In The Kitchen: CrockPot Love

Happy February, all! Is it just me or was January just a giant blur? Yeah.

Anyway, I wanted to share a fun slow cooker recipe I made last week after buying my very first crock pot! I’ve been eating really poorly lately (read: schlepping home after work exhausted and making a sandwich or popping in a microwave meal), and I want to change that. I feel much better about myself (and feel much happier!) when I’m eating a balanced diet filled with greens and protein, so I’m trying to get better about it. I decided to buy a crockpot so I could make a week’s worth of meals in advance and pop them in the microwave when I get home from work. It worked so well last week, I’m excited to try lots of slow-cooker recipes in the weeks to come!

Okay, sorry for rambling a little there. Let’s get to the food! I adapted this recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas. The recipe suggests straining off some of the liquid at the end to make your fajitas, but I skipped that step and just ate mine like a hearty stew. So good!

How amazing does this look? In The Kitchen // Imperfect Chevron

It tasted really good, and I was overall really glad to have easy microwavable and healthy meals during the week. In the future, I’d probably cube up some avocado and throw some cilantro on top! And maybe add a little more spices?

Do you have any go-to crock pot or slow-cooker recipes? Feel free to share with me!

xo

Best of 2016

In honor of the end of 2016, I wanted to round up and share some of my favorite blog posts from the year. No matter where you’re spending your New Year’s eve (or how, there’s no shame in relaxing at home, am I right?!), I hope it’s warm and lovely! And be safe out there (:

The Best of 2016

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Travel Posts

2016 was full of traveling for me. From my clinical internships where I spent 3 months in North Carolina and 3 months in Florida, to a long weekend in Vail for the International Dance Festival, to interviewing for jobs in California…it’s been a busy year! Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Three Sisters Spring
  2. A Day at the Beach
  3. North Carolina Mountain Trip
  4. Vail Weekend
  5. San Luis Obispo Trip
  6. San Francisco Trip

DIY Posts

I had a few fun DIY and home decor posts to share this year. Makers gonna make, you know?

  1. Felt Wall Hanging
  2. Gallery Wall DIY
  3. DIY End Table Makeover
  4. My Sewing Machine Story

Cooking Posts

I love to cook, and mostly I love to eat. Here are a couple of recipes and food-related posts from 2016!

  1. The Perfect Green Smoothie
  2. In the Kitchen Recipe Roundup
  3. The Best Chicken Stew
  4. Delicious Coconut Bundt Birthday Cake

Miscellaneous Posts

I had a few random posts that I was really grateful and happy to share here on the blog, that don’t really fit into any other categories.

  1. My dog’s 14th birthday
  2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  3. G5 Hop Farm

Happy New Year!

xo

DIY: Hanging Wall Decor

I’ve been settling into my new home in California, and getting my room set up how I like it. My walls were starting to look pretty white and boring, so this weekend I decided to whip together a quick wall hanging. It’s easy and quick, and it really livens up a boring or plain space! It’s a good afternoon project to tuck away for a rainy or cold day.

DIY Wall Hanging // Imperfect Chevron

DIY Felt Wall Hanging

  1. Gather your supplies, and cut out the shape you want a bunch of times. I chose hearts, but I think this would work well with geometric shapes like triangles or diamonds! I used glittery red felt, light blue felt, navy felt, and black felt. You’ll also need scissors and yarn. img_3944
  2. Cut 2 small holes in the center of each felt shape (just wide enough to pass yarn through the holes). DIY Wall Hanging // Imperfect Chevron
  3. String yarn through the shapes, leaving a few inches between each heart. Make the strands as long or short as you want. I didn’t want mine to look too even, so I cute various lengths of thread. DIY Wall Hanging // Imperfect Chevron
  4. Hang on the wall using a thumb tack or nail. And you’re done! Step back to admire your handiwork.

See how easy!? I hope you try this quick little DIY, let me know how it turns out for you!

xo

 

A Big Announcement

Today I have some big news to share with you: I got a job! I’ve been looking for jobs since passing the NBCOT exam (occupational therapy boards) in late August, and it’s been a challenging and frustrating few months. 

Even when my life feels totally ridiculous, I prefer not to be bored. I think I’m a wanderer at heart.


I was in the SF Bay Area for a job interview recently (you can read about that trip here), and I’m happy to announce that I’ve accepted the job! I don’t want to say too much about it right now, but I’ll be working in a hand therapy clinic, which is my dream. I’m terrified and elated, and all of this is very bittersweet. So in a couple of weeks, I’m moving from beautiful Colorado, which I’ll always consider to be my home, to California. Big changes! 

I’m launched into what I call “survival mode” with arranging travel plans, housing, and all of the logistical things that are involved with moving. It’s an exciting time for me, but also an emotional and stressful time. I’m so thankful to have the love and support of my friends and family, and I really feel like so many people out there are rooting for me and sending good vibes my way, which has been amazing and I feel so lucky. So thank you, everyone! You’re making a stressful and emotional transition much less awful (: 

I’ll keep you all posted on how my move and my transition to California life is going! For now, thanks for reading and sending any good vibes you have to spare. Stay tuned! 

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

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.

Giving Back

Something I try to do in my life is give as much as I can. I believe that serving the community, trying to do good in this world, is so, so important. I feel like if you do good, you live good. So I’m always looking for ways I can volunteer or give back. Today I’m sharing a story about something I did recently that I feel really good about, as well as some ideas for any of you out there that want to give back, too!

When I got home from school this summer, I decided I wanted to donate blood. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was in high school, but I always had an excuse not to do it. So this summer, I decided I was committed. Finally, this September, I talked my mom into registering for a mobile blood drive with me. I was so nervous, you guys! Needles don’t bother me, but being in that little cramped bus and not knowing how giving blood would affect me…I was anxious! But I really didn’t have anything to worry about. It was so easy and the workers were so nice, and I felt so happy after I did it! Only 30 minutes out of my life, and knowing my donation could help somebody who really needs a transfusion…that’s amazing.

PICTURE

Ideas for how you can give back:

  1. Donate blood. Not everybody can or will want to do this, but if you can, I would definitely try it at least once! You could help someone who desperately needs a transfusion to live! When I did, I got this awesome pink bandage: Giving Back via Imperfect Chevron
  2. Round up at the cash register. I try to do this as much as possible, especially if it’s a cause that I really believe in. First of all, I think even the littlest amount adds up and makes some sort of difference. Secondly, I hate having coins rolling around in my wallet! So it’s a win-win.
  3. Volunteer. Maybe you love walking dogs at your local shelter, serving meals at a soup kitchen, or even helping out at a local event. There are always opportunities to volunteer if you look for them. Check in your local area to see if there are any upcoming events for more ideas (helping neighbors clean their yards for fall, event staff at a 5k, etc.)
  4. Donate old glasses. I use my glasses for a very long time (at least 3 years per prescription!), but when I’m able to get a new pair, I always try to donate the oldest pairs. Most optometry offices or places where you can buy glasses have a little donation box inside, so it’s pretty easy to just drop your old pairs in there and help somebody who really needs glasses.
  5. Participate in food drives. This time of year, it seems like there are a TON of food drives to choose from! Whichever one you choose, you’re doing a good thing. Right now, the ladies over at A Beautiful Mess are actually doing a virtual food drive which is both creative and wonderful. I’m definitely going to participate in that one. Last month, I participated in Naked Juice’s Drink Good Do Good campaign, which donates up to 500,000lbs of fruits and veggies to Americans in need! Here’s my dorky fruit/veggie selfie (appropriately captioned “Helloooooo….It’s me”:                      Giving Back via Imperfect Chevron
  6. Take a service trip. I’ve never been on a service/mission trip (mostly because I’m not religious, so I haven’t been involved in anything like that), but it’s something that I’d really like to do someday. I have this idea that maybe someday, I’ll have the opportunity to take my skills as an Occupational Therapist to another country for a service trip, offering pro bono OT services for people who don’t have access or can’t afford the services. It’s good to have dreams, and this is one I really hope I can reach someday!

These are just a few simple ideas of easy ways to give back, there are TONS out there and this list is by no means exhaustive! I truly believe that being involved in the community and giving back is so important. Get yourself, your families and loved ones, involved. Get out there, do what you can, put as much good out into the world as you can! If you put all that positive energy into the world, only good things can come from it.

Okay, thanks for letting me geek out about volunteering and giving back today. Happy weekend, everyone, and GO BRONCOS!

xo