Tuesday, April 23, 2013

California Dreamin'

The past few weeks, well let's be honest..months, I've had a hole in my heart the size of California.
I dream about swimming in the ocean, going for long walks/jogs down the beach, having bonfires with friends & family, laying out at the beach on a perfectly striped towel until the sun goes down, driving along the PCH in our 350Z with the top down, shopping for groceries at Trader Joe's, dining out at all the fun N trendy restaurants.... and many many more adventures. People, I am a clothes/fashion JuNkIe!..and my style as we head into summer is totally Cali inspired. All i want to wear is long flowing skirts and crop tops, backless dresses, and big sun hats and swimsuits. If you can't quite picture it because it is snowing here in Colorado!!! (Grr) Let me help you.. :)


To add to my desire to be a Boho, beach addict, sun-kissed babe I do my daily workouts with 
these beauties ... 

If you're not familiar with these gorgeous faces and rockin' bods, they are the Tone It Up! Girls Katrina and Karena.. a.k.a. My girl crushes :) 
They have amazing workout plans, nutrition guides, and videos to motivate you through any workout. 
I have honestly never felt more stoked (look at me I'm Cali girl already lol) , challenged, and accomplished as I do when I work out with these babes. I will have more to say about them in another post, I mean my girls deserve a post of their own, but for now you should check out their website and get started on their Bikini Series, which launched today, Woot wooT!
SOoo, all that to say, these girls' workout videos are filmed on the beach.. did you read that.. ON THE BEACH!! So everyday I workout "on the beach" and when I step outside in my crop top, shorts, and flip flops I have to remind myself I am not in Cali and I need to go put my beach towel back in the closet and wear a shirt the covers my entire stomach because you know I'll be getting those "You don't live on the beach and it will probably be snowing in a few hours" stares.. OvEr It! 

Let's also talk about how wonderful it is to get your morning coffee and take it down to the beach for a morning stroll.. It's perfect. I dream about that too.
I blame {thank endlessly} my parents for this deep rooted passion. They're both from California, met on the beaches of Hawaii, and then had my brother and I and kept us there for a few years. And by kept I mean allowed us to live in such an overwhelmingly beautiful place where we lived life to the fullest and surrounded ourselves with family and friends. I was born in Santa Cruz and we lived there until I was 6. We then would come back to visit Nor Cal or So Cal every summer. If you're from Cali and in love with the beach you can feel me on this one. Being at the beach, feeling the sand between my toes, and hearing the sound of the waves crashing just does something to me; my soul feels fed and alive at these moments... and it is the only place I ever experience these feelings so deep within. 
I am blessed that I married a man who has the same love for Cali and the beach as I do. I have no doubt we will live there someday. Until then I will keep on dreaming...

Mmm... find time today to escape to your haven. Until then, please enjoy mine :) 



<3 Gabrielle 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pray for Boston

We are a week out from the terrible bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and the gravity of the attack is still just as heavy as it was seven days ago. My heart breaks for the families of those whose lives were taken and effected by this tragic event.  I am praying for Boston alongside so many others- I wish I could hop and a plane and fly there to do something for them- but for now I’ll pray hard.

For me this hits so close to home because races are my passion. I love them. I love the hard work that it takes to train, the intensity it requires to complete and the mental toughness needed to make it to the end. Races have so much energy, the people cheering along the streets, the runner’s feet pounding the pavement next to me, the beads of sweat rolling down my face, the banners streaming the last 100 meters of the final sprint to the end.

I can imagine that many of the racers that Monday morning were feeling the same way I usually do during a race; excited to get started and anxious to finish something they have worked so hard for. I know for me, as I’m running the race I have a mental tracker going of how many miles I’ve done, how many to go, the hills that lie ahead, the next water station. But what I always remember is the feeling I have when I see the finish line. It’s a runner’s safety zone. The moment we can relax. Sadly, for the Boston runners this was not the case. They did not get the relief of the finish line that racers look forward to- And it devastates my heart to think about it. I cannot wrap my mind around what those men did. I cannot understand it. I cannot fully grasp what the people of Boston are going through either.

I am sorry for the families that are hurting. I’m hurting right there with you. And I am praying alongside you. My heart goes out to Boston and those that were deeply affected by this unthinkable act.
~ Erin

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mekenzie's Colorado Picks!

I'm a foodie. I'm just going to go ahead and admit it now. I LOVE to eat out. After moving to Denver, I have developed quite the list of delicious hot spots. Let me share with you some non-negotiables when picking a spot for date night or dinner with the girls...

High quality food is pretty important to me. My daily diet is fairly clean so I generally choose places that serve high quality organically & locally bought foods as much as possible. So many restaurants are cooking with nutritious oils and  preparing their dishes clean as well so you don't have to compromise your healthy eating habits when you want to splurge on a night out.

Eating out isn't just about the food. I have a patio, roof top, and outdoor seating obsession. Atmosphere is just as important as the taste and quality of the food.

 Although my list is VERY VERY long. I thought I would get the ball rolling and share some of my favorite Denver spots so you can start checking them off your list.

1) Root Down:(Lower Highlands)  

Root Down Favorites- 

-"Field to Fork" mentality. They serve foods that are local, organic, and natural.
- The patio you never want to leave  
- Affordable happy hour that doesn't end until 7:00 p.m.!
- Delicious drink menu 
- Gluten free and vegan options
- Upbeat and trendy atmosphere

My Menu Suggestions-

- Sweet Potato Fries with curry lime yogurt dipping sauce 
- Tequila Daisy 
 - Roasted Beet Risotto
- Edamame Hummus *sub veggies
- Veggie burger sliders

Lovin us a patio sesh!

Beet Risotto 

2) Shine:(Boulder) 

Shine favorites- 

- Clean, simple, and satisfying: Thats their mantra. They not only use local organic ingredients but they also bring nourishment to their foods by way of soaking their grains, making home made healing broths, and use the highest quality oils and salts. 
- Open garages for summer time 
- Best service I have ever had. I'm not kidding you! Erin and I wrote our waiter a note thanking him for the most quality service we've experienced. 
- They offer cooking and nutrition classes, live music, yoga, support groups, and local speakers. Calendars are available on their website.
- Dairy free, vegan, and gluten free options 

My Menu Suggestions- 

- Beet Hummus
- Shine Housemade Coconut Curry with Tempeh
- Crispy Chicken Confit

Coconut Curry with Tempeh and Crispy Chicken Confit 

Beet Hummus 

3) True Food Kitchen:(Cherry Creek) 

TFK Favorites- 

- Beautiful atmosphere. Full of energy and elements of nature. The restaurant is "green certified." Every part of the space reflects this through the use of environmentally friendly  elements. 
- Upon arrival. Your parties name is entered into their ipads reservations system with guests' phone number. This way you can feel free to shop around while you wait and they will send you a text when your table is ready. No sticking close because of a buzzer or hanging out in the restaurant while you wait. 
- They offer fresh juice
- Local and organic foods
- Community seating areas 
- Delicious cocktail menu 
- Seasonal menu: Their dishes change based on seasonal vegetables and produce to give you the best and most quality nourishment. 
- The kitchen is open with prep tables being placed almost inside of the dining space to provide the diners the ability to look and see whats being put into their food and onto their plates.  

My Menu Suggestions- 

- Panang Curry with Chicken 
- Grilled Steelhead Salmon 
- Kale - Aid Juice 
Panang curry with chicken 

Grilled steelhead salmon 

Clean eats with the girls!

4) Jelly: (South Pearl)

Jelly Favorites- 

- Ample offerings of both savory and sweet
- Hipster atmosphere and staff is very engaging and nice
- Full coffee bar with unique drinks
- Delish. Jelly DUH. They make different types of Jelly depending on the fresh produce they have for the day.
- Simple staples like
 a bowl of cereal or unique dishes can be found at Jelly making it a great spot to please different palettes

My Menu Suggestions- 

- The Farm Scramble
-  Sweet Potato Hash
- *Their gluten free toast is great for those who have a gluten intolerance

5) Linger: (Lower Highlands) 

Linger Favorites- 

- Awesome rooftop patio 
- Beautiful view of the Denver skyline in the bar area
- Delicious cocktails
- Unique atmosphere
- $52.80 dinners every Tuesday 
- Approx. 75% of linger was built with reclaimed, reused, and recycled materials 
- They use local, organic, and sustainable products 
- They recycle and compost whenever possible 
- They use the worlds healthiest oil to do all their cooking 

My Menu Suggestions- 

- Crispy Lentil Salad 
- Roasted Beet Salad 
- Wagyu Burger Sliders
- Sesame BBQ Tacos 

Rooftop done right!
Sesame BBQ Tacos 
Dining Room 

Awesome view of the skyline in the bar
What are some of your favorite spots?

~ Mekenzie

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fish are friends....AND food.

Ahh fish. A food I love to eat but am not always super excited to make. Why? Fish can be so hit or miss. The nutritional benefits are off the charts -omega 3's, vitamin D, countless vitamins and minerals. But it can also stink up your kitchen and make your husband turn up his nose at the dinner you've prepared. Recently, the Hubs and I have been trying to add more fish into our weekly meal plans.

Tilapia is our go-to choice, because of the nutritional stats and its easier on the wallet than some of the other types. We do love a good salmon filet every now and then though! We've discovered a healthy way to make our fish taste better. Because who likes a bland piece of white fish?

Alas, our creamy fish sauce.

Its so easy its stupid. Are you ready for it? Here ya go:

My favorite brand from King Soops.

Start with some non-fat greek yogurt.
Add what ever spices/juices you like.
Add to your fish once it is finished cooking.

Sound easy enough? It is! The greek yogurt packs an extra punch of protein to a delicious meal.

We've been experimenting with some different flavor combos. Our recent faves to add to our greek yogurt:

-lime juice, worchestershire (how to heck do you pronounce that?), onion powder

-lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce

-cumin, chili powder, garlic

-lemon juice, parsely, salt and pepper

-Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle, lime juice

Any of these creamy sauces on top of any kind of fish, some brown rice, and edamame has become a staple in our weekly rotation.

Any other flavor combo suggestions? Let me know if you try it!