Lumpy Ridge Hike & Poudre Canyon Camping

During our last few days in Colorado before we met up with friends for a wedding near Denver, we explored Rocky Mountain National Park and then camped in Poudre Canyon (that’s pronounced POO-DER) (that’s right, best name ever).


First stop in RMNP was a small but beautiful picnic area below the tree line

RMNP is amazing. I think I enjoyed it more than driving up Pike’s Peak. But that could just be because the drive up Pike’s Peak is terrifyingggggg and the drive up into the mountains of RMNP is a little tamer but not at all less breathtaking. I couldn’t get over how much snow was up there. So much!!! There were people hiking up and skiing down. They had just barely opened the road for the summer and I could tell why, snow drifts on both sides of the roads! We ate our lunch at a picnic table in the middle of the snow, it was amazing.


So much snowwwwww!

Picnic in the snow!!

Getting into the alpine zone

Below treeline again, check out that sky

We saw pikas and bighorn sheep and coyote and a giant elk that I feverishly pulled off the road to take pictures of.


This isn’t the best picture of the sheep (bottom right) but I loved the background

Bighorn sheep making an exit

I’m pretty sure this is an elk…but maybe a moose?!?!

I can’t explain how much I enjoyed RMNP and I wish we’d had more than one day to explore. Pictures do not do it justice.


I had really wanted to get a hike in while we were in RMNP but the timing wasn’t going to work out, so I found a hike just outside the park that looked good. It was located at the Lumpy Ridge trailhead….another great name!!! We didn’t have a ton of time as we had to get to our campsite about 2 hours away in the Poudre, set up, and then find a place to watch game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. So, we set out for a quick 1.5 mile hike.

RMNP in the distance!

Hiking through some pretty forest

Lumpy Ridge

More views of mountains in the distance, can’t get enough


Yay hiking!

It turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. Some elevation gain, mostly in the beginning of the hike, and gorgeous views of the mountains we had just been exploring in RMNP. We saw a couple other hikers but for the most part we had it to ourselves which was really nice.

After that quick hike we booked it to our campsite to set up in the rain, before making a quick fire and then dinner, and then over to the amazing Mishawaka, a bar/restaurant/music venue directly on the Poudre River, where we were able to watch the hockey game. The bar tender and other patrons were, in true Colorado style, amazingly nice and we all cheered on the Capitals to a win!

Eggs and bacon over the fire in the morning!

The best campsite I’ve ever had, right next to the river

Bye Poudre we miss you!!!

A special shout out to our my friend Stephanie who recommended both the Poudre Canyon and The Mishawaka. It was one of our favorite parts of the trip!!


30 Day Beach Countdown

Ok, so I started counting down to the beach…somewhere about 80-90 days out from the actual vaca. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a vacation. I’m not sure if it’s because I genuinely NEED a vacation (I do), or because I’m SO EXCITED to hang out with AWESOME people, or because it’s THE BEACH, or because I get to subsist solely on quesadillas and BUD LITE LIME…it’s probably all of those…but I am way more excited for the beach than I usually am.

However, in preparation for the beach, I’ve been trying to lean out a bit, or at least maintain my current physique (that word makes me sound like a badass, maybe a better description would be ‘current body status’) … and it is NOT going as planned!! For one, I have an extreme case of Adult Senioritis. This is something I’ve just made up. And it doesn’t really make sense, since it’s not like work is ending and I’ll be out for the summer. But in my head, that seems to be the case. All I want to do is summer activities like barbecue, eat bad food, drink margaritas and rum runners and bud lite limes, and play yard games. And yet, I’m at work Monday – Friday, only dreaming of these activities. So when the weekend comes, it’s hard for me to drink water, eat well, and exercise it up. Like I said…all I want to do is eat, drink and play.

I decided I needed something that would keep me in check, so I signed up for group training at my gym (#bestgymever). Knowing that I would have to keep a food diary, and would be working out hard, I thought that would help me stay in line. OMG I couldn’t have been more WRONG. Pretty much as soon as I was starting to track my food, the Stanley Cup Playoffs started. Well, my husband and I have no cable, so we have to go out to bars to watch. And then my teams started losing. So clearly, I drank like a fish and ate wings like a boss. Fail #1. Then, husband and I went on a weekend trip to Chincoteague & Assateague Islands, in VA (you know, with the wild ponies). We had a GREAT relaxing and fun weekend. But it involved fried seafood and mimosas and ice cream sundaes for dinner. So basically the best weekend ever, although clearly not helping me on my goals to fitness before the beach. Fail #2.

When we started the group training program at the gym, we were supposed to write down some goals for ourselves. Mine were drink no more than 2 glasses of wine per week and no other alcohol (fail), stop eating cheese (extra fail), drink 100 ounces of water/day (semi fail). Clearly there is work to be done in the inhaling of food department. However, my lifting goals are going well. I wanted to increase my weight on Turkish Getups, which I’ve been working on diligently, and I wanted to make my way to 25 pushups (real ones) in a row, which I’m SO CLOSE to. So, overall I guess everything isn’t a wash, since at least I’m making strength progress.

I’ve gotta get it together in the nutrition department, though. Unfortunately, as much as it is annoying to hear, it’s incredibly true when ‘they’ say “Abs are made in the kitchen.” For sure they are. And I can tell you they are NOT made at the liquor store, nor at the chinese buffet. But wouldn’t it be AMAZING if they were?!

So, since I’ve been real lazy about blogging as of late, I’m gonna try and up my game in both nutrition AND blogging, and try to keep up my progress as we near beach week. OMG beach week WHERE ARE YOU, I need you now.

Did I mention I want to buy a skim board to use at the beach? Probably a bad idea, as I will most likely end up with a broken something or another, but they are SO FUN.

Here are some pics of my epic fail meals. Not only do these delicious treats keep me from my goals, but they make my body punish me in a hardcore way. I certainly paid in pain for all of these. But sometimes, the pain is worth the snack delight.



Fried clams, fries, and hush puppies…what?!


Pineapple sundae with almond joy icecream. holy yum.


Is that a Ledo’s Pizza with sausage and bacon and a gluten free crust?! Yes it is.

Building Furniture & Avoiding Snacks

I’m writing this on my new tablet! Very exciting. Since Chris switched positions at the beginning of the year, I haven’t had more than one minute on our computer, so it was sorta conflicting with my goal to blog more! A tablet seemed like a good investment. Plus, they are awesome!! It was hard to choose one, though…why the eff are there so many kinds!!? And they literally all seem to do the same crap. So, how did I choose? Went with Google’s tablet!! Duh, Google rocks. Now where is their self driving car!?

OK, anyway, back to the point of this post! To talk about me! Just kidding!! (Sort of…) So since my Whole30 (30 days of deprivation from awesomeness), I thought my eating and drinking habits would sort of go back to normal…like cheese, wine, pasta, Mexican food to the face 24\7…(don’t worry, I’m kidding about wine 24\7!) However, I haven’t been doing any of those things. Granted, I have been having some “bad” things, but nothing like the cheese overload I envisioned doing every day of my Whole30.

In order to stay on track I’ve had to keep myself busy. Avoiding temptation is effin hard! Especially when someone leaves a box of wine in my fridge!!! Ah. Its always there. Calling my name. Hey Amy, drink me, I’m so tasty mixed with seltzer! Ugh. So what does a girl do to avoid a box o wine calling her name? Build furniture with her husband!

Check out our handiness!


Kitten was helping us with our measurements…


Building before the storm hits!


Finishing touches and final product!

Not so bad for first time builders, right?!

Another challenge is about to start at my gym. This means I’m about to get REAL competitive…I love challenges!! This one could get dicey…apparently they count how often you’re at the gym (so clearly I have to go every day) and we are going to have to use that dreaded scale that measures body fat. MY ENEMY.

Who’s excited?!

Paleo Bashing

I’m super proud of how well I’ve been doing in my attempt to adopt a more paleo lifestyle. I allow myself a cheat every week, but other than that I’ve been very strict, and what’s great is that I feel awesome, both emotionally and physically. It is amazing what a difference putting good food into your body can make. I guess I never really realized it until I really buckled down and made an effort to plan out my meals and choose not to give in to my carb cravings. Once I got over the first couple weeks, the cravings were less and less, and then once my body started feeling so great, it didn’t seem worth it to put any processed food into it anymore. I’m even LOVING drinking my coffee black now! So yummy.

Mostly I've been sticking to decaf, but today I treated myself to some caffiene!

Mostly I’ve been sticking to decaf, but today I treated myself to some caffeine!

I’m NOT bashing anyone’s way of eating AT ALL. Let me just get that outta the way. People tend to act offended and/or defensive when they hear that someone is paleo or primal. Why? We aren’t attacking your way of eating. If you feel good in your body then by all means, eat whatever you want!! I will be jealous of you, because if I could eat whatever I wanted, it would be amazing. But when I go down that road, my body is sad. Anyhow, I guess I just wish people’s reactions were different…The hardest thing about sticking to this lifestyle is dealing with other people. Isn’t that ridiculous? Yeah, it is hard to not eat my favorite foods every day, but after a while that struggle goes away, like I said. But people don’t go away. Which is annoying, because everyone always has something to say about eating paleo or primal. “Oh…you eat that way…” and “well what DO you eat?!” or “But whole grains are HEALTHY!!”

Don’t get me started on what is ‘healthy’. I feel very strongly on this subject since I’ve done more research and really tried eating a variety of different ways. It bothers me that America’s version of healthy is simply slapping a label on a product that says LOW CALORIE, or 100 CALORIE PACK!!! Sweet, those over processed mini cookies filled with a hundred ingredients nobody has ever heard of, only have 100 calories…THEY MUST BE GOOD FOR ME!!! I mean, they aren’t poison. And they aren’t BAD for you, but if you’re looking to put something into your body that is healthy, don’t put preservatives and processed sugar and who knows what else in…chop up some veggies, eat a salad, scramble an egg, shred some chicken! …. uh oh, I’ve gone off the deep end a little! But I think it is important to understand what you’re putting into your body, where it came from, and how it affects you overall. Definitely something worth thinking about.

Who wants to see my lunch yesterday?! I knew you did…


Shredded crock pot chicken, seasoned ground beef, and spring mix it up!!