The Del, A Massage, and Wine

I feel like I have been writing about this trip to California forever, recapping all the fun I’ve had along the way. In its own fabulous way, NTTC is sort of my very own scrapbook.  A great way to recap trips, outings, and recipes for my friends and family!

So, I’ve got one more day to share about this awesome week.  And, then, I will get back to my normal blogging schedule… whatever normal is… :)

The day after the concert, I woke up and had to get my things packed to head out.  Notice, I didn’t say HOME, I said out.  Whenever I get a chance to travel to California, I usually try to extend my trip a little to visit friends that I don’t get to see nearly enough!

Now, when I visited my friend Crystal in early June, we agreed that if I had a chance to travel to Rockstar again… that I should come back to visit her family!  You don’t have to ask me twice… the plan came together so nicely!

Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

Before I met up with her, I decided to spend a little time unwinding on Coronado Island.  And, my favorite way to unwind… I scheduled a massage at a nearby hotel.  Not just any hotel, however… I scheduled it at the Hotel Del Coronado.

Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

My goodness… what a beautiful place.

Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

The hotel is an institution on the island…. and so incredibly gorgeous.  I can’t even believe I got to spend the day here.  I checked my luggage at the bell stand and headed off to the spa.  To get there, I had the option of walking through the hotel or walking outdoors on the property… I choose the outside path and had a chance to experience the beauty that is the Del.

Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

From the white buildings with red roofs to the lovely outdoor cafes to the exquisite view of the Pacific… the Del is perfection.  The guy at the bell stand told me to walk until I saw the herb garden and the spa would be on the right.  I absolutely love that the property has such a delightful herb garden.  Just made it all that more perfect… 

Herb Garden Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

Inside the Spa at the Del, I quickly got changed into a robe and slippers and waited for my massage.  I had scheduled myself a Hot Shell Massage and was so excited to see how this would work.  I’d had hot STONE massages before, but never hot SHELL!  How perfect for this trip!

Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

When I got called back into the spa for my service, I found that the shells weren’t REAL shells, but instead ceramic shells created specifically for this purpose.

Hot Shell Massage Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

The massage was WONDERFUL.  Relaxing.  Perfect.  After all the excitement of Rockstar, my feet were incredibly sore… so my masseuse spent some extra time on my toes.  HEAVEN!

After the service was completed, I ordered some lunch and found a spot at the spa pool to relax.  I had intended upon reading a book, but it felt better to just relax and soak in the atmosphere.  There was beautiful people watching to be had… families vacationing, couples walking by hand in hand, and that gorgeous ocean in the distance.  I soaked it all in… and a little sun.

Lunch at the Hotel Del Coronado | No Thanks to Cake

The Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

Spa at the Del | No Thanks to Cake

At the end of the day, my friend Crystal picked me up to whisk me away to Temecula.  One of my favorite people, I am so thankful that I had a chance to visit with her again this trip!

We spent our time catching up, cooking, and tasting local wines… you can only imagine how much I loved that!  We also spent some of her favorite wineries.  First stop:  Miramonte… Such a beautiful patio for tasting the most delicious wines!

Miramonte | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve always thought of Napa or Sonoma when I’ve thought of California wine country; however, I have to say… Temecula should be listed right there in that list.  I’ve loved so many of the wines I’ve tasted here… and the tasting rooms are so lovely.  Highly recommend touring this area if you are ever close.

Miramonte Winery | No Thanks to Cake

The next day, after a lovely lazy morning, we headed out to Robert Renzoni for the most amazing round of wine tasting!  His Concerto was my favorite… and I was able to get a signed bottle to take home!

Robert Renzoni | No Thanks to Cake


Robert Renzoni | No Thanks to Cake

After our first stop, we set off for some lunch (and more wine!) at Ponte Family Estates.  SUCH a beautiful place!

Ponte | No Thanks to Cake

Ponte Grapes | No Thanks to Cake

The magic happened at lunch…. Crystal and I ordered a Watermelon Tomato Caprese that just knocked our socks off.  Expect to see a version of this on NTTC soon.  It was that good!  Doesn’t it look gorgeous??

Watermelon Tomato Caprese Ponte | No Thanks to Cake

While the massage, the wine, and the food were amazing, the best part of the weekend was getting to spend it with this girl…

Ponte | No Thanks to Cake

We’re in the early stages of planning another adventure early next year… I absolutely can’t wait!  Thanks, Crystal and Adam, for a wonderful end to a wonderful trip!

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A Weekend of Food, Friends, and Fun

My weekend was INCREDIBLY BUSY.  The kind of weekend where you blink, and you missed it.  And, I even took an extra day off…

Because who really wants to work on her birthday?

Not this girl!

Friday morning, I woke up without an alarm (best birthday gift ever!) and had a light agenda planned for how I wanted to spend the day of my birth.

First and foremost, I jumped on the scale to see how my week had gone. I felt pretty good about the week, and the scale confirmed with with a -1.3 lb weight loss – – Happy Birthday to Me!!!

After giving my scale a hug… I got ready for the day’s events!  I scheduled time to get a super-relaxing massage and facial with my very favorite aesthetician Sam.  (Note to my Denver peeps:  If you are looking for a masseuse, she is AMAZING and one of the most lovely people I know.)

Spa | No Thanks to Cake

The massage was JUST what the doctor ordered.  My job changed as of the first of the year, and I’ve been carrying a lot of stress in my back and on my mind.  This 90-minute disconnect is just what the doctor ordered.

After the massage, the only thing on my agenda was to go home and get ready for my birthday dinner.  I always choose Indian food on my birthday because it’s just so amazing!

Indian Food | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve decided it JUST might be my favorite cuisine because each bite has so much amazing flavor.  I’ve you never tried it… you seriously should!  My friend Tiffany was game to join me and ended up being a huge fan of the flavors.

Tiffany and Kelly | No Thanks to Cake

My second birthday celebration was Saturday night at a little Asian restaurant close by.  I always feel great about the food at this place because I can get a steamed chicken and vegetable dish which to me is completely guilt-free.  I pair it with a side of kung pao sauce… and it is amazing!

Steamed Chicken and Broccoli | No Thanks to Cake

The night took an awkward turn when the waiter brought out the dessert, and (yes) serenaded me in a very LOUD voice, insisting on holding my hand during, and then kissing me on the head afterward.

Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Oh geez… I felt like I had a sombrero on my head at La Siesta in college.  So awkward…  but a nice gesture.

Sunday had another lovely outing, where I got to meet up with some local bloggers!  Tiffany, Jess, Lauren, and I met at True Foods Kitchen to enjoy their healthy cuisine, and it didn’t disappoint (nor did the conversation!)

Denver True Foods Kitchen | No Thanks to Cake

This was actually our first outing with Jess from Operation Skinny Jeans who was so nice to join us girls for a quick lunch.  She is a fabulous lady on an amazing weight loss journey.  It was so nice to meet her after “knowing” her for so long on Instagram.

Johnny Cakes True Foods Kitchen | No Thanks to Cake

During lunch I had my first “Johnny Cakes” made with quinoa, and I LOVED these.  They were made with quinoa and were AWESOME.  Lauren was right when she said I would figure out a way to make these at home… it’s just a matter of time!

Inside Out Quinoa Burger True Foods Kitchen | No Thanks to Cake

My main course was just ok… I ordered the Inside Out Quinoa Burger and it just had a weird flavor to it.  I really didn’t eat much of it, but saved room to order (wait for it)… the Flourless Chocolate Cake. I die for this flourless chocolate cake and thank goodness my light lunch and three lunch buddies supported this dessert decision.

Flourless Chocolate Cake True Foods Kitchen | No Thanks to Cake

It was incredible!!!

And, with that… the weekend was mostly over.  At least the fun part of it.  Back to work, back to the grind, and, my goodness… back to the gym!  I want to make sure all my dining out doesn’t erase that 1.3 lbs I lost this week!

BTW… I haven’t forgotten my promise of a Birthday Giveaway… it’s coming this week!

How was your weekend?  Have you ever been serenaded to at a restaurant?

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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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How I Spent My Thanksgiving + {GIVEAWAY}

This holiday long weekend was ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL.

I didn’t realize how much I needed a few days to just “be,” but I needed it desperately…

The Holiday

I spent the actual Thanksgiving Day with my friend LaDawn and her husband Dana who made the most delicious feast for us to enjoy, and who kindly slaved over the kitchen while LaDawn and I got our yoga on.

Thanksgiving Yoga | No Thanks to Cake

After our practice, we’d worked up quite the appetite!  Dana wanted to keep the meal relatively healthy, which was perfect for when you invite NTTC to dinner.  I brought my favorite broccoli-quinoa casserole and individual salads built to each guests veggie preferences (easier said than done!)

Thanksgiving to Go | No Thanks to Cake

Highlights of the meal were Dana’s roasted veggies which will be featured here on NTTC soon and a crustless pumpkin pie!

Crustless Pumpkin Pie | No Thanks to Cake

I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan, but the more I eat it… the more I feel ok about it.  This one was tasty!

How was the rest of the weekend?

In a word… PRODUCTIVE!

For the first time in years, I’ve finished my Christmas shopping prior to December 1.  And, I’ve already shipped the first few boxes out! UNHEARD-OF ! I even have a few more that are packed and ready to go that I’ll wait to ship until a little later in the month.

I’ve also finished decorating for the holidays… putting up my tree and even hanging some ornaments above the fireplace…

Christmas Decorations | No Thanks to Cake

I knitted two scarves for holiday gifts…

Infinity Scarf | No Thanks to Cake

And I even put together my Secret Santa gift for the Fitbloggin Secret Santa exchange (love this idea!)

Secret Santa | No Thanks to Cake

And… while I won’t share pics of  it, I organized the heck out of my home this weekend.  I know.  That sounds REALLY wild and crazy, but I REALLY don’t like to live in disorganization.  It drives me crazy… and I finally had the time to get things back as they should be.

When I was cleaning out my hall closet, I found many fun items that some amazing brands have shared with me this year that I couldn’t believe I had stashed away.  I’d saved them for a giveaway, and then just never got around to it. Most are of the “pampering” variety… and I thought they’d make a fantastic gift for one of you lovely readers… especially during the hecticness that is the holiday season!

Everyone deserves a little pampering, after all….

Here’s what you have a chance to win:

Holiday Pampering Giveaway | No Thanks to Cake

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s inside this prize pack:

Sally Hansen Fabulous Fingernails – Perfect Manicure Kit, Willa Naturals Fresh Faces Cucumber Face Mask (2), Lavender-scented tea light, NatureMade VitaMelts – Relax – Green Tea Flavor (2), Petite Sweet – Bath Fizzers, Earth Therapeutics Foot Therapy Kit, Jenny Craig Calorie Walk Pedometer, Baggu Reusable Bag, Bobble Filtered Water Bottle, Sun Valley Mustard Apron, Que Bella Deep Cleansing Aloe Vera Cream Mask, Veggie-themed Shopping List notepad, Earth Therapeutics Soothing Beauty Mask, Whisk, Weight Watchers 15-Minute Superfast Recipe Book – Fall 2013

 To enter to win, fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to each and every one of you!  I can’t wait to see who wins!

Question:  How do you plan to unwind this holiday season?

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