Celebrating Tiffany

A few months ago, my friend Tiffany mentioned that she was taking her birthday off and that she had plans to celebrate it at a spa.  Like any good friend, I totally volunteered to accompany her.

Because friends don’t let friends spa alone… especially on their birthday!

On Friday morning, Tiffany, Kristen, and I headed to the mountains to the Tallgrass Aveda Spa in beautiful Evergreen, Colorado.  Evergreen is about 20 minutes from where I live, and further west into the mountains than I often go.  Even on the drive to the spa, I knew we had made a good choice.  Check out this view…

The spa itself was tucked away from civilization, with a perfect view of the Rockies.  The weather was AMAZING on Friday, so we had no trouble getting into the higher elevation – - which was awesome!

When we checked in Tiffany and I had scheduled a pedicure and a massage, and Kristen had opted for a mani/pedi.  The ladies quickly got us checked in and we were whisked away for pedicures.

Since we all three had pedicures at the same time… they lined us up in these super cozy chairs.  LOVED IT!

Tallgrass Spa Pedicures | No Thanks to Cake

Where else do you get propped up in a puffy chair with lots of pillows??  It was awesome!

Shortly after, we went back to the great room to wait for our massages.  Ahhhh….

Tallgrass Spa | No Thanks to Cake

The room itself was decorated so prettily.  There was a fire burning in the fireplace… and there were snacks handy.  Apparently, I was starving!  Even after eating my standard Peanut Butter Overnight Oats for breakfast.  Thank goodness for trail mix!

Tallgrass Spa | No Thanks to Cake

The massage was absolutely FANTASTIC!  I have been on and off experiencing some lower back pain, and Lindsey did a great job to work on the area.  And, strangely, I talked through most of my massage… but I hear that Tangerine Oil can be invigorating.  Next time I’ll choose lavender so I’m not as chatty! :)

After the massages, we had an option to spend some time in the steam shower.  Of course, we took advantage of this too.  It felt amazing and so hydrating for ladies that live in such a dry, dry place…

Tallgrass Spa | No Thanks to Cake

Before we knew it, our morning of pampering had come to an end.  After posing for one last pic, we headed out in search of some delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Tallgrass Spa | No Thanks to Cake

Now, I’ve mentioned Tiffany before here on NTTC, so y’all should know her by now.  She and I have really become great friends this year… and it is so nice to have some of “my people” here close by.  You know… “my people”… those friends that just “get” you, and that you always have a super-fun time with.  She’s definitely amongst my Colorado besties… so, you won’t be surprised to see that the celebrating didn’t end at the spa!

Saturday night, Tiffany’s boyfriend Alex arranged for a surprise party for her at a sushi restaurant in a very cute part of the city.  He had reached out to a lot of her close friends via Facebook to arrange for this super-double secret event.  Of course, I was a ready and willing conspirator!

My job was to help Alex find a cake for the event.  I ended up at the most adorable bakery in town, and ended up with a super-fancy frilly cake for the birthday girl.

Das Meyer Bakery | No Thanks to Cake

It was not only a strawberry cake, but a strawberry champagne cake… Nice job, Das Meyer!

This fancy cake and I arrived at the restaurant early enough to check in and tuck away the cake before the other party goers arrived.  This also gave me a few minutes to order a glass of wine and soak in the atmosphere of Sushi Hai.  I really liked this place!

Sushi Hai | No Thanks to Cake

Once the gang had arrived, we moved into our private room (nice job, Alex!) and visited and laughed a lot!  Who knew this gang was so into 90′s pop culture… but then again Lauren and Greg were part of the festivities as well!

Lauren and Greg | No Thanks to Cake

As someone who doesn’t eat anything that swims… sushi can be tricky.  I don’t really venture out too far from the vegetarian dishes, but I found something new to try that night:  Quinoa Sushi!

Sushi Hai | No Thanks to Cake

Wow… really interesting!  I prefer the rice overall, but am glad I tried it.  They used cream cheese to hold the quinoa in the roll, but it sort of crumbled in the soy sauce.  I’ll stick with brown rice next time, but I like the concept!

Finally, it was time to sing and have some of that crazy cake!  Alex went all out with party hats and party poppers, making it extra fun for Tiffany…  She looked so happy! :)

Sushi Hai | No Thanks to Cake

Such a great night celebrating such a fabulous friend!!!  Happy Birthday, Tiffany!!!

Snack Snark Bark | No Thanks to C

Have you ever had Quinoa Sushi?

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No More Rain

It’s official. This rain has to stop.

It’s been at least seven days of rain.  It could be even more than that… I’ve lost count, to be honest.  During the time I’ve lived in Colorado, this season has been the rainiest I’ve ever seen.

We are notoriously dry, suffer from wildfires, and get the majority of our moisture during the winter season in the form of that pretty powdery white stuff.

I have never seen anything like what’s going on here now.  The newscasters call it flooding of “biblical” proportion… and I can only hope that it’s the 100-year flood that they’re calling it, and not something that we’ll ever see in this lifetime.

Thursday night was the night when it all began to get real.  I live about 20 minutes outside of Boulder, Colorado… so, when Boulder started to see flooding and massive destruction, I started to get nervous.  That’s WAY too close for comfort.

News coverage showed everything in horrific detail.  Waterways taking ownership of homes, canyons, roadways, with utter disregard for the lives in its paths.  And worse, the rain continued on.

At around 11pm on Thursday night, I realized that the large development one street over was evacuated including hundreds of family who live just to the West of me.

Evacuations in my neighborhood?  Worse, it was night time, and there was really no way to gauge what was going on.

What do you do when your town experiences a natural disaster?  How do you stay in touch with the latest news?  I quickly found my local police on Twitter and started following the Colorado Emergency notifications and local news.  Very quickly, I began to get local information and knew where the dangers lied, and what roads had closed.

In the night, I actually packed an evacuation bag.  Just in case I had to flee… that’s an experience I hope I never have to go through again.  Although, it was quite interesting to look at what I needed to take with me, and truth be told:  It wasn’t much.

Had I needed to evacuate that night, I didn’t really know where I was going to go.  Not because I didn’t have places to go… but because of the uncertainty of being able to get to those places.  There were so many road closures, it was just hard to say.

In the end, I woke up on Friday and saw a shiny, bright lightbulb in the sky that we hadn’t seen in days.  It also gave me a chance to go out to see what was going on out there.  And, apparently, I wasn’t the only one who had this idea… the new waterway that formed near my complex was like a tourist site with many people out there.

This wide “creek” didn’t exist a few days ago, but appeared in full force….

In a strange way, I thought it was beautiful.

IMG_0641

For me, I am incredibly thankful to be as safe as I am.  I am happy that the largest “existing” creek that I live next to has kept itself within its boundaries… growing significantly in size, but not impeding upon its neighbors.

No More Rain | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve continued to keep an eye on this new body of water.  Walking out there once a day, eyeballing it as I drive past it… it seems to be staying put and not expanding, which is good.

I’ve also kept my eyes on the sky, like the rest of Colorado… Praying for the rain to stop.

No More Rain | No Thanks to Cake

I watch the clouds, I watch the news, and I keep my eye on social media… learning more and more about what my friends to the north are going through.  I hope we’re nearing the end.

This week’s weather forecast shows a little more rain tonight, and then dryness for as far as the forecast projects.

I think Governor Hickenlooper said it best yesterday, when he was asked if Colorado would recover:  ”Yes! We’ve got broken roads & bridges, but we don’t have broken spirits.”

When the sun comes out today, it’s going to be time to rebuild… time to help the people of Colorado.  I am eager to find that way that I can help.  I know I am not an expert at water removal, but I can coordinate donation drives and cook a mean dinner.  There’s got to be a way I can help, and I plan to find it.

For those of you who have means to donate to the people of Colorado, I encourage you to do so… we need it right now.  Here are a few websites where donations can be made, as reported by the Denver Post.

And more than your donations, I ask for your prayers and positive thoughts for the people of this beautiful state.  We need it more than ever…

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Fun Friday Faves

I ran into that pesky blogger’s block again last night.  It’s where I write the beginning of several blog posts, and nothing seems good enough to share.

When this happens, I usually end up sharing just little fun blurbs about what I’m loving right now.  That being said, here you go!

PS.. For those of you who brainstormed with me on Facebook… Whoa!  I have so many ideas for next week!  Thanks, and stay tuned!!!

Instagram

I’ll kick it off by saying I’m quickly becoming obsessed with Instagram.  OMG… it’s so fun!

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a fun, busy few weeks… but I find is such a fun way to communicate.  And, it’s all about pictures…

Anything from the Triple Rainbow that I spotted in traffic on Wednesday…

To my quest to find the perfect pair of specs!

PS… If you’re not following me yet, click here!  It’s such a fun little app!

New Pretty Undergarments

Ok… we’re MOSTLY ladies here, and the men that read have to appreciate that we’re paying attention to this area, too…

After a while, the elastic and whatnot just gets tired, and it’s time.  Well, it was COMPLETELY past time for me.  I went to Victoria’s Secret and found not one, but two new great bras…

Previously, I had been a HUGE fan of the Incredible bra.  Alas, that one’s been discontinued, but I found it’s replacement…

The FABULOUS Bra, of course!  Go try it… it rocks!  Disclaimer:  Vicky’s does NOT guarantee transformation into this supermodel when you put on the bra, even with their fancy-schmancy in-store lighting.  Trust me…

When You Guys Share Your Pics

Last week’s Bruschetta Turkey Burger Stuffed with Babybel Light Cheese was a big hit on Pinterest, and an even bigger hit with many of you… and, even cooler, several of you guys posted pictures of your versions of the tasty burger!

These two pics from Jade and Julia totally made my day!!  I know there’s more of you out there cooking… If you feel so inspired, post away to the NTTC Facebook page!  I’d love to see how it worked out for you!

Exploring Pretty, Pretty Colorado

On Memorial Day, I went on an awesome hike with my friend Deb to kick off the holiday.  She knows a lot of the great spots to go, and we chose Apex Trail this time around.  IT. WAS. GORGEOUS!

Deb and I hiked our little hearts out while trying to maintain a conversation (in between a little huffing and puffing along the way when the incline got steep.)

I seriously live in the most beautiful state and need to get out there and appreciate it more.  I feel like I spend most of my time in the car… but not this weekend!

Presents from Laughing Cow Cheese

I got a package last night from my friends over at LCC, and it made my night.  After a craptastic afternoon, a little LC + carrots really hit the spot.

And, the fact that I have a cute new LCC lunchbox, a branded water bottle, and a few wheels of cheese to play with didn’t hurt either.  Thanks, Laughing Cow!  I heart you!

New Sneaks

I specifically told Deb during our hike that I wasn’t going to buy any more workout shoes until after Fitbloggin.

Fitbloggin is sponsored by Reebok afterall… and they’re so generous with free shoes for attendees.  And, that seems sensible, so I can a bunch of different colored shoes to go with my workout clothes…

However, there’s nothing sensible about my shopping habits, and I certainly didn’t plan on meeting these beauties at Nordstrom Rack.  They looked lonely in the store all alone… I saved them!

Jodi’s Race for Awareness + Team Bev

Tomorrow is the 4th Annual Jodi’s Race for Awareness and the 3rd year that I walk proudly as part of Team Bev.  This cause is incredibly near and dear to me… and I’m excited to celebrate my friend Bev with FIFTY of her friends and family on Saturday.  You can read about the 2012 race here, and about the recent Athleta pre-party here.

When you pause to think you almost lost someone to this horrible disease, it makes you want to do everything to support her and the cause.  Honored to be a part of this walk and to walk side by side with my friend.

Cheers to you, Beverly!  

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WOW: Hiking in the Snow

On Sunday morning, I made a date to meet up with the fabulous Tiffany and do some hiking!  I hadn’t hiked in months, so I was excited to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

When I saw that the temperature was in the 30s when I woke up on Sunday morning, I wasn’t as excited.  Just the same, I got bundled up with a hat, a scarf, and some gloves and headed out.

I didn’t get quite this bundled up… but if I had that red snow suit, it could’ve happened!

On the way to Golden, I heard this song on the radio… There’s something about a little 90s rap that gets me going.  I grew up in the 90s (and when I say “grew up” I mean I was in college then), so I just love those songs that I used to dance to at parties with my friends… and this was one of them.  Thanks, 90s on 9, for getting the blood flowing and prepping me for this hike!

We chose Matthew Winters Park for our hike this week.  It’s right on the edge of Red Rocks, and one of those places I’d always meant to check out.  It was GORGEOUS!

I’m also always shocked that once you get your body moving and you’re in the sun, it really doesn’t feel like it’s in the 30s.  The trail was pretty open when we arrived.  We’d see an occasional person on a bike or off in the distance, but by the end of the trip, the place was hopping.

Now, you’d might think this would make for a pretty quiet trail walk…. but did I mention that I was with Tiffany?  We tend to be chatterboxes, which was also the case today.  It was so nice to catch up and hear about all that had been going on in each others’ worlds.  If you don’t follow her blog Snack Snark Bark, I highly recommend it.

PS… Don’t judge my hat. Had to keep the ears warm!

This picture was taken at the top of our trek.  There really was quite the incline to get there, and we could have gone a LOT further but after an hour we were ready to turn back.  But, not before we took a few pics at the peak of our hike.

I swear, I live in the most gorgeous place.  Seriously beautiful all year round.  Today’s hike made me appreciate that once again, and made me want to get out there and hike more in the future.

Something that was new for Sunday’s hike was that there was SNOW on the ground.  Thankfully, not throughout… but I had never hiked in the snow.  It really slows you down a little bit, because you have to be careful (in my opinion.)  However, it was interesting to see people running through there and riding bikes through there.  Yeah… I’d rather take my time. :)

Overall, our hike took two hours.  TWO HOURS on Super Bowl Sunday was quite the success.  My Fitness Pal estimated that I had burned just under a thousand calories, and had already clocked more than 10,000 steps by 11am!

After burning all those calories, Tiffany and I needed coffee.  We headed to Starbucks and got some coffee, but we were both a little more hungry than that…

Have you ever heard of Kolache Factory?  It’s this ridiculously good place that I can’t believe I haven’t been before.  They sell these little stuffed rolls, stuffed with tasty goodness.

Even though it was a little more decadent than I usually go for, I couldn’t even begin to resist a little bread ball that was stuffed with… WAIT FOR IT… Sausage and Gravy???  Ooooooooooh, yeah…

It was SO delicious.  I was able to find the nutritional information online later, and was surprised that the damage wasn’t worse than it was… for all that flavor, just 250 calories.  Not bad.  Tiffany opted for one that was Jalapeno Popper flavored (really??)

I’d also brought some vegan donuts for us to munch on, but seriously, the Kolache took the prize…

 

When I stood up after we visited at Kolache Factory, I could feel some pain poking in the hip area, and I was sure that I was going to feel the work we’d done on the mountain for a few days.  Totally worth it, and a totally fun morning.

We’ve made plans to get out there again in a few weeks…. I’m looking forward to it already!

Do you enjoy hiking?  Have you ever hiked in the snow?

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