Snowballs and Bears

Trail Ridge Road opened yesterday…or Friday…one of those days. Regardless, since reading about its being open, I was ready to go. That and I start a microbiology class tomorrow and will spend my summer studying microbiology, chemistry and preparing myself for an entrance exam. FUN!! So I needed a calm weekend and some hiking. Today was perfect in the park. Tons of Elk, blue skies, and flowers. The park wasn’t overly crowded too, which was really nice–for parking’s sake.

We went up Trail Ridge Road, stopped at the top, walked around and had a little snowball session. What is it about going up to the park to play in snow that is cooler and more exciting than when it’s in your front yard?! Regardless we had a great time at the top!

Cloudy Peaks Snowballs1 Snowballs2 To the Top of the World

After playing around on the top, we went back down and went to Bear Lake to do some hiking. I really liked the accessibility (though snowy and slippery in a good part of the trail) for kids. We saw lots of children out there, and my own cupkeiki liked the trail. It was beautiful, and a beautiful day for a spring hike!

Bear Lake Bear Pose IMG_3212Bear Lake 2

It also happens to be Rocky Mountain National Parks 100th birthday this year, so go and celebrate the beauty of this wonderful place!!
As we were driving down the canyon we chanced upon a herd of Big Horn Sheep! We don’t really participate in the “stop traffic to take lots pictures and disturb the wildlife.” If it’s convienient/safe we will otherwise I take pictures by leaning over the driver (manimal) and crossing my fingers that I get a good shot! Today I got lucky, enough.




Today I shot a company’s group photos. These guys are building highly efficient homes here in Northern Colorado, and are what I consider trailblazers at the moment. Group Photo 2edit

I, of course, had some help from my cupkeiki assistant!

Callie and boys

Brian Profile

Eric Profile 2

Jason Profile

Quinn Profile

Group Photo 1

When I say efficient home, I’m talking about a home that is modeled and built with double walls, cellulose insulation, and takes into account the homes appliances, people and electronics for its heating supply, not the electrical grid most every other home out there uses. It’s worth checking out, and in to. I believe this type of home construction is just what our world needs!

Here’s their website: and their blog:

Rain Drops and Poppies

“Your ghost will walk, you lover of trees,

(If our love remains),

In an English lane,

By a cornfield-side-a flutter with poppies”

Robert Browning 

Poppy 1

A neighbor (sort of) has a row of Icelandic Poppies. I have these serious desires to see them bloom during the winter months, then when spring comes I count the minutes until they make their debut.

Poppy 2

After this afternoons rain, I grabbed my camera and headed out in search of rain drop photos. I hadn’t considered them at first, mostly I was just wandering aimlessly with my cupkeiki, but then, as we neared their street my excitement grew. Last year I snapped a pic of them, with a puddle and reflection. It got honorable mention for the city’s Nature in the City program/challenge. Poppy 3

They were as lovely today as they have been for the last week, and last year and the year before. Something about water drops on petals that brings out a romantic, fragile and dreamy state. I’m grateful for the man who grows and tends to these. I’m ungrateful to the passerbys that clip them or walk on them.

RIP Dozer

  About a month ago, my brother-in-laws dog was put down. He was 15, had a large tumor on his side that was sort of a problem for his mobility, and was going deaf and blind (not so great for any dog but especially not for one with only one eye to begin with). 

To pay tribute to him, and allow his memory to not be forgotten I put together a mixed media (paper and acrylic) piece that has a play on dia de los muertos and pop art. I used my Cricut Explore to cut out the body on a black glitter card stock. I used Mod Podge to secure it in place and painted with acrylic to add in the extras. It was incredibly fun to put together and my brother-in-law was sincerely appreciative of it. 

At his burial, my cupkeiki and I picked flowers for his grave, and my brother-in-law made a custome casket. 

DIY Jasmine Sugar Scrub

Sugar ScrubFor Mothers Day this year, I whipped up a sugar scrub as part of a little pampering for my cupkeiki’s grandma’s and my sisters-in-law.

So far I’ve received only happy reviews, which of course puts a smile on my face.

I picked up the recipe idea from Wellness Mama. She’s got some great, homemade, diy’s! Check her out here:

Here’s my DIY to make your own luxurious Jasmine Sugar Scrub

*Note, I am using Kukui Oil, a product from Hawaii and the Oils of Aloha Company; however Olive, Avocado or Jojoba Oil will work just as well.

1/2 C. granulated sugar (white or brown)

1/4 C. Kukui Oil (or oil of preference/availability)

25-30 Drops Jasmine Essential Oil

Mix everything together in a jar/container and use in the shower.

Why bother with a sugar scrub? It exfoliates the skin, removing dry or slightly damaged skin cells from the surface, and nourishes skin.

Kukui Oil, comes from Hawaii, is processed from the Kukui Nut and is great for dry skin. It works wonders for sun burns, psoriasis/eczema and I loved using it during my pregnancy to nourish my abdomen as it stretched.

I wanted to try the Jasmine Oil for several reasons. First, I grew Night Blooming Jasmine in Hawaii. While walking around Vitamin Cottage one afternoon I saw their Essential Oils on sale, and took a sniff of the Jasmine (NOW brand) and was immediately brought back to sitting in my garden jungle, smelling fresh jasmine. Nothing really compares to fresh blooms! Second, I read that Jasmine has a calming and uplifting affect on a persons mood (if you are dealing with anxiety, depression or just a bad day). I wanted to try something new (as I suffer from anxiety) and have found a drop on my chest (above my heart) calms me. I’m not saying this works for everyone and pregnant women should (as I’ve read) avoid using jasmine essential oil due to its potential ability to cause contractions.

I hope, if you’re reading this, you give it a try! Let me know what you think! Keep in mind however, not all ingredients suit all body/skin types. My rule is to always research the ingredients being used, and their possible side effects.