I Just Can’t Seem to Help Myself

Being a total girly-girl, my house has a lot of pink and purple. My powder room is bright pink, the dining room has a pink chandelier, the breakfast nook is pink with green accents, the living room color scheme is pink and orange and my duvet in my bedroom is purple. So, when I was deciding on a color scheme for the office, I thought it would be fun needed to shy away from my usual girly colors and do something different.

Other rooms avoid pink and purple as well, the family room and guest room and the patios, but that’s pretty much it. Before I moved in, I knew I wanted to have one room with navy blue walls. My desk is brown, along with the sofa table I bought to match it, so I decided the office color scheme would be blue, white and brown. I’ve had fun looking for blue and white furniture and accents, and the room is coming along, but I realized a few weeks ago that it needs some excitement. And then I came across the most ridiculous/crazy wall art ever—in pink—and I decided that this room will have pink accents in it as well.

I’ve been putting a full-court press on getting this room ready the last few weeks. I ordered the wall piece, ottomans for under the sofa table and have been buying art for a gallery wall. I also received a fun pink lamp from family friends as a housewarming gift. My goal is to have the office completed before I leave for the beach in just over two weeks. We’ll see!


This sleeper love seat from Ikea is the main piece of furniture in the room. I like how it has both light and navy blue, so when it comes to art and other accessories, there are lots of options. I will be sure to take some before and after pictures to share as I finally get this room off my to-do list!

Speaks to Me

I’ve mentioned before that I am a big fan of Pinterest. Every time I visit the site, I always find a few interesting pins. I pin things related to a lot of different subjects, but one of my favorites are quotes. There are so many great quotes out there, from the Bible, noted thinkers, authors and regular people. Sometimes, when I’m feeling drained or down about something, I will scroll through my board, and I can honestly say that it helps lift my mood. Here are a few of my favorites.


I love this one. I was taught to always say hello to people you encounter and smile, and it can be jarring when someone doesn’t return the gesture, but I’d much rather be the friendly person than the rude one. One day I’ll have to share how being this way helped me land my current job.


Amen. Some of us struggle with knowing all of the good things we deserve. Luckily there is someone watching out that certainly does.


I think we’ve all been guilty of this, waiting for one or two things to change, lose weight, move to a new place, meet the right guy, and then things will be better. But, looking at it that way makes you miss out on the beauty of right now, of every day.


Powerful perspective, and is true for people of all sorts of situations and status.


An important reminder that we are in charge of our own happiness, or misery, and we have a choice in the type of life we live. This goes along with another quote whose essence is to be the star of your own life. Own it.

Are there any quotes that speak to you or give you perspective?


Been staying pretty busy around here, hence the extremely delayed Iceland posts that I’m still working on. But it’s been a good month and half or so since I last updated on happenings around here.

The weekend before the Iceland trip, I went to Opening Day for the Rockies. I’d never been before, but I think I may be one of those people who will take off work and go from now on. We arrived downtown at about 10:30am, with the game not beginning until after 2. I didn’t even have a ticket, I was just going to head home when my friends went to the game, but Katherine won a ticket for me from one of the local radio stations at the bar. We sat club level with the morning on-air personalities and had a funny conversation with them about using ranch as a dipping sauce. The whole day was a blast.

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After Iceland, the next big event was Easter. My cousin came into town, but I didn’t get to hang out with him as much as I wanted. Saturday was a fun night out downtown, with Larimer square all decorated for the Avalanche making the playoffs, and Sunday was Mass, Easter lunch at our usual spot and hanging out at home.

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On a random Thursday, my friend Kevin and I discovered “our place.” We have been friends since Kindergarten, and he recently moved back to Colorado and lives in Colorado Springs, so we sometimes meet in Castle Rock to catch up. I bought a deal for Maddie’s Biergarten and we loved the place. We had flights of beers and brats, and I picked up potato and macaroni salad for us at the grocery store. We were able to catch up and watch the Avalanche game, and I know we’ll go back soon.

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My mom and I had a fun night out downtown seeing the play Shadowlands about the author C.S. Lewis and his relationship with his wife and God. It was a very powerful play, and during the opening monologue, I felt like he could have been speaking directly to me. We ate at one of our favorite restaurants downtown before the play and had our fun bubbly drinks after. It was great to spend a night on the town together.

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That Saturday I played volleyball at Washington Park, which was the perfect way to spend a warm spring morning. That night was our school prom. I was on the decorating committee, which was really fun, and chaperoned the night of the event. The photo booth was so fun, I swear I must have been in it 7 or 8 times.

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Kevin and I attended the South Denver Beer Fest and had a great time. There were over a hundred breweries represented, and in the VIP tent they also had cheese and chocolate, which is rare to find at an event like this. We had a great time and hit up the food trucks. I got a grilled cheese sandwich and fries for lunch, and on the way out we got ice cream sandwiches. So tasty.

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Mother’s Day weekend, my cousin visited from Chicago and it was so great to have her here. We went to dinner and drinks on Friday, walked in Wash Park on Saturday followed by lunch in Cherry Creek, spent 3 hours getting ready and watching the Mindy Project Saturday night and finally made it downtown for dinner at Ocean Prime and then drinks at Cru and Green Russell. On Sunday we went to Mass and then cooked up an impressive brunch for the family. It was a much too quick visit, but fun as always.

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The next update I’ll share about Graduation, Vegas, a wedding and a fun summer goal!

Parlez-vous anglais?

I returned last night from a fun weekend in Vegas– details to come in an upcoming update post– and am already counting down to my next trip, which is in a couple of weeks, to Montreal and Quebec City.

Megan and I will be spending a few days in the province of Quebec, and I am so excited for everything that we have planned. I’ve been to other parts of Canada before, but I’ve heard that both of these cities have a lot of charm and fun things to see, and they’re supposed to have a very European feel to them.


from Pinterest via flickr

I’m hoping to have time to buy a guidebook this week (I still prefer them to any smartphone app or website) and have been pinning pretty sights on Pinterest for a few weeks now. You can see my board by clicking here. I’m imagining there will be a lot of exploring with frequent stops at outdoor cafes, as a lot of the pictures I’ve seen show colorful umbrellas and happy people eating and drinking beneath them. Sounds great to me!

If you have any recommendations or helpful links, please share!

Work It

It may have taken me about 11 years of trying different things, but I have finally found a workout routine that I can stick with, and in the process, checked off number five on my 30 Before 30 list. If I had to describe what I do, I would say that I just live a generally active lifestyle, because I do a little bit of everything. I’m not a Bar Method devotee or a runner, I just try to mix it up and do what I can when I can.

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I have a gym membership, where I usually do cardio and weights and the occasional class. I have a coworker who is a former NFL strength coach, so I meet him at Red Rocks 2-3 times per week for intense stair/sprint/bodyweight training. On the weekends, my mom and I walk when we catch-up, usually one or both days. The days we walk, I will also go to a class or do cardio, but since we’re socializing, it doesn’t feel as painful as two-a-days usually do. Lastly, I love finding Groupon deals for fun workouts that last a month or so to supplement what I already do. I just finished a Pilates equipment deal and last week I bought a deal for Orange Theory at the recommendation of another co-worker, which I’m going to start the first week of July.


Here is what the last week looked like for me, which is pretty typical:

Tuesday: 1.5 hour brisk walk in my neighborhood

Wednesday: Gym- 40 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of weights

Thursday: Red Rocks with Coach

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Gym- Pilates sculpt class, 1.5 hour brisk walk in my parents’ neighborhood

Sunday: Red Rocks with Coach, 1.25 hour brisk walk in Washington Park

Monday: 1.5 hour brisk walk in my neighborhood, 20 minutes of swimming

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Pretty views at Red Rocks help when you’re about to collapse

There is a lot of variety there, which I know would drive some people crazy, but I like always having something different to do and needing to have a schedule to keep me straight on what I’m supposed to be doing. The best part about my routine is that it’s very sustainable. I could see myself keeping this routine for years, and if I get burned out on one thing, I’m not back at square one, I just have to find something to replace one activity.

It really is all about making being fit a lifestyle, and not just something you do before a big trip (which is what I always used to do). It took me months to get into this groove, which began in November when I joined my gym, and has been tweaked in the months since. I will continue to post follow-ups about things that change, but overall, I will continue to just be active.

City Living

Ever since I was little, I have always dreamed of living in a big city. According to my parents, I actually had this dream before most people even think about what they want their life to look like, back in early elementary school.

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Both my parents grew up near big cities, my dad in a Chicago suburb, and my mom in a tiny town 2 hours away from New York City. My dad’s favorite childhood memories involved taking the train to downtown Chicago to go to museums, see a baseball game or just walk around. For my mom, every big event in her life coincided with a trip to ‘The City,’ as she and her siblings call it. They would drive into Manhattan to shop for prom dresses, see shows, visit friends and try great restaurants.

Since I’ve had the opportunity to visit both cities with them numerous times, and see the cities through their eyes, both places have become quite special to me, which led to me eventually wanting to live in one. I had always planned to attend college and then live in NYC after graduation.

As I got older, I’ve still loved visiting various cities. Spending a few days walking, instead of driving, turning corners and finding new areas to explore and soaking in the general hustle and bustle.

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Recently, however, I’ve gotten a bit of a reality check.

I’ve realized just how much I like decompressing in my car after a stressful workday, and couldn’t imagine having to cram on a subway or walk blocks and blocks in heels in the cold. I’ve noticed how much I like the space of living in Colorado, and, though I now live in a neighborhood, my old apartment had a field out the window with nothing for miles. Not to mention the indoor space I have for a fraction of what even being comfortable would cost me in NYC.

There are certain things that I suppose I will miss out on, but as more and more of my friends are leaving or planning to leave the cities they moved to in the last few years, I’m realizing that high-rise, carless living must be as exhausting as I imagine.

All of these realizations have only upped my respect and admiration for those who do have what it takes to happily make one of these cities home, but it’s safe to say that I will get my fill of city life by visiting, frequently.

Iceland: En Route and Day 1

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Everything about our departure was very easy. That’s one of the nice things about a medium-sized airport like Denver. There isn’t an international terminal or anything crazy that you have to do, so we were through security in about 10 minutes and waiting at our gate. I was surprised that Icelandair doesn’t offer complimentary meals; I’ve never been on an international flight that doesn’t. The flight was about 7 hours and went by extremely quickly. They had a lot of good entertainment options on the TV’s, so I was able to watch a couple of things and then tried to nap for maybe an hour. Like most people, I hate airline seats, so I didn’t get any actual sleep.

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Arriving at the airport was very exciting. I always love checking out all of the other destinations at airports that are big on connections to see where people are going. When we arrived at 6:30am we saw flights departing for Sweden and London Gatwick. We had no issues with our bags or immigration or customs, and were walking outside to meet our transfer at about 6:50am. Someone (me) forgot to print out our itinerary, and it was emailed a few months ago so I couldn’t find it in my inbox. Both Kristin and I thought there would be someone waiting for us with one of those little signs. We walked through the group of probably 20 drivers holding signs, and didn’t see one for us. It was one of those not trying to feel rejected moments, where we didn’t make it obvious we were looking for the signs in fear that there wouldn’t be one for us. And, of course, there wasn’t.

Luckily the airport had free wifi, so I was able to get on my email and see that we had to go to a ticket window to get vouchers for the coach bus that would take us into town. Major sigh. It all worked out.

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About an hour after getting on the bus, we arrived at our hotel. We paid 30 Euro to check-in then, at about 8am, and the rate included breakfast for each of us. We decided a quick nap before our city tour would be a good idea, and it really was.

 When we later made friends who were also traveling on the Groupon, we found out how lucky we were to be assigned to this particular hotel. It is right in the middle of Reykjavik and we were able to walk everywhere. Most of the other Denver Grouponers were at a hotel outside of the city center, and though they were provided with a bus pass, it still wasn’t as convenient as where we stayed. The picture of the exterior of our hotel was actually taken on our last night, but that is what it looks like. You can also see the beautiful view from our hotel room above.

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Stop one on the city tour was Bessastaoir. This is a compound visible from much of the city, but isolated to get to. We were very surprised to learn that this is the vacation home for the Iceland’s presidents, and since the flag was up, he and his family were in residence. We were able to walk around most of the compound, and even right up to the front door.

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We also saw a few of the neighboring port cities where high-tech fancy condos are placed next to fish refineries. Supposedly these are very hip areas to live.

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Our next stop was the Perlan, a cool circular building that is tourist attraction as well an event center. Our guide told us that it’s a very popular place to ring in the New Year, and we could see why.

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After driving around the Laugardalur sports and recreation area which has one of the cities most popular geothermal pools, we visited the Hofoi house, where Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev had a summit in 1986. From the way the guide talked, it seems like this is a very proud part of Iceland’s history, having two leaders meet here during the Cold War.

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The final stop on the city tour was at the Hallgrimskirkja church and the old town center where the Iceland parliament and town hall are located. The church was a very unique design and we enjoyed walking around the grounds.

After returning to the hotel, we went for an early dinner and then relaxed in the hotel room and went to bed early to catch up on sleep.

Struggle City

Happy Monday! Is getting back from vacation not the worst thing ever? I have been feeling completely out of it since returning on Thursday. Lots of eating, lots of resting, mixed with events that require alcohol has me feeling sluggish and unmotivated. I think the fact that I drank soda with abandon from the moment we took off until returning also played into it, since I haven’t had any soda since January. I went to the gym on Saturday and forced myself to do a good bit of cardio, but napped yesterday instead of going. After work I’m off to do some cardio and a Pilates class. Hopefully that will help me feel back on track. Might also be a cereal for dinner kind of night.

Enough with the complaining, the Iceland trip was amazing! Kristin and I are very good travel companions so we saw everything we wanted to see and did everything we wanted to do, with one exception. I’m going to start working on the Iceland posts and will probably do one for each day, so there will be more details to come.

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Day one, looking slightly delirious and crazy after having been up for 36 hours


Last Thursday I checked something off my 30 Before 30 list! I donated platelets!


I added this to my list after hearing how important platelets are when my aunt was very sick with cancer in 2007. Their shelf life is short, so most hospitals are undersupplied. I’ve wanted to donate for a while and finally found an opportunity this month.

Thursday was one of the two days those of us in administration had off for spring break, so I took advantage of having lots of spare time and made an appointment for the donation. All in all, the process took about 2 hours. It took one hour for me to fill out the paperwork, answer questions about things that raised red flags (certain medication history, travel outside of the US), have my vitals measured, and then get hooked up to the machine. The machine tells you how long it will take to draw what it needs and counts down, and my time was 59 minutes. They take excellent care of you, offer food and drinks before, during and after your draw, have TV’s you can control and lots of magazines. I felt a little bit cold, which is normal, and was glad they bundled me up in a blanket, but otherwise didn’t experience any other side effects.



It was an emotional experience, especially being back in the same wing where my aunt was cared for, but I plan to donate at least a few times a year.


I’ve been holding onto a Lululemon gift card since Christmas and finally went to look around and make a purchase. I love that all of their pants have a long option so I don’t have to worry about that horrible ‘too short athletic pants with sneakers peeking out look’– it’s the worst. I went with their Groove pant in Long. Ironically, I don’t think I’ll actually wear them for working out, I prefer shorts or leggings, but they are great for to and from the gym, running errands and working around the house. I didn’t need to take advantage of their free hemming service, but I think it’s awesome they offer it.

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If I join a tennis league this summer like I’m considering, I’m buying the white skirt!

Last weekend, this guy had his first sleepover at my house. It went really well and it was fun to have him there, but I was reminded just how demanding a pet is and it showed me that I am not ready to get one for myself again yet.

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Eating well and being active works. Period.

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Last Saturday I went to a freedom party for a friend. It was the first party I’ve been to that was totally Pinterest-worthy, where the host truly thought of everything to make it special.

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Dessert table (we had already eaten a lot)

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Girl power quotes everywhere

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Mashed potato bar– excellent idea for a party

After years and years of not updating my glasses with my new prescription, I finally ordered some new ones and they arrived last week. I have a very strong prescription, and with frames and lenses, my glasses price usually approaches 1k. I’d heard about Warby Parker and decided to do their home try on. I selected a pair I liked, and $135 later, I have them. Much more economical, since I usually only wear them before bed and wear my contacts the rest of the time.

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My mom and I did a 5k this weekend, and it was so much fun. They had a great after-party with pancakes and sausage and unlimited O’Dell’s Brewery beer. We stayed for a long time and listened to the Irish band play.

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We’ve been having beautiful weather, so I’ve taken every opportunity I can to get outside for my workouts. This was last Sunday when it was about 72 degrees.

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