Dunton Hot Springs Weekend

A little over a month ago my husband and I went on a bit of a road trip. We didn’t really plan to be taking a road trip, but set out for along weekend getaway not realizing how far away it was from our home when we booked it. But it was SO worth it! And since moving to Colorado early last year we’ve not really made time to explore this gorgeous state. So we thought we’d better start… and what better way than off to Dunton Hot Springs. So we packed up our stuff and we were off!

The drive out from Denver to Dolores, Colorado was breathtaking.

dunton_01dunton_02dunton_03dunton_04dunton_07dunton_06We saw a ton of elk on the drive. Look at those cute little asses! Ha!

dunton_08On our drive out we stopped for lunch in Telluride. I had never been and despite being overcast and a bit rainy and the beginning of shoulder season (the first week they closed in between ski and summer seasons) it was a gorgeous ghost town.

Then just a short 8 hours after leaving Denver, plus a 20 minute drive on a dirt road we were there!

dunton_09dunton_10dunton_19dunton_22And since we were there during off season, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was AH-mazing! These grounds though! Too much cuteness!

We stayed in the Bjoerkman cabin. How adorable is this?!?


And… the natural HOT SPRINGS!!!! Ahhhhh! They have 3 pools, all are so unique, different temperatures and characters. The main one below is indoors, has plenty of seating, upstairs and down, a hammock, a place to play your own music, a fireplace and has a great swing you can sit on in it with a cold plunge as well. This was our favorite place all weekend.

dunton_13dunton_14dunton_16dunton_23There were two outdoor pools. This one also has a cute little sauna in that hut in the back there.

dunton_15One of the owners loves reading, so her husband, as an anniversary gift, built her her own library! I spent a few hours in there relaxing one afternoon. You can even check out a book to read while you are there! Just don’t forget to return it before you depart.

dunton_20Throughout our 3 days there we kept learning little bits of history about this amazing place. I wont bother you with all the secrets, you’ll have to visit yourself. But one tidbit is back in 1885 when it was simply a saloon and post office, it was visited by Butch Cassidy after he robbed a Telluride bank. He inscribed his name in the bar, which is the bar they still have today.

More here.dunton_17And of course no travel adventure of mine wouldn’t be complete without a little sweat! They provide bikes for the guests to tool around on, so we each rode fat tire bike on the snowy roads. So fun! And boy! What a workout!

dunton_21Definitely highly recommended trip. Though a little bit challenging to get to, no matter where you are, it’s worth the trek. And probably also why it’s just so special and charming.

Registered Dietitian vs. Nutritionist


Hi again! I thought I would take a crack at trying to explain the different types of nutrition “people” out there. I don’t know about you, but all the different terms can be confusing. There’s registered nutritionist, holistic nutritionist, nutritional therapist, licensed nutritionist, health coach, registered dietitian, to name the most common. Who does what and how did they get these titles? As I started getting more serious about getting certified as a nutritionist I did some research on these terms and figured out what was best for me based on my philosophy on health and wellness. Here’s what I found:

The main designations in the nutrition world are nutritional consultant and registered dietician. Both are food and nutrition experts and base their practice in science and nutritional research studies. Both have the ability to work in private practice or with another health practitioner like a naturopathic or allopathic doctor. Health insurance may or may not cover either of their services, so check with your provider or FSA first to see if the services are covered. Also, just as a note, these are in reference to the United States designations. Other countries may have different classifications.

Nutritional Consultant (NC), can also be referred to as a Holistic Nutritionist, Nutritional Therapist or health coach. People with this certification have attended a specific school where they become certified to consult in nutrition and lifestyle for their patients. Certifications can vary from state to state. A nutritionist may not use the title of a dietitian.

NC’s are educated in how food affects the body and how diet and lifestyle can be used to prevent disease and live healthfully. They do this by evaluating the diet and lifestyle of their clients and making recommendations accordingly. In doing so, NC’s take into consideration the whole person’s mental and emotional perspectives rather than just the physical. They also take into consideration preventative measures, food sensitivities and allergies. NC’s focus less on calorie counting and more on the quality of food and what the individual needs in terms of nutrients and vitamins. They use natural and herbal remedies as well as vitamin and mineral supplements to support their food-based practice.

Some nutritional consultants may choose to focus on additional alternative methods of wellness to add to their practice, including Ayurvedic medicines, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine or homeopathy.

At Bauman College, the school I chose for my nutritional consultation certificate, we are taught in two “semesters.” The first one is all about fundamentals of nutrition. These are classes that include what Eating for Health means (macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals), different kinds of “diets” out there, biochemistry, anatomy and more. The second half of schooling is more focused on therapeutics. This includes classes that focus on stress and the endocrine system, weight loss, sports nutrition, blood sugar regulation, cancer and disease, among others.

Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) go though a four-year, bachelor’s degree in nutritional science or dietetics, participate in a one-year internship, pass a national exam and become licensed in their state of residing by the Commission of Dietetic Registration. They typically work with hospitals and schools and focus more on the USDA myPlate standards and calorie counting. They may also choose to call themselves a nutritionist.

There are a lot of different terms out there in the nutrition world and these are the two most common. There are many different reasons to choose one over the other and most importantly what I think it comes down to is personal connection. Do you agree with their philosophy? Do you feel comfortable sitting with them and talking about your personal life, family history and eating habits?

I chose to go the route of nutritional consultant for several reasons. One, I made this career change later in my life. I am in my early 30’s and have already had a whole other career life. I have been a graphic, web and user experience designer for the past decade. Two, I already have a bachelors of science in mathematics and studio art from Georgetown, and I didn’t feel like getting an additional bachelors to become a registered dietitian. Three, the program I really wanted to go though had a physical campus location in Berkley, California and Boulder, Colorado. And when my husband and I needed to move from Los Angeles to Denver a year ago, I took it as a sign that I needed to follow my fascination with food and wellness. It’s been an exciting time to change careers and also a bit nerve-wracking to go from a stable and well-paid job to a student again with much uncertainty. But I am enjoying it, every bit.

Bauman College. (n.d.). Nutrition Consultant. Retrieved from http://www.baumancollege.org/programs/nutrition-consultant/
Vega. (2013, May 9). Registered dietician vs. nutritionist – what’s the diff? Retrieved from

I’m not going to say it…

holisticI am not going to say I am back, because I have done it way too many times since starting this blog. It’s always a new year’s resolution and it always seems to fall by the waste side.

So for now, I am just going to write a quick post. To say “Hi!” And tell you what’s up in my life.

It’s been a whole year since I moved to Denver, Colorado. And it’s been a great year at that. We moved out here for my husband’s business he started. And in April of last year I started down a new path as well. I went from being a used experience and graphic designer for a decade in Los Angeles to going back to school at Bauman in Boulder for my Holistic Nutritional Consultant certificate. I am just wrapping up classes in a few months, getting ready for our practicum and then eventual graduation in October! And I am super excited.

Though I haven’t, and never really will, leave my graphic designer self behind, as you can see in my fun new business cards (pictured above). I have to say without my design background starting this new journey wouldn’t be nearly as fun. I am designing all kinds of fun handouts and health info with my graphic design background for my clients. For example, handouts on adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, hypoglycemia and blood sugar regulation, just to name a few.

I am going to work on posting fun nutrition-based and health info on this blog now. Fingers crossed I actually stick to it. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see that you aren’t seeing out there already and stay tuned!


The Female Body and Kindness


It seems most days bring a constant struggle between my mind and my body: Do I go to the gym today? How many calories is that? Can I eat that? What IF I eat/drink that? How much do I weigh? Can I wear those pants, will they fit? Remember those resolutions to lose 10 pounds, what happened?

My husband would tell you I don’t need to lose any weight, and you would think that would be enough for me to hear. But it’s not. I know I can do better. I Should be doing better. Why can’t I do better?

A few days ago, on The Glamourai, Kelly wrote about the beauty of the female body. Not just one type of lady, but All women. How hard we are and have always been on our appearance. It’s everywhere, the images we see in magazines, billboards and Television. We are never satisfied.

She even writes about herself, “I have always been a naturally thin person ~ but I’d love to lose 5 or 10 pounds. Gazing into the mirror, I see my flaws long before my beauty: my arms aren’t thin enough, my bum is a little too dimply.” I was shocked that this women who I admire daily in her Instagrams thinks this of her own body. It proves we all have our own issues.

When we look at someone else and think they must have it all because they look like what we aspire too or the opposite, we should take a moment to stop ourselves. Stop judging them and stop judging ourselves. They maybe struggling with the same body issues we are and we may just not see it. Or other issues all together that we don’t struggle with or understand. I am reminded, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

We all judge ourselves and others too harshly and we need to stop. Let’s start accepting all the hard work we put into our wonderful bodies and give our minds a break from all the negative thoughts we feed it.

She ends with “This essay and these pictures only scratch the surface of a much larger story. The more we see, the more we know; the more we know, the less we fear. The less we fear, the greater capacity we have for love. We are the stories we tell ourselves: please give your body a little extra praise today.”

Not coincidentally, this week Mind Body Green put this article out and the Greatist put this article out there on a similar topic. It’s clearly a hot topic.

To Kelly and everyone calling attention to this issue, thank you for putting this out there. With every word and image we are chipping away at the thick walls of self-hatred for our bodies that we have somehow managed to put out there and accept.

Image by Jamie Beck for The Glamourai

Moving State Lines

Three, almost four months ago, I made a few resolutions, as did a lot of us, right?

And I stand here now, contemplating those goals and where they went. Some I’ve followed though on and then of course, some not so much.

This blog has definitely fallen in the latter category. Sometimes when we want something to be perfect it paralyzes us to the point of doing absolutely nothing. So, it’s time to suck it up, know it’s alright if it’s not perfect, and just do it!

So onward we go!

Those of you that know me, know that I moved this past month. Not across the street or down the block. But across state lines. From Los Angeles, California to Denver, Colorado. The move for for my husband’s job. But it’s the most significant move of my life, outside of moving away for college.

The past few weeks since we’ve moved have been challenging for me, to say the least. It’s been a complete role reversal for Russ and myself. I went from riding my bike into Santa Monica for work every day, while Russ worked from home and took care of our little one… Bodee (the not-so-little-pup). And now, it’s my turn to work from home and walk the dog while Russ commutes to work.

When I left my comfy job and city not too far from where I grew up, I was asked often to post updates on Facebook for everyone to follow along. There was just one problem with that: I don’t have a Facebook account. Sure I DID a long time ago from about 2004 to 2010. But I felt like it got out of control and I decided to step away. Let me tell you, you find out who your Real Friends are when you quit Facebook. And yes, it’s been harder to stay in touch with many, but I have found that my relationships with the ones that I do stay in touch with are that much more meaningful.

The point. I HAVE to blog more. It will be my way to stay in touch with many and maybe even more so, it may be a bit of therapy for me on what it’s like being a stranger in this strange town. This new beginning.

So for today, I wanted to share the beginning of our move. Though we hired movers to do most of the dirty work, we did decide to drive the car out and enjoy a bit of a mini-road-trip. Here’s a recap of the fun and beautiful 3-day journey.

This is where Russ and I first moved in together 3 years ago, in sunny L.A. And gonna miss this view, and this one and this one.


Packing up. And someone’s NOT so thrilled about it.

moving_01 moving_02

Hitting the road, early on Saturday morning. Again… someone’s a little worried about this situation here… hmmmm.


We have HOW MANY miles in front of us today?


This view makes it all O.K.


And our first stop. Utah. You. Are. Gorgeous.



Day 2 on the road. Only one word needed: ZION.

moving_08 moving_09 moving_10 moving_11 moving_12 moving_13 moving_14 moving_15

Snow? Who cares?!?! You make it even more magical.





The Troopers first snow!


Just a few of the cool signage along the way.


Day Two ended in Beaver Creek, CO. But come Monday morning, this is the amazing view! Swim anyone? Don’t worry it’s only 17 degrees out!


And we’re off on our last short leg to Denver. This road trip has left me breathless. America, Well Done. Well done, I say.


And we pull up on our street.


And the goal, our cute little house.


Note: sadly, my good Nikon camera got packed up, so I took all these photos on my wonderful iPhone.

Cleansing, Blogging and New Years Resolutions in Late January

Happy Belated New Years everyone!

A few weeks ago, right after all those New Years Resolutions were written down, I saw this:

And it amazed (also, don’t miss the behind the scenes profiles, great stuff here).

A lot of the time we, I, get so hung up on following someone’s life on Instagram, blogs, twitter or a favorite celebrity, anything really, that we forget what Real life looks like. It’s not perfect. We are all flawed. Yes, even those that look flawless are not. I think that’s why this campaign is so brilliant. It shows life, REAL life.

One of my New Years Resolutions was to blog and share more. And yet, somehow it’s already January 27th and this is the first time I have sat down to write something.

Why, you might ask? I don’t have the answer to that. Fear I guess? But what am I afraid of? Again, I’m not sure.

However, not coincidentally, I did start my New Years resolution “diet” today, beginning with a 3-day juice cleanse from Pressed Juicery. I had built up all these excuses in my head of why I couldn’t do a New Years cleanse sooner, everything from my husbands birthday to our dogs major surgery to a long weekend trip to Denver. I should have just started January 1, like everyone else. But, hey, at least I am starting.

So, I figured, heck, I have a splitting headache from my caffeine and coffee withdraws from starting one new years resolution, why not tackle another. So today I cleanse AND blog. Who knows, maybe I will even get motivated in the next few days to write another post!


A Runner’s Manifesto

It’s been a while since I have been back, I have been doing some major work on my running. I finally nursed a hip injury that I sustained back in September last year when I was marathon training for New York. With a lot of work and some physical therapy, it’s finally better. So naturally I signed up for another race. This time it’s my first half marathon, the Long Beach in October. I have a goal of making it in under 2 hours, so I have been doing a lot of strength training and speed work. So far I have hit all my time goals on every run. I have been feeling great getting back into it, as scared as I was that I lost is all after the injury and months off of the pavement. But I haven’t! I am elated!


In honor of all the great running I have been up to and to anyone who’s nursing an injury right now, keep your head up, you’ll be back soon!

I recently read a post by Dorothy Beal about “what running has made me believe.” It was beautiful. So inspirational, that I decided to write my very own list of “what running has made ME believe.” Here’s my list:

1. I believe you never underestimate the power of a run. You will never feel worse for doing it!

2. I believe that the starting is always the hardest.

3. I believe that anyone, including myself, can get faster.

4. I believe it’s not easy but it’s more than worth it.

5. I believe that everyone can be a runner.

6. I believe that it’s the best therapy out there and free.

7. I believe that proper running shoes are a must.

8. I believe that you have to be kind to you body, slow runs are good runs too.

9. I believe that marathon training and racing will change who you are.

10. I believe that endorphins are the best high you can get and it’s free, and yes, addictive.

11. I believe that everyday deserves some good sweating.

12. I believe that it’s okay to run and cry at the same time.

13. I believe in believing in yourself.

14. I believe that nothing good comes from standing in the comfort zone.

15. I believe that the proper sports bra will make you run better.

16. I believe that running is living.

Anyone have any good races on the calendar?

Image from my instagram


Cleansing Day 1

I have done a few  3-day cleanses in the past. My first experience was Blue Print Cleanse. Followed a year or so later with the Rainbow cleanse from Moon Juice. And the last one was about 6 months ago, from Kreation Kafe.

The first time I did a juice cleanse, I found it extremely difficult, but so worth it. And with each subsequent cleanse, it’s gotten easier and more pleasant. So I am excited to do it once again.

This time I am hitting the reset button with a new place, Pressed Juciery. I bike past it’s Santa Monica location every day on my way to work and stop in frequently for a breakfast or lunch juice. So, far I have yet to have a drink there that I don’t like. So far my favorite has been the this seasons flavor “Kale, Spinach Romaine, Brazil Nuts, Vanilla Beans, Dates and Sea salt”. Yum!Here’s a shot from this mornings start on my Instagram.

Naturally, I saw this in my Flipboard feed this morning, from the always clever people at someecards:



This does sounds more like my kind of cleanse. Though, I guess that explains my need to juice cleanse so often 🙂 Ha!\




Happy Friday!

I have a lot of blog posts in the works right now, but none quite ready yet. So I thought I would share a timeless piece of musical inspiration today.

Lately, I have been catching up on my Community episodes. I just love Chevy Chase. Which reminded me of this fabulous video. One of my favorites growing up and still holds up. Enjoy! And Happy Friday!

I’m Back!

Well HELLOOOO there!

Let me preface this with a huge, I’m so sorry. For the small audience that I may still have. Yes, it’s been over a year, 16 months to be more exact. And all this despite a 2013 AND 2014 resolution I had to blog more (or at all).

I know. I know.

Needless to say, a LOT has happened since then. I will make this first blog post in 16 months a brief recap of what has happened and why I took a small hiatus from the blog.

First things first, and the main reason I stopped blogging, I got a dog. My first very own dog as an adult. Mine, all mine. Well, and my boyfriend’s too. I can share. But he likes me best. His name is Bodee. Nope, not after the olympic skier or Point Break, but rather, an ode to The Wire (what can I say, I was watching that at the time we got him).


He’s such a funny dog, neurotic, just like his owner.


Yep, he’s a pit-mix.


We rescued him, from the wonderful people at Much Love in Santa Monica.


When we decided to start looking at rescues, we researched so many out here him Los Angeles. He was the first dog we saw, at the first place we looked.


We never stood a chance.


Now, I have a small understanding of why people think their babies and kids are the cutest. Yep, I have the cutest dog out there. Don’t you?


This won’t be the last time I post pictures of him here, or on Instagram. Sorry, if you want to unfollow me. I will be sad. But I understand. Not really, but I will try.


Second, I got engaged. August 3rd of last year, my boyfriend Russ proposed to me on a long weekend trip to Del Mar, CA. Yes. I cried. We are getting married in November of this year, in a very small ceremony. I will try my hardest to blog about the process along the way. I tried to do it on my own for awhile then decided to have a day-of-coordinator, then after some research and many meetings with many different wedding planners, I now have an a full-time wedding coordinator, Emilia, of Sweet Emilia Jane. She is my saviour!


Third, we took our annual “big trip” to Spain last year. It was the longest I had taken of from work. It was nerve-wracking to be gone for so long, but so wonderful to travel. Yes, I will post about this too.


Fourth, I ran my 4th marathon and first New York Marathon in 2013! Hands down, the best marathon experience I have ever had. Also, clocked in at the largest marathon ever recorded. It was amazing, oh yeah, and it was a personal best! Unfortunately, I injured my left hip during training and made a contentious decision to continue training and run it. I have been in physical therapy for two months and just now am getting back into running. Last week was the first time I ran on it since the marathon in November of last year. It was only for 1.5 miles. But I will take what I can get! And know I will be back on the road in no time. Still worth every day of pain. If you love to run, the ING New York Marathon is a must! I love NY!


Fifth, I most recently, went from being a graphic designer on the marketing team at TrueCar, to the newest member of our UX (User Experience) team. So I am now a UX Designer. I am super pumped for the newest design challenge. So far, so great!

Lastly, yes, I promise to finish posting about our incredible trip to Japan in Christmas of 2012…

Thanks for being so patience and hanging in there. Keep staying tuned. I’m baaaaack!