Summer reads, and summer dinners!

Happy Tuesday folks! The good news is, I’m still getting a post in today. The bad news is, most of you won’t see it until tomorrow, as it is so late. Letting a client talk me into one last appointment tonight was not on the original schedule for today, but made it home by 9 anyways. Boundaries. One day.

Anyways, I did indeed get after the cheesecake baking yesterday. Somehow, loving baking as much as I do, I don’t have a pie tin, so I opted for mini cheesecakes in a muffin tin. Problem solving has always been a strength of mine. Aaron’s company sponsored a hole at a golf tournament all day, so he came home super tired, and lobster colored. He swears he re-applied. He was napping within 5 minutes, so I dashed to the kitchen to ‘whip up’ some cheesecake. Now, I have been warned that cheesecake takes a special touch, but baking is my jam. I got this, right? Wrong. It turns out, I must have ‘whipped’ too much, and my cheesecakes were full of air bubbles, causing them to deflate and sink in in the centers upon taking them out of the over. They were also overdone. Rookie. Mistake. Come on, Amanda. Pull it together. First time using an oven?

Aaron did do a taste test, and claims I’ve got the taste down pat. Now, to work on the appearance and texture.

These situations in baking remind me a lot of hair. (sounds weird, just wait). I have a groove at work. I feel unstoppable and confident. I think, follow rules, and execute well almost all of the time. Almost. When a color doesn’t turn out the way I thought it would have,  or I don’t graduate the back of the haircut just right to the client’s head (jibberish, I know), I get really discouraged. It generally takes me the rest of the day to shake it off. Baking failures mistakes make me feel the same way. I shook it off about 10 pm last night, when I bashed myself to a GREAT baker and dear friend of mine, who reminded me that this was my first time trying, and I should really take it easy on myself. Which reminds me, look what she (Hailey) got me for my birthday!

IMG_5870

I’m going to be The Next Great Baker, and we are going to be on Cupcake Wars. And someday, own a cupcake shop.

I’ll attempt these cheesecakes again, and post a success story!

But naturally, with it being Monday, I had to cook up a batch of quinoa salad. I love to make a huge batch, and eat it all week. Do you love quinoa like I do? It is a grain, BUT, it’s packed with protein, and I know I love it in every form, but it’s a tricky little grain sometimes. It’s flavor (or lack there of) can take over if it’s not prepared properly. So, I had to share a recipe that I typically follow, with a few alternations each time. So, here’s a few tips, and a great starter recipe!

Start with some organic quinoa. I love this brand from Costco:

IMG_5939

Start by rinsing the quinoa off in a strainer like this. This is key in eliminating that weird film in the end.

IMG_5941IMG_5940

Now, follow the cooking directions on the bag. It is measured a lot like rice, but cooked differently. Your ratio is 2:1-water to quinoa. Put both the quinoa an water into a pan, an bring to a boil together. Then, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for another 15 minutes. All of the water should be absorbed, and there will be a white ring around each piece of quinoa. Now rinse AGAIN. It should look like this :

IMG_5945

Now, add the following ingredients, and refrigerate overnight. This recipe is used with 3 cups of water, and 1.5 cups quinoa.

1/2 red onion

2 avocados

1 can black beans

20 cherry tomatoes-halved

1/4 cup oil (I used olive oil)

2 T sherry or champagne vinegar (I alternate both)

4 t cumin

2 T oregano

1/4 cup parsley

1/4 cup cilantro

Add lime juice, salt and pepper of you’d like.

Mix this all together in an large bowl, and add quinoa. Delish!

IMG_5946

You can always add more of the veggies, or beans to bulk it up a bit. This is a great lunch, or side to any meal!

…..like our salmon tonight! Just get some salmon from your local grocery, the fresher the better. Tonight, I seasoned out salmon with the following:

1 t chili powder

1 t cumin

1 t paprika

1 t dried cilantro

Super easy. Like this.

IMG_5957

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then, we like to add a little homemade Sriracha mayo. Just mix half mayo, and half sriracha. Usually 2 T of each makes enough for both Aaron and I.

IMG_5956 IMG_5958

Such a summer entrée. With a side of quinoa. And you’ll notice I didn’t note the time I finally got dinner on the table. It’s embarrassing. I made up for it in flava.

Now, onto the reads!

My goal this summer is to read some classics. I LOVE to read. But there are quite a few classics I have never read a classic. I had never even finished a book until about 5 years ago, and then I was hooked. I saw this stand at the grocery store last week,

IMG_5935

and one of my main homies, Liz Deets had just gotten me a gift card to a really rad bookstore for my3oth, so I picked up my first classic. I am starting with The Great Gatsby. Thanks, Liz!

If you’re in the market for a good summer read, here are a few of the favorite reads of the year! Have a great night, everyone!!

 

11162684-large

thCACGQBWV

thCA20CUUH

thCARXXJWW

Advertisements

Weekend recap, and summer wedding hair!

Happy Monday, everyone! Does that even make sense? I try to take Mondays off, but if it makes you who are working today feel any better, I am currently dealing with the ‘Sunday blues’, just one day later.

Our weekend was pretty great! We got to spend lots of time with friends, plus we were watching a friends’ dog, Cooper. Having a second dog around seems so easy, in fact we love it because Olive is always so tired from playing with these other dogs all day! It’s amazing. They did a lot of playing, but also, a lot of this:

IMG_5924 IMG_5923 IMG_5922

Saturday night, it was out friend Son’s 30th birthday, so we all headed out for the night. His girlfriend, Anna, one of my close friends here in Denver, is always planning something fun for his birthday. This year, she set up a tour for 30 of us at a Colorado whiskey company, called Stranahan’s, for a tour and tasting! I was pumped, even though whiskey, being made of barley, is like poison to me. I would just be ‘observing’ the tasting portion. We headed out , and did some learning. Although the tour guide seemed as if he had been drinking his own product all day, we still learned a lot. I do love local companies, and it’s always cool to hear their story.

IMG_5881 IMG_5882 IMG_5884 IMG_5890 IMG_5892 IMG_5897 IMG_5899 IMG_5900 IMG_5904 IMG_5911

These barrels cost $300 to buy empty, and they contain $1500 worth of whiskey when they are full! So, if you plan to rob someplace, I’d choose here. 😉 We headed to a vodka bar next, where I realized we were all 30 somethings now when Aaron and I were some of the last people left out at about 10:45 pm.

Yesterday, we did some dog walkin, and backyard lougin’ before it started raining like crazy! (which is Colorado means for longer than 3 minutes).

IMG_5929

Then, we headed over to our friend Talia, and her husband Dan’s house.

321452_10151463092313402_227252538_n

Talia has been an extremely loyal, and amazing client of mine for 6 years, and we’ve become friends (peeps) over the years. I LOVE picking her brain about her faith, her family history, the places she has traveled and lived, and she just knows how to tell a story! Her husband, Dan, turns out to be the same! They are full of stories, and knowledge about food, nutrition, cocktails, other countries, and the list goes on. They live in an adorable neighborhood called Stapleton, and have the BEST vegetable, fresh herbs, fruit, etc growing in their yard, and in their community garden. Needless to say, we were excited to see what they were going to whip up.

We started with a delicious pre dinner cocktail, moved on to some white wine, salmon, and FRESH snow peas. They were de-LISH! For dessert, we had fresh raspberries, and some type of melon, both grown right here in Colorado! I tell ya, just when you think you’re eating clean, you eat a dinner like that! It was so fresh, very lean, yet so amazing. They inspired me to buy a lot of berries today, to try and grab when I want a sweet treat. They are so sweet and juicy, and better than the gummy bears that I want to grab! Thanks you two, and happy birthday, Dan!

Now, the excitement of my day: I got my FIRST request for a post idea!

My dear friend Ellen, is attending a wedding in Des Moines this weekend. It’s gonna be hot. It’s gonna be humid. She’s still gonna be pregnant. And dang it, she wants to look good, and have her hair look put together, OFF her neck, and trendy!

This is a great topic. You’re a guest at a wedding, and just want something simple, that doesn’t look like you’re trying to be a bridesmaid. I have some great ideas. Ellen was ahead of the game, and had already set up an appointment for the day of the wedding to have her hair styled.

For starters, let’s get some terminology down. Using words like simple, put together, soft, current, and understated are great words to use. Then, move on to words that describe the look you’re going for. This way, you don’t end up going home crying about your plastered back prom ‘do like you did before every dance in high school!

Idea #1- The curled side-pony

To explain, clarify where you would like your part, and if you’d like your curls looser, with more separation (like the blonde), or tighter with more softness (like the brunette). I think center parts look a bit more casual, and modern, where the swept look gives a but more elegant, timeless look. Also, let your stylist know RIGHT away if you’d like volume. Don’t be freaked out by the volume at first. It will fall a bit within the first hour.

th th (2)

Idea #2- Messy top knot

To explain, make sure it is HIGH on your head, you want to be able to see it from the front. Also, make sure it’s not TOO polished, and a BIT messy. Notice here how there are a few pieces hanging down, that just make it look as if it’s been up all day. This is the perfect amount of hair left own, and the bun is just slightly tossled. Otherwise, add a headband to give it an accessorized look.

thCAUHSPRL thCA7A9WBO

Idea #3- swept over curls

This idea is great, because it give a ‘down’ hair look, but is completely off your neck, and just over your shoulder. You may feel a bit more comfortable if you’ve for a strapless dress on, and don’t want to be so bare with hair all up, and back and shoulders totally exposed. (although, have you experienced an Iowa summer? I think bareness sounds delightful in this case)

Ask for your stylist to get creative in the back. A braid from one side to another, a twist, a cascade of curls. Yes, that is my friend, Amanda. Surprisingly she is not a celeb like the others, though she looks like one quite often. Especially here.

thCAWVI477 thCA68VO1F IMG_5312

Hope these ideas help. If you don’t have time to make it to a salon, perhaps I’ll do a tutorial on these styles later this week! They are all very easy.

Good luck, Ellen! You’ll look great, and stylish as always. I mean, just look at her here at her shower on Sunday. She’s on the left in the polka dots:

992363_10101515238027789_277177309_n

Have a great night! I’m off to make dinner, and cheesecake that was promised to Aaron on his birthday. 3 months ago. Check in tomorrow for the recipe!

 

Messy half up-do tutorial!

Happy Thursday everyone! It’s getting HOT here in Denver, but I’m loving it.

Have you ever woken up, and after showering and NOT washing you hair, realized that it’s way too a bit dirty, and probably should have been washed? No? I’m the only one? Well, that’s no secret. The truth is, I LIKE messy looking hair. I am a firm believer that hair should look a little undone. Time to problem solve, and make this hair look presentable for the day, so that people trust me when I am doing their hair.

A messy half up, half down style can be used on messy hair, or perfectly curled hair to dress it up a bit! This is an easy style, that can ALSO be done on clean hair. If you’re a day or two out from your last shampoo, start with some dry shampoo. I recommend Batise, or Dirty Little Secret by Tigi. Your hair can be straight, or curled, or curly. OR in this case, curled a few days ago and slept on. Here we go.

You will need a paddle brush, or flat brush of some sort, 6 bobby pins (maximum), and hairspray.

IMG_5814

Now, make a deep part on whichever side you hair like to part on. If you’re into the center part right now, which I love, you could do a center part here as well.

IMG_5815

Start with a 3 inch x 2 inch section t the crown of your head. This is where you will have the most volume, so grab the section that you like to see your hair the biggest.

IMG_5819

Begin backcombing or ‘teasing’ this section. Using the brush, stroke inward, and downward toward your head, in a circular motion. Inward and down, out and back around.

IMG_5820

IMG_5823

IMG_5824

Make sure you are not just pushing the brush up and down. This will just remove any backcombing you’ve done. REMEBER, only backcomb what you know you can smooth out, so I would start with a little bit, and smooth the top section as you go. Gently graze over the very top of this section to smooth it just a bit so it has volume, but doesn’t look ratty, like this: (disclaimer, ignore all faces I make, now I know what I look like in the mirror to my clients…yikes!)

IMG_5826

Repeat this same action now on either side of you part. You should be able to do the side that your hair is parted on in one section,

IMG_5827

however, you may want to break up the larger side into 2 sections to get the most volume  for your ‘swept’ side.

IMG_5829 IMG_5832

Look at that volume. Now, lets get that hair up and outta your face.

Let’s again start in section 1. Going back to the first section you backcombed. Pinch the 2 outside corners of this section together, and slightly twist. Hold it right in place centered in the back of your head. The key here is to pin right where you are holding. This insures that it will look exactly as it does when you are holding it and looking at it. Open the bobby pin, place it at the bottom of the pinched area where your fingers are, and push it UP toward the top of your head. Always think against the grain with bobby pins, this will give you a super right hold with 1 pin only.

IMG_5833IMG_5834

Section 1 is complete. Now, you’ll want to swoop section 2, the second section you backcombed (the smaller one on the side of your head in which you part), back and around the area that you just pinned. Imagine wrapping it over top of the pinned area. Twist it around to the opposite side of your head than the side it came from, pinch, and pin in the same manner. UP, and against the grain.

IMG_5836IMG_5839

Now, repeat this same step on the other side. Pull it down, and across so that you get a bit of a swoop in the front, if you like that look. You’ll wrap this side over the top of your last 2 sections, for your final pinned section. Same pinning technique.

IMG_5844IMG_5864

IMG_5865

Now, make sure that you’ve got all the volume that you wanted. If not, gently tug at the top layer of the area that you’d like to be a bit higher, OR you can pull a few random pieces to make it a bit messier, like I am doing here.

IMG_5849

Now, a little spray. Or a whole lotta spray. I prefer the latter. Viola! Now for a side and front view.

IMG_5868IMG_5867

Doesn’t look so dirty, right? So give it a shot! This should be easy, and my best advice it do it, spray it, and walk away. Generally, the more you fuss with it, the worse it gets. Hope you all love this one.

If you love fresh herbs like I do, you’re probably growing some right now. I, however, have never grown anything. So when the building manager of our studios, and friend Mo (who is a reader here at Baking Up Beauty), had some extra, she brought them to me! I was so pumped. I have never cooked with fresh herbs from someone’s garden that I know. Breathe, I DID just say that. So she gave me some rosemary, basil, and parsley. Yum, yum, and yum. I decided not to let it get complicated, and make a simple Rosemary and Garlic Chicken and Potatoes. Here it is!

We’ll start with the potatoes. Go preheat that oven, 375, go!

  1. Wash, and cube 2 potatoes. Leave the skin on, yum.
  2. Pour 1 T of coconut oil (or olive oil) into a large ziplock bag, and add cubed potatoes.
  3. Chop  up 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 sprig of rosemary, or 1 T of dried rosemary, and add to bag.
  4. Seal the bag, and shake it all together until all the potatoes are coated.
  5. Stick these in a smaller glass pan, and in the oven to bake, they need 15 more minutes that your chicken will. (35 minutes total)

IMG_5795IMG_5796

Now, the chicken.

  1. Lay 1.5 lbs worth of thawed chicken breasts in a 8×8 in. pan.
  2. Sprinkle 1 T of lemon juice over the top of the chicken. This will add flavor and give the rosemary and garlic something to stick to.
  3. Chop the 2 cloves or garlic, and 1 sprig of rosemary (or 1 T of dried rosemary) again, an spread this mixture over the top of the chicken.
  4. Stick this in the oven for 20 minutes. (Always make sure chicken is done.)

IMG_5797

Now that’s an Iowan cooking dinner. Meat and potatoes! This was a delicious dinner. I DID have to eat it one handed, while soaking 4 fingers from the other hand in cold water. You see, one of my friends. Elyse, had a baby last night, and when Aaron came in to hand me the phone, saying ‘it’s Elyse!’, I got so excited and distracted, that I gabbed the pan, bare handed, and got it up to the stove top and actually threw it onto the stove. Elyse is such a super human birthing mom, that I thought I had super powers too. I was wrong.

IMG_5801

#ouch #Ineedthosefingers #blistercity

But these guys were so relieved I was ok. As you can see, they were genuinely concerned about where I would sleep after such a hard night.

IMG_5800 IMG_5805

I know that I am ready for the weekend. Bring on the first day of summer, and a busy Friday and Saturday of clients. I hope to see lot’s of Facebook posts of messy half-up do’s here soon. Make me proud, readers! See ya tomorrow!

(Almost) a year in business, a survey, and last night’s quickie dinner!

Happy Wednesday, friends! After getting home late last night, I did some reflecting on the last year. But first, I needed a super quick dinner, to convince my husband that I’ve got this all under control.  I was craving buffalo sauce (which is typical), and Aaron mentioned a chicken salad that I often make to put on crackers, or sandwiches. In a house with a celiac, there is generally no bread, so I opened the fridge, and pulled out a bag of romaine hearts. Lettuce wraps anyone? This way we can have our buffalo chicken sauce, as well as the chicken salad. Now this is no genius meal, but when you need a quickie solution one day, you’ll thank me.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Boil 1 lb of chicken breasts for 8 minutes (or until done) – this makes them juicy without adding any oil while cooking them on the stove top.
  2. Shred cooked  chicken, and separate into 2 bowls
  3. Add 2 T buffalo sauce, 1/8 t garlic powder, and chopped celery to one bowl
  4. Add 2 T mayo, or we use spicy mayo at our house, and chopped celery to second bowl
  5. Chop up veggies of your choice, or cheese to top lettuce wraps with. We used avocados, and tomatoes!
  6. Put whichever ingredients you choose into a romaine heart, roll up like a lettuce wrap, and enjoy! You can also add blue cheese or ranch to your buffalo wrap! Yum.

Congratulations, Amanda. You win best wife of the year award for having dinner on the table at 8:50 pm. Well done. But here’s how they turned out, and Aaron still seemed pleased, and I got my buffalo sauce, therefor all was right in the world. Here are the cute little wraps:

photo

Now, let’s recap this past year:
For those of you who don’t know, I am a hairdresser. I have spent the last 10 years of my career (What?!) exploring all areas of the industry. It’s been amazing. Aside from working behind the chair every day with amazing clients, and next to some extremely talented stylists, I have worked behind the scenes of hair shows, and photo shoots as  hairdresser, as well as a make-up artist,

26529_1432198405477_7836963_n 216171_7590960607_8619_n 429776_3409531723978_53024384_n

been lucky enough to do hair and makeup for a large number of weddings for clients, friends, and family,

554612_10151445471653402_77208288_n 310456_585446284118_756911139_a 409048_10100562959566479_419691059_n

and lastly, I have spent countless hours in the classroom, and in salons, teaching as much as I know to other stylists, and students who are on their way to becoming a cosmetologist. I know they say ‘those who can’t do, teach’, but really, my experience in this industry has just been so amazing, I feel like it is only fair that I pass on all of the knowledge that someone else has taken the time to help ME gain. I LOVE teaching, and at this point, I only wish I had more time to do so. (I never thought I’d say that after at one time spending close to 80 hours a week at the Aveda Institute)

Aveda opened so many doors for me, and given me to tools to be the hairdresser, and professional that I am today.

Last August, I took the plunge, and decided that it was time to get out on my own. I found my very own studio, and wrote out a plan of what I wanted MY business to look like. Flexible for clients, offering any services that would benefit my clients, being accountable, available, and consistent. Not being so rushed, as I have been in salons in the past working on 3 clients at once, with only 1 assistant to help me. Being fair and understanding, and growing relationships with my clients in an environment where they felt comfortable, and valued.

Now add in hundreds of clients who I had built relationships with over the years. Would they stay loyal to their stylist, me, or to their salon of choice? I was overwhelmed with kindness and loyaty from them, and am busier than every after the first year of owning my own small business. I couldn’t be happier with my choice, and am so excited to see where this business takes me. I know that this year alone, I will have my most successful year yet, and do hair and makeup for 21 weddings!

Now, I need a little help from you readers! A little survey to find out your favorite, and least favorite parts about your hairdresser, and some things that could help me be a better professional to all of my clients, probably including some of you! I would be so happy if you would take the time to fill this out, it’s completely anonymous. 🙂
http://bakingupbeauty.polldaddy.com/s/what-is-a-good-haircut

Have a great day everyone!!

Muffins! Hold the muffin top.

Lord knows I LOVE to bake. When it is someone’s birthday, or something exciting like that, I bring out the crowd pleasers. I don’t spare the calories and fat, I pull out all the stops. Butter, refined sugar, etc. However, the truth is, I will never be one of those gals who doesn’t eat what they bake within 2 days over time, and I’m not the young, calorie burning machine that I once was. So at home, when I decide at 9pm that we need some muffins for the week’s breakfast, I have to pull out the other stops. Healthy, non pound packing stops.
Last night at Costco, 2 things happened. 1. I guessed our total within $1 from what it ended up being just by looking at the cart (Aaron, the money man, was $60 off..whoops!). That’s a talent, I think. 2. I walked by the Laffy Taffy, and resisted ripping open the bag to eat 100 banana flavored pieces. So something banana flavored it had to be…minus the corn syrup, and junk.
SO, here they are. Banana muffins with no butter, flour, or refined sugar.
For starters, you need to make sure your bananas are baking ready. They should look like this (mine were in the fridge, so they are a little more brown than normal. Now preheat that oven to 400 degrees.

IMG_5769

Then, get out your food processor and let’s get to it.

Put 2 1/2 cups of steel cut oats (you can use regular if you’re not sensitive to them) in food processor, and pulse for about 20 seconds, or until it looks like this:

IMG_5772

Next, add 1 cup of greek yogurt of your choice. My favorite is Greek Goddess Honey Yogurt. It is so creamy and delicious. Watch out, you may get hooked.

IMG_5768

Next, add in:

2 ripe bananas

1 egg

2 1/2 T ground flaxseed

1 t gluten free vanilla

1 t baking soda

2 t baking powder

1/4 cup honey (if you like sweet, or if you use plain greek yogurt, add 1/2 cup)

Blend these ingredients together until batter smoothes out about 50%.

At this point, you can bake these delish muffins in a greased muffin tin for 16-18 minutes. BUT I did something a little different. I wanted to try a few different ways to spice these up for picky eaters in the family. So I separated the batter into thirds.

IMG_5774

I left 1/3 plain, added dark chocolate chips to 1/3, and added 1/8 cup almond butter to the final 1/3 and blended it some more.

Somehow, every time I make a muffin batter myself, I end up with 11. Never fails.

IMG_5776

I baked these for 17 minutes, and transferred to a cooling rack immediately.

IMG_5783

Tada! I plan to post a verdict on which one was my favorite after I’ve tried all three. You could really mix in whatever you’d like, get creative!

I’d love to hear what you mix into your muffins! Please do share so that myself, and my readers can get some fresh ideas!

Shopping List:

2 bananas

Vanilla

Eggs

Ground flax seed

Baking soda

Baking powder

Greek yogurt

Honey

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 16-18 minutes

Happy baking, and I hope you enjoy!

 

The Big 3-0!

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!

After a few months of pretending to be freaked out about tuning 30, I realized that I was actually pretty excited about it. I like the idea of 30, it feels legit.
All I asked for for my birthday was a blog. That’s all. Right? Well, seeing as our computer was about 56 years old, this meant I what actually wanted was a new computer…to write said blog on. I was super excited when I opened my brand spanking new computer about 2 weeks early. I didn’t think this birthday wish was a realistic one, but luckily Aaron is full of surprises suddenly when it comes to a big birthday!
Speaking of surprises, Aaron had requested that I take Friday and Saturday off for a surprise birthday trip. In my head, I immediately pictured us in Thailand, but once I snapped back to reality, I knew we were likely going somewhere I had never been in the mountains. Just the three of us. (Olive too, duh).
Finally the big day came, and who doesn’t love getting lot’s of birthday messages? Remember the days before Facebook when we got only phone calls and texts from the most important people? Now, we get 218 messages from people we haven’t seen for 10 years. Still, I think it’s thoughtful.
Aaron had mentioned taking me to dinner at Ignite, one of my fav downtown restaurants with amazing gluten free menu, and great cocktails. I asked a few of our friends to meet up after, and they seemed less than thrilled to do so. Weird, right? But I guess it was a Thursday. SO I got all dressed up, just trying to look good for my man, and walked in the door to Ignite to a small group of some of my closest friends in Colorado!
IMG_5514
SURPRISE! Ok, my feelings are no longer hurt that no one wanted to hang out with the birthday girl…they’re all here!
IMG_5466
I also share a birthday with one of my friends, Mariel, and even she came to celebrate!
IMG_5472
It was a beautiful night on the patio. Lots of laughs…
IMG_5513

IMG_5516

IMG_5506
…and what would a birthday be without a cake?
IMG_5496

IMG_5522

What a fun night all around, I feel lucky to have such wonderful friends, and such a thoughtful husband!!

Friday morning, we got up, packed the car (my only guidance was ‘it’s summer, bring summer clothes’), and headed southwest. This is an area of Colorado I have never been to, so I was clueless, but happy to be heading somewhere great with Aaron, and Olive.

IMG_5555

Aaron had rented a movie for me to watch, but the scenery was amazing, so I was a picture taking manic!

IMG_5599 IMG_5553

4.5 hours later…..we arrived in Crested Butte!! Our destination? Elevation Resort and Spa. SPA. Keyword.

The Resort was beautiful, and it’s backdoor walked directly out to the ski lift. We couldn’t wait to get outside to see more, do some hiking, and enjoy the cooler temps, and breathtaking scenery!

This is the view from our room:

IMG_5606

With the downtown area just 1 mile down the road, we decided to head out early, have some drinks and dinner, and scope out the town for the weekend. Unfortunately, dogs weren’t allowed on the bus, so O-money had to stay behind. Are we the only ones who’s dog is such a Houdini that we have to strap her into her kennel like this?

IMG_5617

Yes? That’s what I thought.

We had dinners, breakfast on the mountain, hiked, took the ski lift up, walked the trails, more dinners, and of course dessert every night. I did get to enjoy some time at the spa. I had an amazing massage and met a gal in the waiting room who was also there celebrating her 30th!

I will leave you with some more pictures. This was by far the best birthday yet. I am so thankful that Aaron surprises me, and is so thoughtful. We truly had an amazing time, and beautiful weather. I feel like I’ll be trying to make his birthdays as great as this one for the rest of time! We fell in love with CB, and are even thinking of planning another trip back yet this summer. Everyone there was so welcoming, and LOVED meeting new tourists.

30 is shaping up to be a dang good year. What did you do for your 30th birthday? Did you go through a pre 30 crisis, or were you stoked like I was? I’d love to hear your stories, and what 30 has been like for you!

Happy Monday, all! Have a great week!

IMG_5761IMG_5614 IMG_5628 IMG_5630IMG_5603 IMG_5634 IMG_5642 IMG_5643IMG_5741 IMG_5737 IMG_5731 IMG_5718 IMG_5719IMG_5704

First Blog Post!

EEE! This is so exciting. My first blog post on my brand new blog. My intention is to keep my friends and family in the loop on things I’m doing…just in life! Sometimes I’m not so good at that.
Here’s a little idea of what you can expect to see on Baking Up Beauty:
*Recipes! Both BAKING and COOKING! All Gluten Free!
*Hair and Make-up how tos, favorites, trends, etc
*My favorite things to do in Denver with my super rad friends
*Life as a newlywed with my hunky husband
*A look into what it’s like running my own business flawlessly as smoothly as possible
*LOTS of travel
*Likely, a lot of dogs. Or just a lot about a specific dog
*Attempts (emphasis on attempts) at DIY projects

IMG_5522>

My first real post will be about my very recent 30th birthday, and birthday weekend getaway, as well as my big plans for the 30th year of my life. Stay tuned! Is anyone still reading? This blogging this is a little scary at first.
See ya back here tomorrow!