Colorado trip with the fam

posted on: Monday, September 28, 2015

There's something pretty remarkable about returning in different family combinations of people for over sixty years to the same few cabins. Speaking of time, the National Park system is 100 years old in 2016! Thought I'd throw that in there, it's so amazing how far we've come protecting what is so beautiful and perfect. (All pics are my own unless otherwise stated).
The fourteener, Long's Peak. We admired it from all sides, just not the top : /

My grandfather began the tradition when he came to Estes Park for a conference in the early sixties, and decided to come back again with his family of three boys (one of which is my papa!) and his wife. Forward to Sept. 2015 and Cody and I just got back from my fourth trip (his first) to the YMCA of the Rockies.

There's so many reasons to be thankful for trips like these.

Nothing in life stays constant though sometimes things feel slow. We've moved many miles from home for school and work, and my career field of the ever-vast realm of sustainability constantly challenges me. That's why it's so special to recognize the same view of snowcapped peaks and Ponderosa pines once every decade or so from the same cabin porch each September (more now that I'm out of public school, or any school for that matter).

As nice as it was to get out of town and visit some of my family we hadn't seen since the wedding, there was a dark side to the trip! I got hit by altitude sickness for the first time - cue nausea and headaches. I'd say the culmination was an epic vomiting scene in a gorgeous grove of Aspen trees.

I don't do sick, and there were about three days I wasn't able to hike. My dad got some of it too, genetics I guess! We weren't even able to eat the slow cooker meals Cody and I slaved over for about five minutes each morning. Pulled pork and jambalaya are NOT recovery foods sadly. 
Not bad for having puked twenty minutes earlier, right?! 

We made three major hikes in the park (~ 6 miles, lol) that were each beautiful and different. It's easy to end up in "green tunnels" in heavily forested areas without a plan, so we aimed for diverse landscapes that included some stunning waterfalls, places to rest and enjoy the view and a riparian (by the water) meadow complete with a trout stream.

If you're going to Rocky Mountain National Park, we recommend these hikes:
  • Ouzel Falls Hike on the Western side (plenty of streams and a special gray bird that dips and dives along the rapids, the Ouzel!)
  • Lake Hiyaha on the Western side (giant boulders around a glacial lake)
  • Driving over Trail Ridge Road (bring oxygen, but the view is worth it)
  • Big Meadows Hike on the Eastern side (stunning meadow, great napping by the trout stream)
September being my birthday month (thanks to mom and dad) I got to try out some wonderfully light and strong hiking boots from Lowa that are going to carry me to the day when we get to hike the Appalachian Trail. I just know we are! They don't have a steel shank so you go far and fast and don't want to throw your boots over a cliff at the end of the day.
Sweet, sweet boots.
I lived in this pullover from Patagonia, Aztec is everywhere and this is no exception - it's so fun for a fleece!! You can see me rocking it in the post-puking pic above the boots. Also, you can't beat Patagonia's business model. As a B-Corporation, they take care of the earth, their employees and their bottom line. Supporting companies like this makes the price 100% worth it for me. Plus it'll last, I just wish it had pockets!
Image via

Landscapes flying into Denver. 
The view on our first morning, and several mornings after.

Trail Ridge Road, the highest in the country
Cute mom, her first time on the mini-golf field. She'd rather hike but had to take care of her sick husband and daughter who wanted to take it easy.

Chilly on the highest road in the United States! 
Tundra plants, it takes them hundreds of years to grow

On our last hike with my parents we found this glorious trout stream. And napped.
Peachy blues on the last night.

Always grateful to explore and travel. And see loved ones.

A living-office: Chairish Blogger Challenge

posted on: Saturday, September 26, 2015

Did you know there's a site out there where you can peruse vintage furniture, lamps, decor, you name it - and then actually purchase the ones you like? This isn't Craigslist, it's Chairish. It's somewhat like Craigslist in many ways, but much better curated, nicer to look at and easier to search.

I hadn't heard of it either until the good folks who run this amazing website reached out asking me to choose a few pieces and share them in an inspiration board here on Meant Green. Speaking of vintage and used furniture, I love how the site explains Shabby Chic, a truly authentic look that brings together warmth and use in a world where so much is new and shiny.  I may have overdone this challenge,  because I give you not a few pieces, but an entire room furnished by Chairish!

Actually it's two rooms in one. More in a minute.

First, if you aren't familiar with my platform on this blog, it's a sustainability lifestyle blog. No edible sandals here, just inspiration I find or create that supports what I believe in. I also love design, home style, fashion, food and travel - and there is a way to do all of this sustainably and within reason, I'm discovering. I've been snooping around thrift stores for years, and love the bricolage look of design that combines eras and price points. Plus, I've found you can't beat the quality of things made in the past century or so.

In keeping with the theme of this post, there are many, many home goods stores that create beautiful layouts and entice us with the latest trend at high prices, but in the end a new piece is being created that requires resources and may or may not be produced sustainably.

Chairish is quite cool because every last piece on their site is coming to you for new life, to be reused, restyled, and rechairished (see what I did there?) Side note: there's a tv show some of you may of heard of, Fixer Upper, that literally does this with houses. If we ever move back to Texas where we went to undergrad, we're getting on that show!! Love us some old houses (sans lead paint, etc).

For the Chairish challenge, I styled a living room that doubles as a home office, hence a "living office." From what I know of interior design practices, designers select a piece and take inspiration from that. I'm not entirely sure how I arrive at things I love yet, something just clicks. But if I had to chose something here that ignited this room, I'd have to say the map of Europe. It reminds me when I was 20 and "studying" abroad (code: eating real chocolate). The planter and filing cabinet bring out the blues in the map to give us a thread running throughout the room.

Enough talking. Behold! Each piece here is for sale on Chairish. I tried to choose low to mid price points, because I'm sensitive to that kind of stuff (except for the map and lamp which are ~ $600... I know).

All that's left is to fill the space with house plants that purify your indoor air (it's often more polluted than outside :/  )
If you're curious about how to create a inspiration board like this, I used Adobe Illustrator and placed basic screenshots (check out that clipped desk corner, whoops!)

This is the first challenge I've accepted as it so closely aligns with my interests, here's to more!

Meant Green All rights reserved Design by Blog Milk : Blogger