Happy August, friends!
My “Things I’m Loving” series is so fun to write, because I feel like I get to just share all the FUN stuff I do and discover each month with all of you. Basically, it’s the highlight reel 🙂
I’d love to hear about your highlight reel from the month in the comments below!!
Hope your July was great!
Products and Services I am Loving:
I realize I am probably the last dog owner on the planet to realize how great this little toy is, but after seeing SO many other owners with the Chuckit at the dog park and Bernie’s new-found enthusiasm for swimming and fetching the ball I had to get one. We’ve really enjoyed taking it to Chatfield Dog Park where there are pretty good sized areas for dogs to swim. Of course we’ve lost a ball or two, but Bernie still has so much fun fetching and when he DOES bring it all the way back it’s so worth it (it’s even worth it when he leaves the ball 5 feet from the shore!)
My aunt got Brian and I this spiral slicer and we use it about once a week (if not more!). I have tried other hand-held spiral slicers, and this is the best one I have used yet. It doesn’t require quite as much arm power as some of the others I’ve tried. We have used it for squash and sweet potatoes, but I’m sure it would work well with carrots, cucumbers, or anything else you could think to spiral slice.
- Cheer Up Buttercup Essential Oil blend from Now Foods
I was first introduced to this sent about a year and a half ago when I met a fitness instructor who used it in her cycle studio during cycle classes, and I became hooked instantly!! It is made from a blend of bergamot, orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime oil and it smells citrusy, bright, and refreshing…for me, it’s really just what I need to lift my mood a bit!
- La Tourangelle Spray Avocado Oil (non-aerosol)
I have a misto that I typically have olive oil in for spritzing on veggies I am going to roast, salads, or to line a dish I am going to bake in. While I love my misto, this spray avocado oil from La Tourangelle is a GREAT option for the times when the misto is full and I want to use another oil (which happens pretty frequently). Depending on how you apply the pressure, you can spray a stream or a spritz (there are instructions on the back). I like using avocado oil to add a little variety in my diet in the healthy fat department and because it is great for cooking at high temperatures.
Food I am Loving
- Homemade cold brew
Over Christmas, I introduced my family to delicious cold brew coffee and my mom, sister, and grandma were all hooked by the end of the holiday. While I had attempted to make my own cold brew in the past, the giant mess it created really just wasn’t worth it. Then, I received a package in the mail from my grandma with two Cold Brew Reusable Coffee Filter Pouches! Now, making cold brew is super simple and we have it on hand at ALL times. (I highly recommend these bags! They really take care of ALL the mess!)
- Smoothie Bowls
I know I’m always a smoothie/smoothie bowl fan, but my love affair for this breakfast treat has gotten a bit out of control this month! It is probably due to the heat that is in the 90s nearly every day…
- Farmers Market Eggs
If you haven’t tried eggs fresh from the farm or farmers market, you are missing out! The flavor is rich, the yolks are golden yellow, and they are so satisfying. What a treat!
The owners of Protein Bar have recently launched a new restaurant concept called Thrive360. There is a location in Downtown Denver, so I was lucky enough to enjoy lunch there one day last week. We sampled so many things on the menu, and I can honestly say I really loved each and every dish. They all had unique flavor components and utilized a variety of fresh produce. My favorite dish (while they were all delicious!) was the side of sweet potatoes. They were roasted and dressed with a tahini mint dressing that seriously was to die for. I think I’m going to have to recreate them so I can enjoy them all the time 😉
Protein Bar will still exist, but it is geared towards someone in more of a hurry rather than a sit-down type lunch. Thrive360 has a bigger culinary influence in the menu, made-to-order dishes, and personalized menu items. Another thing to note is that they can make adjustments to dishes based on your dietary preferences, so if someone has an allergy or intolerance but still wants to enjoy a delicious meal Thrive360 would be a great option!
Workouts I am Loving:
- Running. With Bernie and without Bernie.
It’s pretty clear that I adore running with Bernie, but over the past couple of months I have really been working on my speed training. I have a friend who is a fantastic runner, and he has been so kind and worked out/ran with me once a week to help me get my pace faster in hopes of obtaining a PR in my next half marathon.
During long/slower runs, Bernie is right by my side but when I need to focus on speed (or hills or anything else!) I leave Bernie at home so that I can really focus on the run. I’ll be honest, I think I’ve gotten quite a bit faster and stronger since I started training with my friend and I am really enjoying the challenge of it all. I’ve never considered myself a natural “runner” so anytime I train for a race, it’s always a challenge. Through this process, I’ve learned that I really do well with someone by my side pushing me a bit harder than I would push myself 🙂
During these next few months, I have partnered with Pure Barre to help launch a new cardio-based class they offer called Platform. While I have taken many barre classes (and one Pure Barre class!) previous to this partnership, I had never incorporated it into my weekly routine. Since this partnership started at a time when I was adjusting my workout schedule, I have added this into the weekly mixup and I am really having a fun time with it. The classes are challenging and humbling (my thighs burn every time!), but the community behind the program is refreshing and so welcoming. I am really looking forward to the next couple of months with Pure Barre.
Moments I am Loving:
- Family Visiting
At the beginning of the month, my mom, sister and her boyfriend visited for the 4th of July weekend. I honestly can’t believe that was an entire month ago…but we loved every minute of their visit.
Highlights were visiting:
- Hiking Grays Peak with Mom
When my mom visited, we attempted to hike Grays Peak. While we didn’t quite make it to the top, we had an really fun time getting to the halfway point. 🙂
- Summiting Grays Peak and Torreys Peak with Brian and Bernie
This was BEFORE the hike around 6am.
And we summited both! The entire hike round trip took us about 6 hours with two 30ish minute breaks at the top of each mountain.
Saturday night, Brian and I drove up to the Grays Peak trailhead and camped at a dispersed camping spot very close to the start of the hike.
How beautiful is that? I’ll be honest, I’m not the world’s biggest camping fan but I am growing to love the idea of camping for one night, especially when there is an amazing hike involved at some point during the trip.
The entire experience was fun, relaxing, memorable, and we would totally do it again. It was a great way to celebrate living in Colorado for 2 years!
- Visiting the Sand Dunes with Friends
This month has been packed with TONS of fun stuff, including fun stuff with our friends. The first friend trip we made this month was to the Sand Dunes. Hiking up the actual dune was an unforgettable experience, and I’m so thankful we have those memories.
- Breckenridge trip with friends
Last weekend, we had our second friend trip/mini vacation in Breckenridge. We have so much fun with this crew!
- Going to see Secret Life of Pets with Brian
It’s been quite a while since Brian and I went to a movie together, so we walked downtown to the theater a couple of weeks ago to see the Secret Life of Pets. I feel like it was a movie all pet owners would love to see! It was very cute and had a happy ending. 🙂 (oh! and we saw it in 3d) I’ll be honest, it would have been 100% ok to see the movie NOT in 3d, but it was the only option at the time.
- Visiting Garden of the Gods with Brian and Bernie
The Garden of the Gods is an area of crazy red rock formations in the Colorado Springs area of Colorado. They are completely natural, and the trails are free to the public and dog friendly. Brian and I had a bit of free time one afternoon, so we made the hour and a half drive from Denver to see what the Garden of the Gods was all about. Although the summer heat was at it’s peak, the views were stunning and so worth the drive. Next time, I think we will plan on a visit earlier in the day so we can hike around a bit.
Shows/Books/Podcasts I am Loving:
This month, it’s all about the books for me. I have the month off from school, so I am really trying to take time away from the computer and phone screen to broaden my horizons. The goal is to read these three books…pretty lofty if you ask me, but I’m going to try 🙂
Join the Conversation!
- What are some highlights from your month?