Category Archives: Boyfriend

And then a month went by…

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Sorry about that! I went home for about 10 days for Christmas. My parents sold their house recently and are living in a 550 square foot cabin on our friend’s farm, so internetting and blogging was not really gonna happen. But it was a great break from reality – fun to be home spending every waking (and non!) with my family. We skied, baked, watched movies, ate (a lot!), went to a play and generally enjoyed living out of town. and on the night before Christmas eve, my sister got engaged! Her boyfriend (now fiance) was visiting for a week before Christmas and he popped the question the night before he left! So excited to start planning her wedding!

Here are some photos from my time at home:

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Mt Blackmore from our Christmas tree hunt.

The Elephant Spring in Yellowstone.

The Elephant Spring in Yellowstone.

Bull elk staring us down.

Bull elk staring us down in Yellowstone.

The Christmas Spiders that are hung up in downtown Bozeman every year.

The Christmas Spiders that are hung up in downtown Bozeman every year.

huston dogs

The three dogs we were taking care of on the farm.

And then I flew to California to meet up with Kyle and his familiy in June Lake. Here I got to reunite with Jewell, visit some of my favorite places from a past life (www.bigwidewesternworld.blogspot.com) and have an exciting outing of my own!

My happy dog and I when we were reunited!

My happy dog and I when we were reunited!

We went of an a skiing adventure but Kyle's boots and bindings didn't fit together :(

We went of an a skiing adventure but Kyle’s boots and bindings didn’t fit together ­čśŽ

Kyle at the sand tufa - some of the coolest geologic formations I've ever seen!

Kyle at the sand tufa – some of the coolest geologic formations I’ve ever seen!

Down at the lake's edge...I had no idea what was coming...

Down at the lake’s edge…I had no idea what was coming…

We're engaged!

We’re engaged!

Carson Peak from the front yard.

Carson Peak from the front yard.

Deserted ski resort.

Deserted ski resort. We skinned up to the top!

Looking downhill to Mono Lake.

Looking downhill to Mono Lake. A gorgeous day for a ski!

Pub crawl shirts - June Lake The Lost Season.

Pub crawl shirts – June Lake The Lost Season.

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We’re running a half marathon!

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I’ve never really been much of a runner. I played volleyball in college and was always pretty good at the short, explosive movements it requires. But when it comes to running, I have a tendency to get bored fast and just quit. For those of you that have followed my past blogs, you know that running is something I dabble with here and there, and for awhile back in 2010 I seriously considered training for a half marathon. I was living in rural eastern California at the time, and the opportunities were limited so it never happened.

Finally, this fall, Kyle and I decided to sign up for Moab/Canyonlands Half Marathon! Check out their website, I think there are still some spots available. ┬áSo on March 16, 2013, we’ll run 13.1 miles along the prettiest road I know. Seriously, has anyone out there been to Moab? Driven the River Road (Hwy 128)? Check out these photos:

This one is from the highway looking southeast back toward the La Sal Mountains.

La_Sal_Mtns._from_Hwy_128_near_Moab_UT

This is why they call it the River Road:

river road

Some of the crazy/beautiful landforms that make this one of the most scenic drives in America. This is looking back at Castle Valley – I think this formation is called A┬áPriest and the Nuns.

castle valley

Needless to say, we’re pretty excited to be running our first half marathon on one of prettiest roads in the country. It’s a gentle downhill grade along the Colorado River so it shouldn’t be too hard. Anyone else out there running this in 2013?

*GASP* I don’t love Paleo *GASP*

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There it is: the simple truth. Kyle and I, for about 2.5 months, have been dabbling with the Paleo diet. This is not to say that we eat strictly Paleo at every meal BY ANY MEANS. Rather, our strategy has been to grocery shop Paleo and thus eat Paleo at home (with the exception of beer for him) and splurge on weekends or when we’re eating at someone else’s house. While I can absolutely get on board with the general idea of the Paleo diet (plus it was a fun new challenge to try cooking in a new way) I honestly just think it’s too hard, too restrictive to keep up in any kind of routine way. Sometimes I don’t have time to cook an egg at breakfast. Honestly, sometimes I just don’t want an egg at breakfast. On days when I’m in a rush, it’d be nice to throw together a quick sandwich on the go than have to make a salad and box up last night’s leftovers.

It’s funny that I’m even saying this because I’ve never been a carbs person. I don’t like bread that much, I almost never eat rice and the only dairy I usually consume is cheese. But the convenience factor is hard to deny. And I’m all about convenience right now when I’m working 40 hrs/week, playing in three volleyball leagues, taking an online class and trying to also have some unscheduled fun.

I want to appreciate food again, not pick it apart. I want to not feel ┬álike every meal is a production, and I want to be able to make big production meals without poring over the ingredients list first. So I’m taking a break from Paleo. I’ll let you know how it goes!

In an effort to make this post a little less text heavy, I tried to find an image that did something other than pile praises on the Paleo diet. THEY DON’T EXIST. I googled “Paleo hater” “Dislike paleo diet” “Negative paleo” and other things. Apparently people everywhere completely adore the Paleo diet and I’m an anomoly. So instead, here are some really cute puppies!

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And the time flies.

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I’m surprised I’m still surprised at how quickly time passes. Suddenly it’s December, and just as suddenly it feels normal that it’s December. Normal, at least, until I look around and realize that there is no snow anywhere. Are we due for another winter like last? I hope not. Anyway, here’s the long-lost Thanksgiving post that I promised and never delivered on…

Last year, Kyle and I hosted both our families for Thanksgiving here in Colorado. Though we’d been dating for less than a year, the circumstances lined up well and we decided it would be too fun to feel awkward about. So Kyle’s mom, dad, aunt, uncle, two brothers and sister-in-law and my mom, dad, sister, sister’s boyfriend and aunt all piled into our 850 square foot house for the big feast. We had to put our couch out on the porch and rent a table and enough chairs to fit everyone, but it was a fun day with lots of delicious food, and it was wonderful to have both our families there to spend time with.

This year, Kyle’s brother and sister-in-law hosted in San Francisco. I haven’t spent much time in the city, but I’ve always heard amazing things so I was excited to make the trek. Plus, the weather in San Francisco this time of year is gorgeous. Because of our work schedules, we had to fly the morning of Thanksgiving which meant that things were happening by the time we got to their house! After watching some football and making the food assignments, we got going! Here is the weekend plan:

weekend plan

 

After lazing around a little more, we started cooking. We’d planned on a 5pm dinner, but there was lots to do before that happened. The first was figure out how to use the deep fryer:

thanksgiving boys

Here you see the boys standing around trying to figure out how they were going to measure the temperature of the hot oil without losing all the skin on their hands. The solution: a metal hanger! Meanwhile, in the kitchen we were working on mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, bacon maple brussel sprouts, green beans, cranberry sauce and bread. Finally, not too much after 5, everything was ready! Here’s a glimpse of our serving line (desserts not included).

 

thanksgiving food

 

And here’s a look at our table and the view. Kyle’s brother and sister-in-law live up on a hill almost above the Golden Gate Bridge, and from their house you can see a lot of the bay. It’s really spectacular!

 

thanksgiving window

 

What an awesome day! Afterward, we went on a long walk through the Presidio, around LucasFilm and back to the house. It was so nice to be surrounded with Kyle’s awesome family, I only wished my family could have been there too!

The next morning, Kyle and I got up to go for a quick run before we headed downtown. We crossed the bridge over to Marin and ran in the hills above the Golden Gate. The sun washes it out a little, but what an awesome setting for a morning run!

trail run city view

 

We spent the afternoon of black Friday (with about 100,000 other people) in Union Square. It was fun to walk around one of the best shopping districts in the country on the biggest shopping day of the year, but it didn’t take me long to get overwhelmed. There were police directing traffic because there were so many pedestrians! Finally, we went home and spent the evening watching more football, playing games and eating leftovers.

The next morning we got up and headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to Tiburon – the ferry dock for Angel Island. The day was beautiful and clear, with a breeze on the water. Here’s a view of the harbor.

angel island boat dock

 

Kyle and I before getting on the ferry:

angel island kyle and rosa

I didn’t know anything about Angel Island before this trip. What an interesting glimpse into West Coast history! For many years, the island served as a military camp or fort, and there are several historic buildings on the island. However, it is probably best known as the “Ellis Island of the West.” Between 1910 and 1940, Angel Island served as the immigration processing center during which time 1 million Asian immigrants were granted entry to the country. In the late 1950’s, the US military built a missile base on the island, but it was decommissioned not many years after it was built. Now the entire island is a state park and the only way you can reach it is by ferry. It’s a small island, but you can stay overnight and camp, explore the beaches and historic buildings, even take tours put on by the Parks employees. This is one of the old buildings on the island:

angel island building

And here is the view of the Golden Gate bridge. I just can’t get over how beautiful the weather was while we were there!

golden gate

 

We spent Sunday walking around the city with Kyle’s brother and sister-in-law, checking out some of the fun neighborhoods and taking advantage of the lively bar and restaurant scene that we don’t really get here in western Colorado. What a fun weekend! Did everyone else have a nice Thanksgiving?

 

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Anyone else finding it impossible to do anything other than think about family and food this week? It’s ridiculously busy at work right now and all I can seem to do is look at cooking blogs and photos from our epic Thanksgiving last year (more on that next week…). I just looked at almost every recipe on this blog┬áand they all look amazing! How about some pumpkin tres leches cake? Or some sundried tomato basil corn muffins? Holy buckets, I could stay on her website all day. Or what about Food Gawker? I could get lost there too among the recipes for sweet potato parmesan gratin or the cranberry poached pears with goat cheese. Seriously, how are we supposed to do anything other than cook and hang out with family this week? I can’t wait for Wednesday night to get here!

Family and food!

A weekend in Salt Lake City

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Last weekend was the ONLY weekend in September or October that wasn’t scheduled with something specific. Between work, hunting and a relatively busy social calendar, the fall is a busy time for us! But last weekend the only plan we had was to find some fall. We live in Colorado, after all. Thursday night we got a call from Kyle’s dad: “Hey, I’m going to be in Salt Lake this weekend, you guys want to come out?”

So we packed up the dogs and the car and made the 4 hour trek over the mountains to go see some family. Turns out Salt Lake has fall too!

Fall color – beautiful box elders!

First photo taken looking straight into the sun.

A better picture taken in the shade with pretty leaves in the background.

Riding into a tunnel of colorful trees!

At the top of Catherine Pass

On a run through the lovely leaves!

What a fun weekend! We biked, hiked, ran, ate, window shopped and hung out with Kyle’s dad.┬áI’ve always been a little skeptical of SLC – one of two cities in the Great Basin, a fairly prominent Mormon presence (I don’t have anything against Mormons, I just don’t like having too much of any one thing), a 3.2% alcohol limit from the tap (not an alcoholic, just love myself a good beer!), overall a lot of rules. But I was pleasantly surprised by our time there. The foothills around the city are FULL of trails – mountain biking, hiking, running. There are funny rules about even numbered days being dogs off-leash days, odd numbered days being mountain biking days, etc but what can you expect in a city? On Sunday afternoon, we went up to Snowbird for their Oktoberfest which involved a lot of beer, some delicious sausage and kraut, and a rowdy yodeling competition. But the most important thing of all happened on Saturday night after we arrived.

I found THE BEST pumpkin beer I’ve ever had. Usually pumpkin beer is disappointing. The flavor is either fake, or it’s not strong enough to carry the beer. But because I LOVE LOVE LOVE anything with pumpkin in it, I keep trying. And I was finally rewarded. This beer is brewed with pumpkin puree and pie spices that really bring out the flavor of the pumpkin. I don’t know if it was the aroma that pulled this beer together, but there was a distinct pumpkin-y character to this beer that most pumpkin beers lack. If you find yourselves in Salt Lake City in the next month or so, I highly recommend stopping by Squatter’s to taste their pumpkin beer (the salmon caesar salad wasn’t bad either!).

 

 

 

Paleo update

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It hasn’t been a perfect week. That’s the summary. But eating Paleo has been a surprisingly easy change, especially with the amount of great information out there. One of the best resources I’ve found is Nom Nom Paleo. She has an incredible recipe index with big pictures and the iPad app has step by step, picture by picture instructions. Last night we made this:

This recipe calls for fish sauce, coconut aminos, coconut vinegar, basil, mint, cilantro and green onions in addition to the cauliflower, onions, mushrooms,bacon, egg and coconut oil that makes up the “rice” itself. We just made the “rice” because we were topping it with a mango chicken stir fry that we’d made. But the point in, this is rice made out of CAULIFLOWER. That’s awesome. It’s way less filling (in a carby kind of way) that actual rice, but still satisfying and sauce absorbing. A great compromise.

On another note, does anyone else BodyRock? I’ve been following them on and off for the past 9 months and I have to say, when I don’t have time to go for a run, the 12 minute circuit is a great option! Plus, it works different muscles and is helping me get into shape for my upcoming city league volleyball season (3 teams this fall!). If you want something quick, simple (but definitely not easy!) and that you can do at home, BodyRock is a great option!