Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Miss Representation

Ladies and gentlemen listen up, we have a big problem on our hands. The women of our country have been misrepresented. We have been told to be thinner, sexier, more beautiful and to take the back seat in our society. The media is constantly streaming images into our minds of who we should be and how they expect us to look. They have diminished women’s ability to be leaders and in positions of power by sending demeaning messages of women into our culture.  When an advertisement only shows the value of a women in her youth, sex appeal, body and beauty it focuses on her outward body and not on her inward intelligence and worth. I see it daily when working with my teen moms at Hope House. The young women I work with often think that they will never be successful with a toddler in tow or without the perfect body. Last week, one of my girls started a diet- at age 17! This should shock us and spur us to do something to empower and instill confidence in the women of our country. 

So what do we do about it? 

I have a good idea of a place to start. Watch the film MissRepresention. A friend of mine showed me the trailer and immediately I knew this documentary alined perfectly with my passion of encouraging and empowering adolescent girls. The film MissRepresentation will shed light onto how the media effects the view society has of women and it will bring awareness to the issue at hand. The director of the documentary also challenges it’s audience to do something about it. You can watch the trailer here and see it for yourself. I promise you it will ignite a fire in your soul to push back against the pressure this culture has placed on the women, especially the youth, of our country and hopefully stir an excitement for women to pursue leadership roles in the future. 

This Thursday, December 5th at 6:30pm there will be a showing of Miss Representation at the AMC Cherry Creek 8 in Denver. I encourage all to attend. Below is the link to the facebook event page. I hope you all can make it and if not at least watch the trailer and become even a little more aware :)



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Already?!

I can't believe we are celebrating Thanksgiving already! This time of year always has so much anticipation. I'm always excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas to arrive and then it just flies by! Then I'm waiting another year for it to come back! I love the warm fall colors, my cozy sweaters, and my wool socks with boots. I love the cheery atmosphere everywhere you go (at least in Colorado everyone is happy, tough luck if you live anywhere else). I am happiest when I can sit with my seasonal flavored Starbucks and read a good book next to Christmas decorations that are put up entirely to early. I'm thankful for these peaceful moments that I can have among the craziness of the holidays. I don't get these times often and it made me thankful for these short moments.

Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, but thankfulness should not. We emphasize thankfulness around thanksgiving and say "thank you" because we have manners. But what does a grateful heart really look like? I say I'm thankful for family, friends, and all my belongings but that doesn't effect the way I am living. Most of the time I just feel entitled to have my list of blessings. I think I deserve them and shouldn't have to live without them. 

My selfish, sinful nature limits my thankfulness and starves me from God's peace and presence in full measure. I am withholding my ability to receive so much that the Lord is offering. My lack of thankfulness pulls the wool over my eyes and gives me a heart of entitlement. I hate this truth. 

We are called to a life of thankfulness.We were created first and foremost to glorify God. I was created for this purpose and boy I have failed often. 

Colossians 3:15- 
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."

Psalm 100:4-
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."

Thankfulness opens our hearts and deepens our relationship with our Father. I love how Jesus Calling puts it, "It opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts." Being thankful allows me to be closer to His Presence. Giving thanks in all circumstances, tough or easy, makes it easier to communicate with Him (Ephesians 5:20). When your focus is on Him and what He has done it results in negativity growing weaker and weaker. We give Him thanks (regardless of our feelings) and he gives us Joy (regardless of our circumstances) (Jesus Calling, 346). Thankfulness reigning in your heart makes the scales, or the wool, to fall off enabling you to see more and more of His glorious riches and blessings (346). 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18-
"Rejoice always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

My challenge is to live this out. A pure, thankful heart brings me closer to His Presence, there is no better place to be. I am capable of living an abundant life with praise and thankfulness because I have a steadfast companion. I don't want to just be thankful because it's thanksgiving. I'm blessed too much to only live a thankful life through the holidays. I have so many reasons to rejoice and more than anything I want Christ's peace to rule my heart. His love endures forever, there is no greater love (Psalm 118). That alone is something to be thankful for everyday.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Dusting off the blog- so much to tell you!

Sorry for the long blog hiatus, friends. I guess I’ve just been enjoying life too much to pencil in the time to write. But finally, a free evening; a bowl of the most delicious kale turkey sausage butternut squash soup in my hands and I’m ready to tell you what I’ve been up to this past month. 

Where to start...

Kenz and I rocked the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in mid- October. We had a blast training together and even more fun the weekend of the race. Going to the fitness expo the day before got us amped to run our 13.1 miles the next morning. We both PR’d which was our ultimate goal. Our annual half marathon was a huge success. We even made the Denver Post! Who knows which city we will choose for our 2014 half. 

Runner's Health Expo
Right before we ran 13.1
The glorious finish

My nephew, Theo (short for Theodor) was born! He is the perfect addition to our family. I am dying to get my hands on him and give him some smothering Auntie love. Lucy has been a great big sister to him, Erik is excited to have a “soon to be Giants fan” in the house and my sister Lisa is loving being a stay at home mommy!

Halle turned ONE! Can you even believe it? Emily threw the biggest birthday for her at The Farm, in Fort Collins. It was a blast to walk the little ones around to see all the animals. Halle calls anything on four legs a dog, which is hysterical. All of our family was there and I couldn’t imagine celebrating my sweet niece any other way. If only time could slow down a little, my Halle girl is growing up too fast. 

I got a tattoo......Kidding! But I did get a promotion at work!!!! This is truly the reason why things have been so busy lately. I was blessed to get a call from the non-profit I work at, Hope House, asking me to interview for the Residential Case Manager position. I was blown away when an hour after the interview they offered me the position and asked if I could start on Monday! With this new big girl job in place, it allowed me to quit my job at Earls waitressing and put all my energy towards my passion of counseling. I love these teen moms more now than ever before. My position requires me to manage the teen mom’s case, in order to foster growth and empower them to become self sufficient. More than just helping them find the right job, or get accepted into their dream school or budget their money, my heart beat is to love on these girls- be their support and encourager; I’m their #1 fan. I believe in them. I believe they are some of the most inspiring, hard working, intelligent, beautiful young ladies I’ve ever met and they do it while holding a 2 year old on their hip. 
My Girls at the Hope House Gala
Kenz came with me to the Gala as my date

The Hope House Halloween Party
Genesis and I wore matching outfits. She has great taste in fashion :)
Aiyden is all boy and always full of smiles

Even though, my job consumes a lot of my time and energy, I have still made space in my busy life to explore this beautiful city. There’s always room for another happy hour in the Highlands or an Americano in Wash Park. Adventuring through Denver wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if I didn’t have my amazing girls to do it with me. Life is exhilarating and new and I promise to let you in on this journey more often!
Going out with the girls

A little fall fun!



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Superfood Salad

If you have about an hour to make a salad...this is a jackpot bowl of greens! I've had a few days off of work this week so I've had some fun in the kitchen. A cutting board, a knife, and some veggies...instant therapy!

Here is what you will need: 

Salad ingredients: 
- 1 bunch kale, leaves chopped small
- 1 broccoli head chopped small 
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 small beet 
- 1 carrot thinly sliced
- 1 ripe avocado peeled and sliced
- 3-4 sprigs fresh basil sliced thin
- handful of blueberries 

Blueberry ginger dressing ingredients: 
- 1/4 c. blueberries
- 1/2 in. piece of fresh ginger peeled and chopped
- 2 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs. maple syrup 
- big splash of water
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 c. grapeseed oil 

Omega seed sprinkle ingredients: 
- handful sunflower seeds
- handful pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbs. flax seed
- 2 Tbs. chia seed
- 1-2 Tbs. hemp seed 
- handful of puffed quinoa 
- pinch of coriander 

1) In a large bowl, massage the kale and chopped broccoli with lime juice massaging until the kale leaves are tender. Chop and prep all the salad ingredients and set aside. 

2) Make the dressed by combining all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. 

3) In a medium saute pan, combine all of the omega seed sprinkle ingredients over medium heat. Sprinkle a little coriander and toast the seeds. Remove from heat. 

4) Arrange the massaged kale and broccoli on your serving plate. Top with vegetables, dressing, and omega sprinkle. Enjoy! 

Serves 4 

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's Official!

November 1
It is officially the start of the Christmas season with the first day of November being the release date for Starbucks red cup!
As soon as i get my hands on that red cup I can hear sleigh bells ring in the distance. tiny miracles start happening all around me. and my childlike spirit is awoken... thank you red cups.
Today is a happy day.
Somehow I got my paws on a red cup early!! Woops.. but an americano at King Soopers' Starbucks doesn't count, so let's forget I told you that ;) 
My first "unofficial" red cup of the season!
Here are some more red cup happiness over the years... take it all in and don't be afraid to let a little magic in today' 
"I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes.. Christmas is all around us; and so the feeling grows."

<3 Gabrielle 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Throw Back Thursday

So, lately I've been really aching for my teammates and the soccer community I was a part of for 4.5 years. In college I was fortunate enough to play with some of the most outrageous, uplifting, and encouraging group of girls. Last year before our first game at Nationals, we thought it'd be a good idea to make a video. At the time Taylor Swifts song "We Are Never Getting Back Together," had just come out. Of course we jammed to it, so we thought we'd put some actions to it. We came up with this little music video that is nothing short of brilliant (in my opinion). Here's to my CSU soccer girls! Miss you more than you know. 

"I love my team, I love this game."


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Short, Sweet, and Sweaty

I'm referring to interval running. I don't know about you but sometimes I just don't feel like going on a long run. I want to push myself for a short time, till I am ungodly sweaty, and be done with it. After my last half-marathon I was pretty spent on running, although I hate giving it up completely. So, I created something short and sweet (or sucky depending on your mood, ha). I believe in interval running, a large amount due to my soccer background. I like the challenge of being pushed for a 30 second sprint or a 2:00 minute tempo pace, and then allowing my body to recover. I get competitive with myself and challenge myself to a longer interval or a faster sprint. I am by no means an experienced runner or personal trainer but, I do like to run and train. If you're looking for something short and sweet, and gives you a good sweat try it out!  


Saturday, October 5, 2013

A day in the life of Erin

Time is a silly thing to me. It either passes too fast, like in the summer when you just want the weather to stay 85 and sunny forever; or too slow like when you’re running intervals on a treadmill- there is never a longer minute in my life. But here I am again, thinking time could slow down a little bit. I have already been in Denver 3 months! Although, some days are more exciting than others, I’m falling in love with this city and the people that inhabit it’s streets. 

After months of living here, I think I finally have my life in a bit of a routine. And for all of you who care to know what I’ve been up to over the weeks- here is a glimpse! 

A Day in the Life of Erin!

Monday morning Bible study with the girls at Wash Perk
Blue animal print running tights! What could be better!
Training for the half marathon coming up on October 20th
Sloan's Lake is absolutely beautiful. It's my favorite place to run and I love having the city skyline as my
back drop.

Breakfast perfection. Oh and my second coffee of the day! 

Just a little Ben Rector to help motivate me to clean! 

A clean room is a happy room! 

The fall weather got me in the mood to bake. So I made healthy banana oat meal cookies. They made my house smell like heaven!

A few cookies and a protein shake, made for a perfect lunch

Driving through the Highlands on my way to work at Earls. I love the city. 

I'm not sure if Denver could get any more gorgeous. 

 Earls Girls! Some of my favorite ladies! They make work so much fun and my life a lot better!
This is my happy place. Cooking for my roommates and friends!

Our happy little patio. Great food,  delicious drinks, wonderful people and meaningful conversations around this table.

That pretty much sums it up. It’s not a fancy life- but it’s a really good one! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends!

I am also working as a Residential Counselor at Hope House of Colorado, but I did not work on the day I decided to post this. But don’t you worry, though, I will tell you all about my amazing job working there very soon! 


Monday, September 30, 2013

Weird is the Word

This is the end of the September blog challenge. Time sure does fly because tomorrow is the start of October! Fall in Colorado is always so weird to me, especially this year. We have been blessed with warm weather so far! I'm still able to run outside with a t-shirt and shorts on. However, I know that within the span of a day that won't be happening. It's just a matter of when the weather decides to make that change. September is weird to me because, like myself, it can never decide. I mean it can't decide whether it wants to hold on to summer or allow it to be crisp fall. Pumpkin Spice comes around and apparently that marks the end of summer. Silly little drink can change so much. I love the drink don't get me wrong it's just so weird. In honor of, in my opinion, weird September, I'm going share some weird/interesting facts. I asked my bestie Court to help me out and it was almost embarrassing how many weird facts she threw my way. Before you start to judge I'll give you my reasons for them okay!

1. I drink coffee, or any hot drink, through a straw. I fear my teeth will turn colors.

2. I'm deathly afraid of ET. You can argue that he's a nice little alien, but he's not. He's creepy. I was forced to watch the movie when I was younger and obviously haven't recovered.

3. I have monkey feet. I can do things with my feet that I can with my hands, like pick things up. Pinching my brother-in-law is probably my favorite.

4. I HATE when people touch their eye brows. I can't stand when eyebrows are rubbed the wrong way. It literally gives me the chills. I was pinned down by three seniors in high school who brushed mine the wrong way. Too much adrenaline allowed me to throw all three of them off me.

5. I own more t-shirts than I know what to do with, they're all too big, and I only wear a fraction of them. Whether I get a t-shirt for a race, soccer tournament, or a random free one, 99% of the time I grab one that's too big.

6. I can carry on clear conversations in my sleep. It's a gift really. When I'm sleeping I've been known to sing Lil Romeo or quote the Jersey Shore.

7. If I could live in any era it would be the 80's or the 20's. The outfits...need I say more?

Courtney has a list too
To spare me from more embarrassment I'll leave it at that. Thanks for reading all of our September posts. We hope you continue to follow us as we explore new recipes, discover new workouts, find the trends, and live life together.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Fun Facts Friday

Here are 20 random and ridiculous facts about myself. Some things you should know if we are going to be BFFs:
1. I can make some of the most ridiculous funny/ugly faces when posing for pictures. My friends and family can attest to this.

2. I loving re-arranging furniture in rooms, I like changing things up!
3. I love to cook, but I don’t like to bake. If I can’t eat all of it in one sitting, it’s not worth my time
4. I am constantly leaving cabinets and drawers open after I use them. My husbands pet peeve. Oops.
5. I don’t like to clean, but sometimes I just get in the mood and can go for hours.
6. I don’t like tomatoes or blueberries. But I so badly wish I did!
7. I didn’t use to like breakfast, but now it is becoming one of my favorite meals. I get excited about what I am going to eat the night before! This weeks current rotation: dippy eggs, turkey bacon and raspberries. Mmmm.

8. I eat every 3 or 4 hours. Literally. I pack a mid morning-snack, lunch, and afternoon snack for work.
9. I am mostly an introvert. If I don’t get at least one night at home by myself or with the Hubs with no plans, it stresses me out.
10. I want to be a stay-at-home mama one day.
11. I love watching the Real Housewives. All of them. Don’t judge.
12. I hate confrontation. More than anything. I would rather suppress feelings than bring them up. Something I am trying to get better at it!
13. I would much rather have a night in than go out. A night in a cozy house with friends and family is much better than a loud bar or restaurant in my eyes!
14. I am married to my perfect other half. He is good at the things I am not, and vice versa. He makes me a better person
15. We keep a running list of baby names we love and may use someday. We have also decided that we will not be sharing our children’s names with the world until they are born. I value others opinions too much and fear someone might make me second guess  a name I love.
16. We love planning vacations, and start planning the next year’s anniversary trip immediately after we get back from the previous one.

17. A lot of times I will sing song lyrics out loud in a really weird voice, and I won’t even notice until Nick calls me out on it. He thinks its hysterical.
18. We like to “white boy dance” in the kitchen while making dinner. Think: the cheesiest most awkward dance moves ever.
19. I won my school spelling bee every year in elementary school, and even went to State in 8th grade. Nerd alert.
20. I am learning to love the season I am in right now, without looking too far ahead to the next. It has always been a struggle of mine, but something I am working on!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Coffee and Conversations

My blog challenge today was to find a coffee shop and write about what makes me happy and what makes me sad. Part of the challenge was actually picking a coffee shop in Denver. There are just so many and because I can be indecisive sometimes- it was difficult for me to choose just one. However, with the girls’ help and recommendations I ended up at Two Rivers- Craft Coffee Company! It fit my mood perfectly. The coffee might be the best that I’ve ever tasted, probably because the owner roasts his own beans. He was the ultimate coffee courser and it was fun to pick his brain about the different roasts. This atmosphere was the perfect environment to write about these topics. 

Two Rivers 

So, what makes me sad? And Happy?

It makes me sad when I feel like I have to live my life through a mold. When I feel the pressure of our culture pushing me through a door I wasn’t meant to walk through. It’s like when we were kids and we would squeeze a round ball of play-dough through the square mold with all our force just get a small cube out of it! I feel the pressure of my age and the fact that everyone around me is getting married, I am miles away from having kids and I’m starting over in my career. At 25, the world is telling me to have my S*%$ together, check things off my to-do list, and to get married already! I don’t want to feel tied down to the boundaries around age and of our culture to achieve more and be better. I want to just be me. Free spirited, full of life, pursuing my passions while loving the Lord and people along the way. I’m vowing to move forward with my dreams, however big or small. I will not be bound the age, career or marriage mold that our culture has created.

A good cup of coffee makes me happy. A drink shared at happy hour makes me happy. Sitting on the couch with my roommate makes me happy. Talking on the phone to my mom makes me happy. What is central to all these things though is good conversations- deep and meaningful talks. Lots of laughter and if chatting with my mom maybe some tears too (she’s the one I cry to!) I crave community and I could talk 90 miles a minute if you would let me. I love the long talks with my girls over a strong brew of coffee early in the morning. It’s when I can really connect with them and share my heart. Coming home from a long night shift at work and talking to Nina on the couch, makes me happy. She cares so much about how I’m doing and we walk each other through every detail of the day. I want to have conversations that make me grow and challenge me. I am happiest when I’m laughing with Lauren on the roof top sipping delicious cocktails. My heart is pieced back together after an uplifting conversation with my sister; she is always is full of wisdom and encouragement. I am filled with joy when I get to talk to my girls before the sun rises on Monday mornings for bible study. So, what makes me happy…relationships with friends and family- deep, meaningful, life-giving, strength building, encouraging conversations. 

Thanks for letting me share! Happy Thursday, friends.


P.S. > I also wrote this post using Ommwriter. It changed the way I will blog forever. Try it out! http://www.ommwriter.com/

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Bias Review

I'm supposed to review a book, place, or product. I am going to be bias and use this as an opportunity to "review" a start up company of some friends.

We live in a consumer world filled with social movements not everyone agrees with. We can, however, agree that we are in need of some sort of social change. Consumerism has become a norm through social change but it doesn't mean that it's always coinciding with the change we want. If it's not something were passionate about or believe in then we don't really want to waste our time with it.

I wouldn't consider myself a "gung-ho activist" (is that even a word?). I do however have products, people, and companies that I believe in and support. That's why I want to review/present Share Brands, Inc. I may be bias since I know the brains behind the company, but I'm also pumped about what they are doing.
Share Brands, Inc is a start up geared at initiating social change. Their idea is to change the way people view buying products, meaning buying with a purpose. The purpose fulfilling the human need of supporting through conscious commerce.

I get it, that all sounds so wordy. So, I'll break it down for you a little bit. Basically for every product bought 25% of the proceeds go to the connected charity. They offer a variety of products such as yoga mats, head phones, tote bags, dog collars phone cases, and tee shirts. Each color of product is associated with a certain non-profit/social cause that are all listed below. 

Red-       POVERTY, their current initiative is Friendship Bridge
Blue-      MEN AND CHILDREN'S HEALTH, current initiative is Project Angel Heart
Yellow-  FOR EDUCATION, current initiative Rays of Grace
Green-   THE ENVIRONMENT, current initiative TBD
Pink-      WOMEN AND CHILDREN'S HEALTH, current initiative Project Angel Heart

Currently, Co-founders, Justin Hoffman & Connor Knutson, videographer BC Serna, and my favorite friend Zach Payne are on a Bike Tour promoting Share Brands to companies in order to engage business, people, and nonprofit solutions. Follow the tour on Facebook

With all that said I should probably tell you what I think, if you haven't already picked up on the message. I believe in what they are doing. James 1:27 says were called to care for the orphans and the widows. Acts 20:35 says were called to care for the weak. He is the protector of the impoverished (Psalm 12:5) and I want to be a part of that. I may not be able to be hands on with these non-profits but I can definitely contribute to social change. I want to be used for His kingdom and if buying and wearing a t-shirt can be a part of that, I think its worth the investment. The heart behind the movement is important to me. I cherish the fact that they are wanting to make a change, and have been faithful to the Lord's calling. I'm happy to support Share Brands and all they are doing! 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Taking Stock...

Making : meal plans for the family I nanny. 
Cooking : spaghetti squash with cashew cream
Drinking : Water...trying. I'm terrible at drinking water. I go days and its a problem
Reading: "What Did You Expect" ... a really helpful and encouraging read on the expectations of marriage. I'm eating up every word! 
Wanting: Swooooning over this little black and gold number! OH and this...oooops, Happy Hatha!
Looking: For rhythm in a busy schedule.
Playing: ...with dump trucks and excavators and Thomas the Train and magic bubbles and the toy lawn mower...these are some of Brady's current favorites. 
Wasting: Time inside when I can be outside enjoying the last of these coatless beautiful weather days. 
Sewing: Nothing...unfortunately sewing isn't something I do. 
Wishing: For a mini getaway/staycasion.  
Enjoying: Frozen Yogurt Saturday's with Lee. 
Waiting: Impatiently...praying for patience. 
Liking: When I arrive to work and Brady says " You look cuuuuuteee Kiki" 
Wondering: What it will be like to live with a boy.... 
Loving: Post dinner walks down Pearl Street with Lee and Bailey the dog child sometimes stopping off for a coffee at Stellas. 
Hoping: For more humility 
Marvelling: At God's grace 
Needing: copious amounts of dark chocolate walnuts or dark chocolate coconuts...I keep finding myself in the bin section at Sprouts and Whole Foods for sweet tooth suppressants. Its not good. 
Smelling: Fall...its definitely in the air. 
Wearing: converse...my go to chase Brady around the house, play in the fort, walk around the zoo for days kind of shoe. 
Following: A workout plan... training for a half-mary and loving it. 
Noticing: The subtle hints of fall in the trees, in clothing changes, in the supermarket store fronts...oh how those pumpkins & ciders line up at the front to greet you. It's so wonderful! 
Knowing: I am blessed. 
Thinking: About my weekend away in Kansas City to celebrate mom's 50th. 
Feeling: So thankful, thankful for Colorado and its stunning beauty, for a steady job that I enjoy, for a fiancĂ© that leads and loves me better than I could have imagined, friendships that are deep and challenging and consistent. 
Bookmarking: Blogs. I love so many. I've been book marking them and adding them to a page on my phone. I read at stop lights, in the bathroom (don't you judge me), during Brady's nap...I can't stop! Workout blogs, and cooking blogs, lifestyle blogs and fashion blogs. Oh how I love them. 
Opening: My heart and life for change and growth. 
Giggling: At Lee's car karaoke and dancing. 

A blank list for you to copy and paste...!
Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :

- Mekenzie

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life as of Lately

Still reminiscing on one year of marriage
with my handsome huni! 
Got my TIU! sample pack in the mail!
Super stoked!!!

Evening strolls and hand holding
Ree came a long way to celebrate me
on my 25th!! Love her so!!

I turned 25!! 
Happiness at 25 :)
Celebrating at dinner with ones
I love... many not pictured

Getting excited for the approaching new season!
Fall is in the air people! 
<3 Gabrielle