Birch Benders

As y’all already know – We’re big paleo eaters. It’s been amazing for our health but it can be a little challenging at times when cravings kick in. A big one in my family is waffles and pancakes. Hudson is obsessed with waffles and the kids always want pancakes on the weekends. However, I really hate using regular sugar and flour – So much bleach, gunk and chemicals, so I would take forever trying to make paleo pancakes and they’d only come out “okay”.

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But when I stumbled across a Birch Benders’ Paleo Waffle/Pancake mix in Sprouts I was SO excited. “Only Add Water SO much easier than 20 minutes worth of trying to get the consistency and taste justtt right.

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Well.. 2 years later and it is a staple in our home. That long being a customer and I happened to get an invite to an exclusive writer’s event thanks to Sprouts to Birch Bender’s Denver office!! I was literally giddy!

Once we got there we were greeted by the sweetest people ever – Their employees were so friendly, really passionate about their product and just happy with life (I would too if I worked for such a fun company!)

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The event was hosted by Sprouts and as usual they supplied delicious meals and drinks! Thanks Sprouts, y’all are the best!

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Now.. Something I hadn’t known (Not sure HOW) was that they had created some DELICIOUS new products – Frozen Waffles!! Even PALEO waffles which they had learned to make straight from master waffle makers in Belgium.. How amazing it that?! They were so dedicated to creating delicious and healthy waffles that they searched all over the world. That is a company I love to support!

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Now I had a delicious, REALLY quick option for Hudson for breakfast since he’s obsessed with waffles! (And not just any kind… But specifically the frozen kind, because it’s an on-the-go-can-hold-it-while-I-am-rambunctious kind of waffle.. LOL) They taste just like a normal waffle but fill my children’s tummies with the good, wholesome ingredients they deserve.

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Their theme for the event was Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches. They had a whole bar set up ready with all their new waffle types, different ice cream options and toppings. It was so delicious and brilliant – Decided I am going to do this for Hudson’s birthday party in November at the Colorado Railroad Museum! It’s going to be SO fun, so you’ll be seeing more of these kinds of photos soon 😉

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Birch Benders is such an amazing company – Not just because of their delicious products but because of their passion behind it. We’ve been their fans for 2 years now but this event has only exacerbated this.. We’ll forever be Birch Benderites and we’re so proud they’re in our gorgeous state!

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Colorado Renaissance Festival

An every year tradition in my family is to visit the Colorado Renaissance Festival. I remember going as a child and the fun memories have lasted over many years. My Children have such a blast – From seeing beautiful fairies to knights in full armor, they’ve got hundreds of things for children to see and do.

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My beautiful Family

But they don’t skimp on pleasing the adults – They’ve got alcoholic beverages from beers, ciders and margaritas for only $4.50! As well as decently priced meals and snacks!

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A gorgeous water statue dancing to Lakmé, Flower duet

Now.. Not only do they have fun festival games but they’ve also got camel/llama rides, pirate shows, jousting and royalty parades! I don’t think I’ve ever seen my step-daughter light up as much as when she saw the princesses.. A look I’ve seen before on myself when I too was younger : ❥

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My Prince ❥

Hudson loved the beautiful ladies in their fancy dresses (Such a flirt…) but I think his favorite moment was the camel rides.. He lit up like a Christmas tree : ❥

I highly recommend the Colorado Renaissance festival to anyone!! Families, Singles, Adults, ANYONE. You’ll have a blast from the PAST 😉

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“Wheeeee!”

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Sprouts Event – Plant Based

As a paleo eater I love all things whole foods – Fruits, Meats and Veggies which are just so important for our bodies! The paleo lifestyle is based on caveman eating – Only things you would have found in nature (Obviously nothing artificial or processed). However, I don’t eat nearly as much meat as my Husband does so plant based eating has always intrigued me! So I went to a Sprouts Event where Dietitian Suzanne Farrell explained the benefits, methods and products that plant based eaters use (and why!)

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 2.55.46 PMIt was so informative – I learned things I should be adding to my own diet to acquire certain vitamins/nutrients I may be lacking! Such as certain nuts (Almonds and Peanuts) that are amazing sources of protein, foods that provide Omega-3s if I’m not eating a ton of fish (Such as chia/flax seeds and spinach!) and so much more!Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 2.55.23 PMThere were plant based products I never realized were paleo that were so tasty! (Like almond based hummus dip.. It’s SO good! Go to your local Sprouts and search around the hummus area – There are some great options for paleo snacking!)

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They were handing out samples of their watermelon to people in the store.. What other grocery store does that?!

I love Sprouts for their deals, their fresh foods and their products’ ingredients but most of all their tie to their communities. They’re always wanting to educate, help and assist everyone who’s wanting to learn about healthier eating! I love Sprouts!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Made in Nature – Sprouts Event

I love living in Colorado – There are so many options for healthy eating in restaurants and so many local businesses that are known nationwide for their snacks/food. I’d heard of Made in Nature before so was very excited at the opportunity, thanks to Sprouts, to get to hang out in their test kitchen and try my hand at making my own Figgy Pops (Something they’ve MASTERED. Try them, they’re delicious!).

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Their staff was so friendly and welcoming – The 10 of us bloggers felt instantly comfortable! And Sprouts was gracious enough to bring us a ton of food options for dinner.. I had their delicious vegan salad 

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Their test kitchen was lined with delicious options for figgy pop making and we couldn’t wait to get working!

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We began at station one with their pastes, they had Apricot, fig and dates. They were all so delicious so with both batches I made I used dates then added apricot to one and fig to another – Wish I could make these pastes at home, they were perfect!

Then we could add some dried fruit, dried nuts and anything else we wanted in our figgy pops! (They had so many options as you can see!) My first batch was made with date and apricot paste, dried mango, diced almonds and acai powder! My second was made with date and fig paste with cranberries, pistachios, almond butter and Himalayan sea salt! Wish y’all could try mine.. I’m pretty proud with how they turned out!

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We found out we were the first outside people to come in and make our own figgy pops.. How exciting is that?! That’s why I love Colorado.. Amazing businesses like this that are 20 minutes away and we can do fun stuff like this! Such a treat. They treated us like family and we got to experiment with some fun ingredients and learn new tricks! I’ll be taking what I learned from this event to make figgy pops at home (My kids are already hooked.. I was so excited I let them have one for breakfast haha!!)

Thanks Sprouts and Made in Nature for such an unforgettable evening with good friends, good food and tons of fun!

Try their delicious healthy snacks for yourself! They’re available at Sprouts and on their website! Enjoy y’all!

First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe

Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. My Husband and I don’t go to Downtown Denver at night much anymore. BUT it’s such a treat when we do! When we went to Mmm… Coffee! A Paleo Bistro a few weeks ago we had heard from them about the First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe (Where they’re also located) which features the art culture in Denver. There are food vendors, musicians, poets, artists, and so much more!

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We were intrigued and thought it would be a great adventure for us to go on together as a date night! So we got our wonderful baby sitter, got dressed up (Isn’t a formal event but definitely feels nice dressing up every now and then! Especially inside the fancy art galleries ;) ) and headed downtown to the Lincoln Park area!

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Parking was kinda a pain but we eventually found a ton of spots near Sunken Gardens Park and it wasn’t a bad walk at all! We headed towards the Santa Fe strip and decided to stop at Mmm… Coffee! A Paleo Bistro first for a quick coffee and a stuffed bacon wrapped date! It was just as good as last time and the owners even remembered us! How sweet are they!

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Once we were done we saw they had a HUGE line. They were super popular! So we stepped out and saw how busy it had gotten on the strip (It was amazing seeing so many people come and check it out!) and were eager to get in on the action!

It was just starting to get dark since it started at 5 but the street was lit up so, so beautifully – The lingering sun had just enough time to shine off of the many street performer’s instruments.. It made for a very mystical scene.

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There were also many artists in the street as well and they were all amazing! I’ve always loved spray paint art and there was an artist creating a piece for a little girl who wanted a city skyline. We loved getting to see something in the making – Think it’d be fun for anyone to see!

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A kids area for making their OWN art! How cute! ❥

The air was filled with amazing smells of all different types – There were Mexican food trucks, BBQ, American, Indian, Healthy, Gluten-Free.. SO many. Made me so proud of our state. We’ve still got some delicious food options or if you’re feeling something light OR something that’s specifically for people with food sensitivities, they’ve got it! If I hadn’t just eaten that wrapped bacon date I would’ve eaten EVERYTHING.

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As the sky was continuing to dim we walked around to check out all of the street performers before they left so we didn’t miss them. One of them was a VERY talented little girl playing the violin AND singing – There was a huge crowd surrounding her and cheering for her. I could hear whispers of awe coming from nearly everyone and it made me fall in love with this event even more. People weren’t coming out for just the drinks and food – They were truly coming out to support and admire the talent our beautiful city holds!

 

Once it got really dark we began to pop into each of the art galleries. There were so many beautiful and unique pieces in every building with the artists proudly standing beside them. I loved to walk by and tell them how talented they were – Their warm smiles were worth it. I had the chance to really speak with a few and get some photos with them and their art!

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After we’d seen it all we said our goodbyes to the sights, sounds and smells and leisurely walked back to our truck raving about everything we had seen. We were happy we did something out of our comfort zone as it was a unique experience that made us feel closer together and more in-tune with our city.

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We’ll be back as often as we can now and recommend any native or tourist to try it out and enjoy it for themselves!

Boulder Escape Room

A few weeks ago my step-son Eliot was in town visiting. I thought it would be a really cool experience for him and I to have some Mom/Son time at a local Escape Room! He had never heard of them (I wonder if they have these in Louisiana!) and I’d never actually gone to one but always wanted to! So we went to the Boulder Escape Room for the Alien Abduction room – Luckily we happened to be the only ones theres and had a BLAST!

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So I decided we would come back EVERY TIME he came to visit as a tradition 🙂 But after telling my Husband all about it he seemed intrigued as well so I booked us an Escape the Psycho Killer room!

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We went yesterday and were again greeted by their amazing employee Robert (He’s AWESOME) The inside is always so dark and ominous and has a creepy song playing on loop for some ambient background sound. It really sets the tone for some eerie fun!

The Psycho Killer – You have been trapped by the Psycho Killer! This particular psycho is a fiend for puzzles. He has meticulously set up a game of logic that challenges your mental stamina and your ability to work with others. Now you must solve riddles, find clues, and outsmart the psycho killer before time runs out…

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We were each separated into our own rooms and given one hour to escape! I began in a small room that had tons of locks, furniture and a piano.. After looking around I quickly found many puzzle pieces that eventually gave me a four digit number. I could hear my Husband across the wall and found a little tube that we were able to talk through. I gave him the number from my puzzle that he was able to use on a lock in his room that gave him a key to my door! (This game is ALL about teamwork and mental strength)

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After transferring the key through the tube I was able to get out of my room and unlock his door! So we were able to quickly get to work together and find the other clues hiding in his room!

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In his room we were able to find a DVD that played a video of the killer teasing us and giving us one little hint that allowed us to open the safe in my Husband’s room. After that we were flying through and were sure to escape!

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With 20 minutes left we searched high and low, used a blacklight to read hidden clues in paper and played keys on the piano that were on a hidden message to try and decipher the code! Sadly, with only 2 minutes left we finally started to understand WHAT the last step was and solved the riddles given to us.. But we were not able to complete it in time! (It’s actually really challenging! We loved it!) We were 95% of the way done on a room that only has a 22% success rate. SO CLOSE. And for only two of us?! We were SO proud and frustrated at the same time!

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It was such an amazing experience to get to do together and we truly worked really well as a team! It was like a unique kind of date night! We had a blast and talked about it for hours after!

The Boulder Escape Room is fantastic for all ages and is a blast for date nights, work events, or pretty much anything! The staff is fantastic, the ambiance is awesome and it’s something we’ll absolutely come back to do again and again – Especially when they come out with their new rooms (They swap them out every 6 months and will be opening a new location soon with even more rooms and actual jump scares – That would definitely be motivating 😉 )

I highly recommend them to anyone! Kids, adults, teens – Anyone! Try them out! They’ve got a great Groupon deal going right now – Boulder Escape Room Groupon Deal !