Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Our new camper ~ Chalet

We bought a camper today ~ we have been looking for about a year for a small, reasonably priced, camper that we could tow up mountains in Colorado.   I love tent camping, and don't plan on stopping anytime soon; but we can't camp in the winter and sometimes it's nice to be off the ground and out of the rain.  The Chalet is hard sided and foldes up into an A-Frame; it has a double bed on one side and twin bed that converts to a kitchen table and seats.  There is also a propane stove and sink; plus, the best part is a small portable potty!  The potty wasn't a necessity, but it sure will be nice to not run outside and pee in the woods; in the middle of the cold Colorado nights.  Twice, I have had coyotes around me when going to the bathroom outside and that was pretty scary!   A potty will sure be a step up in the world!  
Plus, I am a little worried about having kiddos in a tent, and I don't want to give up camping when we have a baby; or when I am pregant.  We are excited to take it out this weekend; after the farmers market on Saturday. 
Here are some more pics of our Chalet. 
I will recover the cushins right away, and we already started painting over the crappy wall paper.

This is the double bed/couch.  I will again re-finish the cushins.

Inside, its pretty sunny, but bad curtains and stove and sink

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New items, warmers and more!

Thru Hiker Forest hand warmers
I've been busy crocheting and hiking this past month; and trying to create some hiking/outdoor gear that people can look good while being active.  I created a new etsy shop for these items called Colorado Girl Gear.  I have been toying around with the name for a while now, and I kept coming back to this one so I went with it.  I have many more items to add to the shop, and when I get over this cold, I plan to take some more photos. 
Things in the shop have been pretty slow this summer, and it's made me question doing this full time, but I do enjoy it much more than going into an office so for now I am going to keep pushing forward.  Maybe I haven't quite found my niche online and I haven't had much experience selling locally.  Most small business fail or quit within the first year, and I am determined to make this work. 
I spent a lot of time this summer in the mountains by myself with the dogs, hiking.  You can read about my adventures in my hiking blog.  I sometimes consider redirecting my time to writing a book about hiking in Colorado; I don't know quite where to focus the book yet but I hope it will come to me like all other creative ideas.  Randomly as I fall asleep or while hiking in the wilderness.    For now, here are a few more of my crochet hiking items. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Make Chex mix from your old snacks instead of throwing them out.

One of my pet peeves is wasting things, I hate it!  Even though I try to be diligent about not wasting anything, we still throw things away from time to time and it makes me feel terrible. 
One way I have come up with to combat stale snack foods and the inevitable toss, is to make the snacks into a "chex mix." 
This batch in particular has old pretzels, cheezits, croutons, sesame seeds, and triscuits. 
I added to it about 2 tbsp of butter; 1-2 tbsp of Worcester sauce (depending on taste), garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, and seasoning salt.  All to taste.  Put it in the oven on 300-325 degrees (no higher) for 30 minutes or until crunchy.   Take out and let cool about 10 minutes before eating.  Now you have a new snack food that tastes different and uses up stale old food that you would have wasted anyway :) 
Do you have any personal ways you save leftovers?

Another thing I do is to save my vegetable stumps, and anything that I would normally toss in a freezer bag in the fridge; when i fill up the bag, I boil all of the stuff in sort of a "garbage soup" for 1 hour.  Drain all the "garbage" out and keep the broth; I pour mine into muffin tins and then put them in the freezer until they are frozen solid.  Then remove and put in freezer bags, these now are 1 cup servings of vegetable broth.  Yum! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fun in Breckenridge!

Views from the 4x4 drive road; sharp cliffs, scenic views.
At the end of August my family came out to visit; and I have been planning on blogging about it since they left.  Finally, I found some time! 
My parents and sister with her new hubby Cody came to Denver along with my parents friends Bob and Marsha.  We drove into Breckenridge to stay in a condo for the weekend to do some hiking, shopping and spending time together as a family. 
My parents flew into Denver on Wednesday and we drove up to Breck that evening sans Josh who was still working and going to drive up with Laura and Cody. 
It was nice to spend some time with my parents, just the three of us; we had a great lunch at the Backcountry Brewery in Frisco (recommend the Wheeler Wheat beer!!) and a drive up the mountain pass outside of Breck up a 4x4 drive road for beautiful views of the mountains and lake below (photo above).
Thursday we explored the town and waited for Laura, Cody and Josh to come up that evening; then we went out to dinner and prepared ourselves for our long hike on Friday. 
Is the head tilt genetic?
My dad, sister, Cody, Josh, myself and Bob hiked a 14er; Mt. Lincoln via the Kite Lake route on Friday, as this was the best weather day of the weekend.  This is the second 14er my sister has hiked, and the third for my dad and the 9th for Josh and I. 
Overall the hike went really well, everyone except for Bob Tighe reached the top, but he had been battling a bad cold and made it to about 14,000 feet, but not to the peak.  The hike went better than expected, with everyone making it safely with no altitude sickness and only minor falls. 
On Saturday we were all a little tired and sore from the hike, and we stayed nearby the condo, shopping, drinking and taking a ride on the free Gondola in Breck to the Alpine slide on the ski slopes.  As a kid I loved the alpine slides in Kentucky and on the East Coast when I had ridden them before, I remember being completely fearless on the dips and turns.  It was really fun to try it out again as an adult; it took a few minutes, but I did get my fearless nature back and flew down the mountain, yippie!! 
The theme for Saturday; sit at a bar, drink a beer.
My favorite part of the day was w hen Laura, Cody, Josh and I went to Joe's Dive bar for lunch, (it was not a dive bar, it was really good!) they had great pizza, a super great bartender and atmosphere.  From there the festivities continued well into the evening as we bar hopped and had fun; ending the night in a Sorry tournament that I lost every time.

On Sunday Cody, Laura and my dad were up early to catch a flight; my mom who is newly retired stayed until Wednesday. 
We had a great trip with the family and hope they come out again soon.  Here are a few more pics from the visit. 
On the Summit of Mt. Cameron! 

pretty pic of my mom.  thats me way in the background

mmmm, beer

My parents at the Reservior

Gondola ride up the mountain to alpine park

Josh and I after a few beerz on Saturday

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Where did August go?

I cannot believe we are already into September; this summer really FLEW by!  Just 6 months ago, I quit my job and took a 6 month contract position from home working just 16 hours.  Now, that contract job has ended, summer is over, and its time for autumn, holidays and winter.  Today I went into the office to turn in my laptop and other items and said a 'goodbye' to the ladies in the office; they were all so easy to work with and kind, it was one of my favorite jobs.  But I am glad to have a little time off.  I have such a long 'to-do' list that I really need to get to work on; plus I haven't had much time to work on my new organic Colorado Girl accessory and clothing line. 
Along with work and the farmers market, we had a very busy July-September.  We had two wedding, my sister's in Michigan and a good friends in Colorado, my family came out and visited us, including my new brother in law who joined us for a 14er hike, my 31st birthday, and trying to squeeze in camping and hiking before it becomes too cold in the mountains.   While it's been a summer of fun, it's been busy and eventful, and I am looking forward to some down time this fall to bake, garden, and do some sewing and crafting for myself. 

New hiking wrist warmers.
My latest crafting obsession is crocheting!  I learned to crochet years ago in college, I made a huge unfinished blanket, some scarves and then I put away my hook for knitting needles and sewing.  I don't remember what it was exactly that made me stop crocheting, but it must have been sheer madness to change over from the hook to knitting needles, and it feels great to have my old, faithful crochet hook back.  My grandmother on my mom's side was a whiz with the hook; she made all of her grandchildren and even great-grandchildren blankets that each of us cherish.  While I lack the patience to make a blanket, I have been making wrist warmers, neck warmers, ear warmers, scarves, and creating my own patterns  for these items to best suit the Outdoorsey Girl.  Check out some of my new items on my website and I would love to hear what you think about them!  Lots more to come.