Halloween Weekend

Happy Halloween, everyone! I am so excited to dress up tonight and hand out candy to all the sweet little kiddos in my neighborhood tonight. This Halloween weekend was very quiet for me–since I don’t have many local friends I didn’t have any parties or reasons to dress up–but I’m still thrilled to put on my costume tonight because I LOVE HALLOWEEN. And I’m being a skunk, so…!

This Colorado weather can just continue straight through the winter, if it likes. I mean, I do like skiing and watching the snow fall while I sip (read: chug) coffee. But these sunny 70 degree days give me major heart-eyed emoji. My quiet Halloween weekend involved taking a nice hike in Centennial Cone park, carving pumpkins, a night at the theatre, and visiting the Rocky Mountain arsenal for a little wildlife drive.

I carved my little Owl-oween pumpkin Friday night and I am seriously proud of it.

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

The Mayhem Gulch trail was seriously beautiful. I was in a grouchy, don’t-poke-the-bear mood on Saturday (I’ve been going through some difficulties with job-hunting and anxiety lately) but this helped perk me up. Thanks, nature, for throwing me a bone when I needed it most!

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

My mom and I went to the student dance concert at my old stomping grounds (The Arvada Center) on Saturday night and we were blown away by those amazing dancers. The company is so truly talented, and watching them perform made my heart so full! As soon as the lights went down I had this unexpected emotional moment of remembering how much I loved being on that same stage. All the feels! Without sounding too cheesy or ranting for too long, I’m just so thankful to have this little dance community. I’m inspired by all of these talented, creative, passionate people surrounding me, and I know that dance will always be my “home.” And here’s a snapchat before the show, because, you know, proof that I clean up ok (:

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

The Rocky Mountain arsenal is a pretty cool place. The wildlife drive is really pretty, and there are lots of little trails you can stop and walk a little ways (which is SO nice in the winter). You never know what you’ll see out there. But no guarantees, because the animals are wild so they roam wherever they feel like.It’s funny because honestly so much of Colorado is plains, and looks like this, but I always think people don’t see the beauty in it. And I guess it’s easy to look past the plains to the mountains, because, duh, the mountains here are incredible! But the plains are special and beautiful in their own way, too.

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

Not the best picture but that city skyline against those mountains!

In the visitor’s center, I went into the little discovery room (totally meant for elementary school kids) and dissected an owl pellet because yup, I’m that person. I’m obsessed with owls, and it’s really neat to find all the teeny little rodent bones intact inside the pellet. I know, it’s a little weird. But in a cool way, right? The bison herd was crossing the road just before we drove up, and it was really special to see them up close. They’re such beautiful animals, and I think you can really appreciate how big they are when you see them so close!

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

Happy Halloween via Imperfect Chevron

Happy Halloween!

xo

Thrift Store Finds

I’m a thrift store addict. Seriously, there’s very few things I enjoy more than scouring the shelves for unique pieces. Since I’ve been looking for work, I’ve gotten really into thrifting (I have a lot more free time right now than I’m used to). I have several regular haunts, and I’ve found a ton of great stuff this year! Here’s some of the treasures I’ve found:

This awesome end table was the perfect fit in our family room. Plus, I think it looks adorable with books stacked in the open shelves. My mom and I also picked this lamp (and it’s twin, not pictured) and rewired them. We fell in love with the gray ceramic, and knew we had to have them.

Thrift Store Finds via Imperfect Chevron

I just found this great swan purse yesterday, and I am in love! It’s the sweetest handbag. And yes, I have plenty of purses. But I couldn’t leave this beauty behind.

Thrift Store Finds via Imperfect Chevron

I shared my DIY makeover of this little end-table earlier this year, you can read about it here.

Thrift Store Finds via Imperfect Chevron

These crazy patterned pants were love at first sight, and I’ve worn them so many times already this season. Something about patterned pants just gets me every time.

Thrift Store Finds via Imperfect Chevron

My owl obsession has been fierce since I was a kid, and this little owl picture made me swoon. It’s new home is on a picture wall in our family room.

Thrift Store Finds via Imperfect Chevron

Keep an eye out for more of my thrift store finds! It’s a habit I’m not likely to kick soon (:

xo

 

Hiking the Fowler Trail

Here in Colorado, we’ve been having a very warm fall! Lots of sunny days in the 70s and 80s. It’s not necessarily atypical, but it’s not exactly typical either…we usually do have some colder weather and snow by Halloween. Anyway, I’ve been trying to take advantage of these sunny days and get outside and enjoy this beautiful state.

Hiking in Colorado via Imperfect Chevron

Recently my mom and I decided to take on one of our favorite hikes, the Fowler Trail, which is in Eldorado Springs near Boulder. The weather was perfect, and because it was a weekday the trail wasn’t too crowded. We hiked up to the hotel ruins and back down, as well as along the river, and we ended up hiking a little over 7 miles before noon! The Fowler Trail is really a great hike, with lots of options for beginners and more intermediate/advanced hikers. Plus, there are some fun overlooks where you can spot some very brave climbers scaling the face of the rock!

 

Hiking in Colorado via Imperfect Chevron

We have this “secret” parking place, too, because if you drive into Eldorado Springs you have to pay to park near the river (which is a great place to picnic, and it IS good to support our local parks). But we like to park for free (:

Hiking in Colorado via Imperfect Chevron

I sure do love when I get the chance to get outdoors and take a hike. It feels like this special, rare thing. I think we all tend to get so busy and wrapped up in everything that it gets hard to make fun stuff like hiking a priority. And it stinks! This year I’m making a hiking goal for myself, I want to do at least one hike per month. That doesn’t sound impossible, right? I hope you’re enjoying the fall season, wherever in the world you are, and that you’re able to get out and enjoy nature with friends & family.

xo

In the Kitchen

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love food. Pretty much my whole grid is made up of food (and my pets, of course!). But I don’t share my love of eating and cooking on the blog very often, and I want to change that. So today I’m introducing a little mini-series called “In the Kitchen,” where I’ll share some of the recipes I’ve been making lately.

This year, I’ve really gotten back into trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen, and this first “In the Kitchen” is going to be a fun mix of different things!

  1. First up, a lemon orzo salad! I went to lunch with my grandma early in the summer and ordered the most delicious, light but filling, lemon-y orzo salad served over spinach. I couldn’t stop thinking about the salad for days…literally, I dreamed about it. So I searched the internet for recipes and ended up with this one, which is the recipe that orzo dreams are made of. Seriously, my entire family loved it, and it’s my new go-to recipe for parties or having friends over. It’s really easy to make, and it’s also easy to just cut back on the amount of cheese for my fellow lactose-intolerant friends out there (the recipe calls for feta, but I actually used a bit of parmesan instead). Plus, it makes a TON, so it’s perfect for a large group of people, or you can have leftovers for days (which is my jam). I like to serve it over fresh spinach or lettuce! In the Kitchen via Imperfect Chevron
  2. To make my brother’s birthday extra special, I decided to make chicken coconut curry — a task that seemed a little ambitious considering I’ve never made curry before, but luckily it turned out great! I made this recipe, and made a few alterations. The recipe calls for poppy seeds, but I used a little extra thick coconut milk instead. I also added cooked potato chunks, salt, and a little curry powder to make it a little more flavorful. All in all, I felt like this recipe is a winner, and kind of a no-fail way to make a really impressive dish to wow your relatives into thinking you’re a cooking genius. Side note, this recipe is not spicy *as is* so if you want a little heat, add some of your favorite spicy spices (cayanne, red chili powder, etc.). Next time I make it, I’m going to add some spicier chili peppers.
  3. The team at A Beautiful Mess always has inspiring and creative vegetarian meal ideas, and when I saw their recipe for Polenta Pizza Bites I was salivating. I finally got around to making them this fall, and they were both easy and tasty. I liked them as a meal, but they’d make excellent appetizers as well. The polenta gets nice and crispy on the outside, and stays soft inside. I didn’t need to cook my polenta for as long as the recipe stated, but I sliced it fairly thin…just keep an eye on your polenta while baking so you don’t accidentally burn it.
  4. I’d been wanting to make this Spaghetti Squash Bake for a long time, and a few weeks back I went for it (even though 2 members of my family don’t care for spaghetti squash and have made their opinions loudly heard). Everybody tried it, and ended up really liking it, which was a major “I told you so!” moment. The biggest thing with this recipe is it takes a little prep work (you have to cook the squash in advance, which is really easy but takes upward of 40 mins usually). But it’s the perfect casserole to cook while you’re watching football or hanging around the house this fall. And, it’s a recipe that you can customize for your eating needs, i.e. you can add mozzarella or parmesan cheese, you can use lactose-free cheese, or you could skip the cheese altogether. Up to you!

So, that wraps up the first “In the Kitchen” with 4 tried and true recipes to add to your arsenal. Now go forth and cook well. (:

xo

Life Update: Fall Feelings

It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through October, especially with the nice weather we’ve been having in Denver! I’ve been milking it to wear shorts as long as I possibly can, because I know the winter lasts so so long and I’ll be really missing my shorts soon enough. Anyway, I do love Fall in Colorado. The leaves are really beautiful right now, and I will go slightly out of my way to step on any crunchy-looking leaves (: Anybody else love that? I’m also always really excited about Halloween, because it’s my favorite holiday, but I’m also sort of sad that I don’t have any plans this year yet. Because I really love dressing up, but I’m not about to put a costume on to sit on my couch.

Here’s some photos of life lately:

My parents and I hiked at White Ranch on Sunday morning, and it was the least crowded I’ve ever seen that trail! I love hiking so much. Just look at that view:

Fall Feelings via Imperfect Chevron

Fall Feelings via Imperfect Chevron

Fall Feelings via Imperfect Chevron

My pets are the sweetest two I’ve ever known, and they’re definitely best friends:

Fall Feelings via Imperfect Chevron

Loving the contrast of the yellow leaves against the blue sky. Just a good reminder to look up more!

Fall Feelings via Imperfect Chevron

I made this amazing salsa verde (tomatillo) this weekend for carnitas tacos (yes, I know I’m obsessed with carnitas and you’re sick of hearing about it). You guys, I think if I could just eat carnitas and then sleep, that would be just about the perfect day.

Fall Feelings via Imperfect Chevron

My family has a Denver Zoo membership still, and we use it so much (we really, really like animals). This fall, they have this amazing exhibit called “Washed Ashore,” with these enormous animal sculptures all around the zoo. The kicker, though, is that they’re all created with trash that washed up on the beach. It’s such a powerful statement, and reminder to be more conscious of how much trash we’re producing and how much of that trash is ending up in the oceans. If you’re in the Denver area, get yourself to the zoo and check it out for a limited time:

Fall Feelings via Imperfect Chevron

I got my hair chopped, too! New season, new hair. It’s a little shorter than I originally asked for, but the style is really perfect and I’m loving it. The style is a little shaggy a-line bob, so the front is a lot longer than the back. I love it because I just blot my hair with a towel, add a little sea salt spray and scrunch lightly, and then let my hair just be it’s natural self.
Fall Feelings via Imperfect Chevron

xo.

Back ‘en pointe’

If you know me really well, you know that I’m a dancer. Well, a ballerina, more specifically…Anyway, I danced my whole life, and in high school I was in the company at my studio, which meant I danced 6 days a week (and loved it, by the way). I chose not to major in dance in college, though I took a class with dance majors at my university. It was a really bad experience, and it’s much too long to go into in this little post. But that class was enough to send me running from ballet for a while, and I actually took a 3 year hiatus from it altogether. It was a lot of learning about who I was without dance, but it definitely got old.

Last summer when I was on break from school, I decided to go take the adult ballet class at my old studio, and from the first moment I stepped into the building I felt that electricity running through me that I used to get in ballet. And I haven’t looked back! I will never, ever, take a long break from ballet again. It fills my heart and feeds my soul in a way that nothing else can. And now that I’m an “adult” in the ballet world, the competitive aspect of ballet is gone. It’s just about enjoying myself, challenging myself, and laughing the whole way. One of those lofty goals I always had in my head was getting back to pointe work, and this summer one of my friends started up with her pointe shoes again and it really pushed me and inspired me to just do it! Yes, it would be hard and painful, but why not just do it?

Back en Pointe via Imperfect Chevron

I’m really happy to say I’ve started doing pointe again, although just at barre (and with a firm grip on the barre, I’m a total fraidy-cat)…but it’s so fun! Just to do something because I want to do it, not because I have to do it. Just to do it for myself. It’s really refreshing and special. And it also hurts. But the feeling I get from ballet, the electricity I’m getting from doing pointe work again…it’s worth it, it really is. I love ballet, and I’ve gone on way too long gushing about it, but I’m going to share a couple pictures of my pointe shoes because, you know, they’re beautiful and I love them so. And yes, I did take dorky pictures of myself in my pointe shoes wearing jeans, because I’m just that cool.

Back en Pointe via Imperfect Chevron

I guess I’m just so thankful every day that I’m getting to live this life, that I’m able to still dance and that it still fills me up with love and light and joy. I cherish it. AND I’m so thankful that my old studio has such an incredible adult ballet program, and that the instructors are the most inspiring and wonderful, caring people.

Back en Pointe via Imperfect Chevron

Back en Pointe via Imperfect Chevron

Thanks for letting me gush about this, it just feels like such a big deal to me and I wanted to share something positive among all this negativity that’s out there right now. Find what makes you happy, and do it! Always.

xo

How to Stay Healthy During Flu Season

As we swing from summer to fall, it always seems like a lot of people start to get sick. I’m not sure if it’s the temperature swings, or just because we’re all starting to be inside more so the germs spread easier…but either way, I think all of us would like to avoid getting sick altogether. So today I wanted to share some tips for keeping you and your loved ones healthier through this flu season.

How to Stay Healthy in Flu Season:

  1. Get a flu shot. I know that a lot of people don’t believe in getting a flu shot or are afraid because, lets be honest, it hurts! I also hear this excuse a lot, “I got the flu shot last year, and I still got the flu.” Yes, that definitely can happen. But I truly believe that getting a flu shot is an important annual routine. And yes, it may not always be effective against every strain of flu, but it’s one more way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Why wouldn’t you take every weapon you can? Plus, you’re not only protecting your family. By getting a flu shot, you’re helping to protect the individuals at risk who aren’t able to get one themselves (people who are allergic, elderly individuals, etc.).
  2. Wash your hands. You’re probably saying, “duh.” But honestly, this is a big problem! And it isn’t something you should just do after using the bathroom. Wash your hands after the gym (like, before you get into your car and touch the steering wheel!), after the supermarket (you touched a gross cart, not to mention all of the products other people touched and then put back), after you go shopping, etc. I like to keep a little pack of baby wipes in my car, too, so that when I don’t have access to soap and water, I can still clean my hands before touching everything in my car.
  3. Pump up the Vitamin C. And no, I’m not talking EmergenC or Airborne, even though I have used those products before. I truly believe the BEST way to prevent illness is to eat healthy (and exercise). A healthy immune system will be able to fight off most bugs. So get eating those fruits and veggies, especially the green leafy ones. If you feel a little under the weather, start munching on salad or whip up a green smoothie.

And if you DO get sick (because, lets be honest, it happens to everyone):

  1. Use a sinus rinse/neti pot. A lot of people are grossed out by this, but honestly since I started using a sinus rinse, I’ve been able to fend off most colds and even sinus infections in a quicker time! Plus, it helps clear you out so you can actually breathe. Just trust me on this one, give it a try. I actually use mine when I have really bad allergies, too.
  2. Don’t drink alcohol. This was something that really irked me in college. Someone would get sick, and then they would go out to the bars and stay up all night and complain when their cold suddenly got worse. Um, hello. Alcohol weakens your immune system. Take a weekend off, and kick back on the couch. You can catch up on Netflix, and watch Zootopia (I just watched it this week, and it is SO GOOD)
  3. Get enough sleep/rest. Getting sick is a sign for your body to take a break. I know we aren’t always able to escape all of our responsibilities to let ourselves heal for a few days, but try to lay down as much as possible and sleep as much as possible.

When I get sick, I usually go see my acupuncturist, because I’ve found that acupuncture is something that works for me. But that’s a personal preference, and I know not everybody is open to alternative medicine. It should always be something you discuss with your doctor first, and do your research on where you go!

Good luck staying healthy this season! Fingers crossed for all of you lovely readers out there.

xo