picnic tables, and the pool itself. You can go through the gates and pay your fee (it’s cheap, like $6 per person or something), and then there are dressing rooms. Once you’re in, it’s amazing. It’s warm (last year was HOT, this year was warm, thinking it may have had to do with the time of year),...
Jackson, WY: Thai Me Up

Jackson, WY: Thai Me Up

This was not the first time we had come to Thai Me Up in Jackson. We actually were here last year when we vacationed for a week in Jackson. If you’ve never been there, it’s a cool little western-y town. Lots of restaurants, and gift shops, and expensive boutiques for skiing and backcountry hiking gear. Everything is made out of wood and super picture-esque. It’s right south of the Grand Tetons, and you can see mountains on all sides of it. There’s also an overabundance very expensive of furniture stores. But if you’re like us, it’s the restaurants that REALLY matter. Thai Me Up is an uber-trendy restaurant and microbrewery. Their food is good, and this year they had an abbreviated menu which was actually a nice surprise since there was no decision making. And since I had just driven about 7 hours from the Southeast corner of Wyoming, that was welcome. Their beer list is longer than their food menu, and a lot of their brews are Wu-Tang named (Joel would be disappointed in me if I failed to mention that). We got the tempura shrimp skewer for an appetizer since they were super busy and our food was going to take awhile. It was expensive, but it was so good. Actually, it’s on my list of things that I need to figure out and learn to make at home. If nothing else, THE SAUCE. Also, I swear there were 5, but we ate 3 before I stopped to take a picture. They were actually pretty mess-free. Which was surprising, considering, haha. And for dinner, we both got the...
Aspen, CO: Independence Pass (formerly Hunter Pass)

Aspen, CO: Independence Pass (formerly Hunter Pass)

We went way out of our way to come to Independence Pass. I have a thing for mountain passes and high elevations. This one was 12,000+ feet, so the highest I’ve ever been. I’ve had a “thing” for them, ever since we were driving from Cody, WY to Sheridan, WY and had to pass through Big Horn National Forest. It was pretty, and it took about an hour to get up, even though we didn’t really know we were going “up”. At the top, there was a gift shop and a waterfall. Annddd thheeennnn it was time to come down again. And what took us an hour to climb took us about 10 minutes to come down (from almost 10,000 feet to almost 1,000). It was exciting. But I had to pee, and I was seriously death-gripping the steering wheel by the time I got down. That says 12,095 feet, by the way. And see my car in the background? So. Independence pass. What should have been a 3 hour drive from Denver to Steamboat Springs was maybe 7 hours. By the end I was doubting myself. But in the middle it was beautiful! Plus I got to see a good portion of Colorado, and since I had never been there before it was cool. See all that snow? It was about 50 degrees up there. In the middle of July! I needed to get a hoodie out of the car, I was loving it. The road up, was SUPER wind-y, and very steep, with sharp drop offs on one side of the road (the other hugged a mountain). It’s...
Steamboat Springs, CO: Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Steamboat Springs, CO: Strawberry Park Hot Springs

This will be the most dramatic story of my whole trip! Even more dramatic than the robbery! But I’ll start with the hot spring! We love hot springs, so we always go to as many as possible. This trip we clocked in three which is a new record for us. We went to this one in Colorado, which was beautiful. Here’s the link. I didn’t need any convincing other than “hot water”, but the website made it sound like it was the best ever (it was), and also it was clothing optional after dark. Which is interesting, even if I’m not super interested in swimming naked (or seeing naked people, for that matter). I didn’t take a ton of pictures since we got there late, and believe it or not, undressed people don’t really like to be photographed! But I did get some, and their website has a ton more! While we were there, people were really friendly. And you kind of got the feeling that you were included in all of the conversations happening even if you weren’t talking, so it was a nice “people watching” experience. We DID have to go up a really steep, bumpy, ridiculous dirt road. And I had doubts even in my 4×4, but when we got there there were some regular cars there. But I would NOT recommend that in the winter. Especially because it’s narrow and there are not any lights, anywhere. Basically, there were 3 pools which all ran from one part and then ran into each other. There was the really hot pool, the warm pool, and then the...
Denver, CO: Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Denver, CO: Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

We went here directly after we checked into our hotel. We were seriously hungry and disheveled after a day of driving. Plus I started the day totally hung over (perfect for road-tripping, right?) so I really hadn’t eaten a lot. And there is Joel wearing a Blackshirt’s Husker shirt in a rival college football place. Oh jeez. No one said anything though, besides me accompanied with a dirty look! The server was super nice and asked us if we wanted an appetizer and we said no. So he went into the back for a minute and said “Actually, I’m a manager, here’s a card for a free appetizer” (paraphrasing). And so we had to get the fried pickles! I was so happy with that, I can’t even tell you. I’ve always liked fried pickles, but I loved these fried pickles! And I liked the slices, and the saltiness of the pickle with the ranch dipping sauce was great. And they were so thin and crunchy! Perfection! I got the Pittsburger, and it was seriously the best. I got some barbecue fry sauce on the side which I put on my burger (not because it needed it, just because I like saucy food). It was so good, I took two pictures of it! The portions were also huge! The food might have been a tad pricey, but nothing crazy. And I had a hard time finishing my burger, I barely made a dent in my fries! If I was not staying in a hotel, I would have gotten a doggy bag. Joel got the Classic Southern burger which was also very...
Denver, CO: Voodoo Doughnut

Denver, CO: Voodoo Doughnut

Before we got to Denver, I looked up good places to eat on Urban Spoon. One of the places they mentioned was Voodoo Doughnut. And Joel loves doughnuts, so I was immediately like “We have to go there.” When we got there, the line was OUT THE DOOR. It was insanely busy, but obviously, if the line was that long it had to be worth it? Plus it was moving fast. We were easily the 50th people in line and we only stood in line for like 20 minutes. While we were there, and chatting with a super friendly guy in front of us (now inside and like 30th in line), we heard a sudden commotion and then “Oh my god! They just got robbed!”. Apparently, someone came in with a hood, grabbed the tip jar (which I imagine was FULL with them being so busy), and then ran to a car and got away. They got the plate numbers and they were probably on camera in downtown Denver. But still. Apparently they were standing around outside talking about it…. And no one thought to tell the people working to hide the tip jar behind the counter? But despite sounding a little scary, we didn’t even notice until it was over. The excitement aside though, it was a very cool place, and the doughnuts were SO GOOD. I don’t even like doughnuts that much and I thought they were good. Joel had like 3 of them and I think he died a little from bliss, haha. Overall, I would definitely recommend that you check them out! Either in Denver...
Austin, TX: Hamilton Pool

Austin, TX: Hamilton Pool

This took me way too long to get up here on the blog. Actually though, it works out nicely since it’s a little travel post, and then next month I’ll be going on vacation and posting more! When you pull into Hamilton Pool (technically in Dripping Springs, TX), a frumpy guy comes out and reads you at least 20,000 rules about what you can and cannot do in the pool, then tells you to pull ahead to the parking lot. Once you park, you have a walk ahead of you. It’s about a quarter mile or so down a pretty steep path, and then maybe another quarter mile or half mile to the pool itself. Once you get there though, you can hear it’s waterfall and immediately know where you are! Around the pool (which isn’t really a pool, by the way, it has a “natural” bottom and fish) there is a path where you can walk, which is not only gorgeous but has some cool rock formations. And at the end some rickety-ass stairs which you can climb to get to the top and loop back around. Although the path has some tight spots: It was too cold for us to swim, but we enjoyed the trip nonetheless. And in the summertime when it was full of people, it would be quite the experience! Unfortunately, I can’t find the picture, but if you go the opposite way on the trail from the pool, it will take you along the river and after about a mile and a half of pretty views, it will let out onto a GORGEOUS...
How to Get Started with Whole Foods (for real people)

How to Get Started with Whole Foods (for real people)

On the journey to “real food” or “whole foods”, or more specifically my chosen path the “paleo diet”, you realize that it’s a difficult transition. No more lazy and eating Taco Bell. No more going “but I REEAAAALLLLYYYYY want a sandwich”. No more shoveling Doritos in your face. It’s hard. And for someone like me, who loves all food, it sometimes feels limiting. But at the same time, it feels good. I know I’ll feel better. I know I’ll be healthier. I may even look better if i can get rid of the minor acne on my chin. So, what do you do? Well, I think you start small. This month we are not eating out at all, which means if we want it, then we have to make it ourselves. We may have started this a few weeks ago and then fallen off the wagon. But after grocery shopping yesterday, we are back to it. And then after that we may spend more time on cutting out processed foods, or gluten, or slowly cutting back on dairy. And not eating beans (which, lets be honest, that’s harder than cheese because I come from a culturally Mexican family and also because when I was a vegetarian I lived off beans). I can, however, tell that some of this is starting to take hold. I have a pound of conventional ground beef in my freezer and the thought of eating it makes me want to gag. Just no. I actually bought 50 pounds of beef the other day from a local store, and while it’s not grass-fed (I don’t think),...