Day Hiking Adventure – Flatirons

Sam and I have finally started at our new jobs in Denver and wow we are busy now. I forgot how tiring working all day is! But I am loving my new job, I’ve been stationed with the MAC cosmetics counter and I did my first makeover with them yesterday! It was so much fun, I forgot how much I love doing makeovers. Hopefully I will get certified with them soon so I can do more!

Today though, Sam and I both had the day off! We were both up early this morning, so we decided to do a day hike! The first time I ever hiked was with my dad and stepmom and siblings in Arkansas. It was such a pretty trail, I still have some of the pictures from the disposable camera my parents had bought for all three of us. It would have been more fun if we had been in any way prepared to hike on that vacation and if I had packed anything other than $5 Old Navy flip flops to wear for shoes.

Luckily, I learned my lesson seven ish years ago and was slightly more prepared for this hike (I did forget sunscreen and we are now both a lovely red color). We drove to Boulder and hiked at the Flatirons Vista Trailhead path, but I am pretty sure we wandered into some Eldorado Canyon trails… It was so fun! We were unsure what the hype was about hiking, since everyone here does it, and we completely understand now! It is SO BEAUTIFUL!! The pictures I’m about to share don’t do these gorgeous mountains any justice, especially since I am still working with iPhones (so sorry, I promise I’m working on it!). This was also free! Which was definitely a plus since we are still operating on a tight budget.

This is gonna be a pretty picture heavy post, enjoy!
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^A storm was hanging out in the mountains! We got a little rain; it felt so good! It was super cool to see and walk through where the storm just stopped.

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^The water in this creek was SO clear and cold. I wish I could have swam in it haha

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^So cute 😉

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^Sam carried my VS Pink backpack filled with hot water bottles the whole time :p

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^The dandelions were the size of my hand!! So crazy. (Sorry for my nail polish)

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^I’m still just in awe over these pictures and just how amazing the mountains are. I’m in love.

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^These last two are my favorites I think

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We had the best time! I can’t wait to go again, hopefully on a week day when it will be less crowded. What are your favorite hikes? Let me know in the comments!

A Letter to my Love

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image source, edit by me.
Three years!

That’s crazy to me. It feels like we have known each other for a million years. We have only just begun! How lucky am I to have found the person I want to grow old and grey with at 17? You derailed my life in the best possible way. Being with you makes me want to be more, because you know what I am capable of, you push me to be better. You’re level headed and responsible and you bring me down to earth. You keep me tethered. You put yourself aside to make me happy and I’m forever grateful to you. You open up to me completely and it makes me love you even more every time you do.

Being so committed so young is underrated. Growing with you is the most beautiful blessing I could have ever imagined. Instead of listening to the stories about your twenties ten years from now trying to soak up every detail and wishing I had those years to spend with you, I get to be in the stories. I don’t have to wish for these years with you because I already have them. I get to experience every milestone, every triumph and every failure and I will always be rooting for you. I’m your number one fan, and I know you’re mine. You support everything I do, I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

I love how passionate you are about the things you love, you don’t do things half-heartedly. I love how smart you are, and I love how much you love Jesus. I love how much you love your baby siblings, I know you’re going to be an amazing dad one day in 9 years. 😉 I love when you roll over to find me in your sleep and when you give me foot massages without me asking. I love how much you love me and want to provide for me. You’re the most genuine person I’ve ever met and you care so deeply about the people you love. You’re an outstanding human being and I am overwhelmed by how lucky I am that you have chosen me to give yourself to. I am so excited to spend the rest of our lives together learning and growing and stumbling and falling and picking each other back up again. We are a team, and there’s no one else I would want to do life with.

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Making sure we had a sweet dinner together even though our whole apartment was packed into the
Jeep 🙂

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Loving on Sam’s sweet baby brother, Dru, at the Denver Aquarium!

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I’m always making him take pictures with me in the car, even if he’s eating a banana and not paying attention to me 😉

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The first time we landed in Denver together when we came to look for apartments over spring break! One of my favorite pictures of us. We were so excited, you can see it in our faces!

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An extra blurry Christmas picture ft. our fur babies, Dale and Lil Kitty (they’ll have their own posts soon, don’t worry). This was the first Christmas we had spent by ourselves away from our families because of our jobs. It was tough, but we made the best of it, and I loved spending my Christmas with just our little family.

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And finally, a throwback from last year right after our two year anniversary in Key West with Sam’s family. We look like babies compared to now! Especially Sam.

I love you I love you I love you (nightman)

(If anyone gets that reference comment below because you’re my new best friend)

Happy three years with so many more to go!

Thanks for reading my sappy anniversary post, leave some of the things you love about your significant other in the comments!

Five Things You Need from Trader Joe’s

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I love looking at all the fresh flowers as soon as I walk in the door!
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I always love grocery shopping when we go to Trader Joe’s. Which is about twice a week, sometimes more. We can’t stay away! We do have to go more often to buy groceries since we don’t drive as much anymore, and we can only buy what we are willing to carry the half mile walk home. It has been an interesting adjustment, but I am so grateful for it! Walking a mile every time we need groceries has helped us so much with adjusting our bodies to the elevation, and it gets us out of the apartment. Summer in Denver is absolutely beautiful. It’s always sunny and breezy and never too hot. I love being outside now! I do realize that this will change come fall, but I’m going to soak up all the sunshine I can before experiencing my first real fall season. In Texas the seasons just shift from summer to extreme summer straight to winter and then you have a week of spring and it’s back to summer! Sometimes summer likes to sneak into winter’s time and you get a nice pool day right before Christmas Eve. You really just never know.

So, while we still have this beautiful weather I am going to walk to Trader Joe’s as many times as I can. I want to fill my apartment with the flowers and succulents and herbs they have set up as soon as you walk in. I want to try things I’ve never heard of and would never think of tying until Trader Joe’s made it into something yummy. I want to eat more nutritiously. One of my favorite things about Denver that I didn’t think would matter to me at all before I moved here is the amount of affordable organic groceries. I feel like I’ve been getting ripped off my entire life in Texas. My body feels better and I’m able to eat full meals that are actually satisfying and keep me from getting hungry again two hours later. I feel good about the stores that we buy from and the food we are putting into our bodies, which has become extremely important to me lately.

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Five Things You Need from Trader Joe’s:
Kettle Corn
Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Ravioli
Blueberry and Pomegranate Green Tea
Trader Giotto’s Alfredo Sauce
Gone Bananas (frozen chocolate covered banana bites!)

These things are staples that come home with me almost every time I leave Trader Joe’s. The ravioli is my favorite of all I think. Sam will eat just that for dinner even though it doesn’t have any meat in it! He is very much a meat and potatoes boy, even though he doesn’t look it. The goat cheese is so rich that one package is enough to fill us both up. I also love buying chicken from Trader Joe’s because it’s organic! I have definitely left Walmart or HEB before and gotten home only to find some not so yummy looking chicken breasts and just had to throw them away. SO much money wasted on sub par meats, and recently the FDA reported that up to 70% of the chicken (not organic from my understanding) being sold had dangerously high levels of arsenic. Yuck! It makes a lot of sense now. I feel good about buying meats from TJ’s because it’s all organic.

So there’s my ode to Trader Joe’s. It’s never a chore to grocery shop anymore and I’m eating better than ever! Also, how adorable are these reusable Colorado themed grocery bags??

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Leave some of your TJ’s favorites in the comments!

About Me! TX // CO

Hello! Thanks so much for stopping by Lashes & Life!

This blog is going to be somewhere for me to archive my new life in Colorado. I want to remember everything! I always find myself leaving a place or event wishing I had documented it in some way, wishing I had somewhere beautiful to document it. This blog is to document everything; daily life in the heart of downtown Denver for a 20 year old girl, beauty tips and products, relationships, things that inspire me, personal entries, etc. I hope you decide to stick around and figure out how to be an adult with me!

My name is McKayla, I’m freshly 20 and a recent transplant from Texas to Colorado.

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Some of My Favorite Things:

Jesus
My boyfriend
My two sweet cats
Sweets
All things beauty
Planning in my Kikki K
Living in the city!

I was born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas in a decently sized college town. (My hometown recently made quite a splash ).  I moved to central Texas to go to college at Texas State University in San Marcos, just outside of Austin. I was the most excited I have ever been about anything, but by the time I got there, I felt like I had outgrown the sleazy typical “college experience”. The parties I did try to go to were grimy and sweaty and crawling with sweaty frat boys trying to hand you lukewarm 4Lokos to a Diplo song played by a “dj” (read: pledge). Not exactly my idea of a good time. I ended up hating the school and the town (for good reasons which I may or may not put into a post one day). I had been in a relationship for over a year (which I am still in today) and going out just didn’t appeal to me anymore. I will always pick snuggling up with my boyfriend and watching Parks and Recreation for the millionth time over going out.

We moved in together after my first year of college was over and I was out of student housing. We moved into a crappy apartment on the Guadalupe River and I got my first job at a makeup counter.While I went to school, I worked for Benefit Cosmetics which caused me to fall head over heels for the beauty industry. I loved everything about it! Being surrounded by makeup is my heaven. But my job was the only thing about an entire year that was good. My boyfriend and I hated living where we were and were starting to get fed up with living in Texas in general (we are both bleeding liberals, so you can imagine how Texas became a hard place to live in as of late).

One night we decided to look up how expensive it is to live in cities we both agreed would be amazing to live in. We looked at a few outrageous dreams first (Dubai, London, various tropical islands…) and then we thought about Denver. Neither of us had ever been, but from all of the pictures and blogs and articles we read on the internet in search of any and every detail about this city, it seemed like a phenomenal place to live. We started to think about Denver less in an abstract and more as a possibility. The more we researched apartment rates and minimum wages and job availability, we started to see that living in Denver could actually be a reality for us. We looked at schools in Denver, and they had everything either of us would ever want to major in.

We made the decision to move states after talking to our families together, and it has been the absolute best thing we have ever done. Living in such a central location has been saving us so much money and making us so much happier than we were living in Texas. We are so blessed that my boyfriend (whose name is Sam btw) has such fantastic parents who are willing to support us financially through this move and finding jobs. Jobs we both start in the coming week! Very exciting. In the fall Sam is going back to college for his mechanical engineering degree and I am going to Paul Mitchell to get my esthetician license and then returning to finish my college degree in business in the fall of 2016.

So to end this outrageously long inaugural post, here are a couple pictures of downtown from our walk to the post office to send off our Father’s Day cards to Texas! They’re just iPhone pictures, so I do apologize. I’m working on getting a DSLR camera hopefully within a month or so! So just bear with me for a bit 🙂

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(sorry for the minimal makeup and third day hair in the last picture, but I still think we are a pretty cute couple 😉 )