Tuesday, July 29, 2014

vacation | shopping in estes park

For our last day in Estes Park we decided to spend part of the day walking around the city, shopping & eating, before heading back to Denver. (We were tired and sore from all the hiking the day before, so this sounded perfect!) The city in Estes Park is really pretty. We went into several fun shops, a nice art gallery and the pizza place we ate at was right by the river! I ended up getting a cute Estes Park T-shirt and a Turquoise Necklace that I love. (Turquoise is my favorite and I always look for it in places like this!) One of my favorite shops was The Estes Park Taffy Company. Their taffy is great and they have the most amazing salted caramels, which was a bit unexpected. If you want a sweet treat and you are in Estes Park, this is the place to go. The Danish Cone Factory is a part of it and they have a good variety of ice cream and unique flavored cones. A really great find! 
I love places like this... going into fun shops and walking outside on a beautiful day is a really great combination!
After we got some ice cream and taffy, we stopped to sit on a bench right beside some Queen Anne's Lace (!!!)
and of course, I had to take a few photos! So pretty...

Such a beautiful day!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

recipe | homemade chocolate shell

I have always loved "Magic Shell" on ice cream. It is chocolaty and yummy, and I love the way it hardens on ice cream. When I was a kid I went through a phase of loving it so much that my grandma actually gave me a bottle for my birthday as a "joke gift" (kind of)... I took it seriously though and wouldn't let anyone else in my family have any. So, needless to say, I was pretty excited to find a recipe on Pinterest for for homemade chocolate shell!!!! And I will say, this is definitely the easiest recipe I have ever posted, which is awesome, but may not be such a good thing...

Homemade Chocolate Shell

Ingredients...
1 cup chocolate chips 
(I used Hersey's Special Dark chips)
2 tbsp pure coconut oil

Directions...
Put the chocolate chips and the coconut oil in a small microwave safe dish.
Microwave for 60 seconds, until it is all melted and stir until smooth. 
And that's it!
Now, just drizzle it over your ice cream and allow it to harden before eating.

Store left over chocolate shell in a microwave safe airtight container. The magic shell will thicken up when it sits, but just reheat it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds when you're ready to serve again.

Easy and Sooo good!!!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

travel | hiking in the rocky mountains

Finally I am posting photos from hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park! It was a perfect day of being in the fresh air and beauty of nature. There is so much to see and photograph!
...obviously I took a lot of photos!!
Starting at Bear Lake.
Alberta Falls.
Nymph Lake.
The above picture shows all the snow and the "bridge" that we had to hike across to get to Dream Lake.
The snow was very slippery, but the view of Dream Lake was worth it! It was crazy to be hiking through snow, wearing shorts in late June. These are actually called the Never Summer Mountains.
Dream Lake.  (My favorite... so pretty!)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

photos from my independence day


It was a wonderful Independence Day! Good time with family, lots of yummy food, fun with sparklers, s'mores 
and watching the big fireworks by the lake... so many fun things about the Fourth of July!!

Also, the Fourth of July was the perfect time to use my new Mason Jar Beverage Dispenser! The kind people at Personal Creations sent me an email telling me that my blog was chosen as a favorite of theirs!!!! And they offered to give me a personalized gift from their website. I searched their website for the perfect item for my family to enjoy and when I saw the Mason Jar Beverage Dispenser I knew it would be perfect. They even personalized it for my family. I was so surprised and honored by their kindness!! I love how cute it is and that it holds 2 gallons. It has turned out to be such a great gift and I know I will use it many more times. I am so thankful for all the kindness from Personal Creations. They seem to be a really great company and they definitely have a big variety of products available!


And here are some more photos from my Fourth of July...


I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day!!