fall

Two weekends ago Connor and I spent the day hiking in Mueller State Park to see the Aspens changing. Fall is here! In this season I’m most looking forward to seeing this movie, mountain biking in Fruita, redoing my great grandpa’s old Schwinn bike that my dad gifted us and cruising around town on it, and making this Buttermilk Pie with Cranberry Orange Sauce for Thanksgiving. It’s going to be a happy next few months!

5 things

Five small things I’m currently grateful for.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” – Melody Beattie

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1. This vintage succulent planter Connor’s mom gifted us. Succulents are the coolest.

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2. This incredible smelling candle. Makes our house smell like a bakery.

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3. This matcha latte mix we got from Whole Foods. Tastes better than Starbucks. I may or may not have had one every day for the past week.

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4. This workspace. See that “Call Your Mom” sign there on the desk? You’ll never guess who bought me that.

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5. This cold-brew. SO good. If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for caffeine.

life lately

{Listening} Junip. A whole lotta’ Junip.

{Watching} Outlander. Good stuff for us history nerds.

{Reading} The Fellowship of the Ring (how have I never read this before??) and Forgotten God.

{Celebrating} Connor’s 23rd birthday!! We had dinner with both of our families and went to our favorite restaurant, Nosh, for food and drinks. If you live in the Springs, you must go here! They have potato chip nachos…enough said.

{Dreaming} Road-tripping to Northern California in the late Spring.

{Learning} How to make the most of each day instead of living for the weekends. Tomorrow isn’t promised.

{Planning} Where we’ll be living next year. Decisions, decisions.

{Creating} French macaroons. My best friend Dani and I just made our first batch and can’t wait to perfect them! They’re such finnicky little things.

{Working} Paying off the remainder of our student loans by the end of this month!! At which point we will be 100% debt free!

{Drinking} I gifted Connor this iced coffee kit for his birthday and it is insanely good. That’s coming from someone who usually hates cold brew coffee.

{Wearing} Birks and jean cutoffs. Summer wardrobe is still going strong.

{Exploring} More 14’ers (we just crossed #20 off our list!), and Great Sand Dunes National Park. Such an awesome backpacking trip. I’ll be posting a video soon of our weekend there.

{Cooking} I haven’t been very creative in the cooking department lately. But I did make some excellent homemade Cherry Garcia ice cream the other week…does that count as cooking?

{Stoked About} Fall biking weather, pumpkin scented everything, and the new Ben Howard CD releasing on October 21. FINALLY.

{Goals} Eliminate wheat from my diet entirely. I tested negative for a full-blown allergy, but am definitely intolerant. I’ve found that when I eat wheat, I get rashes, irritability, stomach aches, increased seasonal allergies, and fatigue. Suuuuch a bummer. :(

our favorite coffee shops in colorado

 

If you know me well then you know that I LOVE coffee. I love trying new roasts and new brew methods – espresso (my very favorite), chemex (second favorite), aeropress, cold brew (Connor’s favorite), pour over…I know, I know…super hipster. Connor and I love coffee so much that we went on a self-guided coffee tour in Denver a few weeks ago. It got us thinking that we should share our favorite coffee places in Colorado. There are a lot, so this is a big list. Below I share our favorite coffee shops as well as our pick for the tastiest drinks/treats from each.

#1 Cafe Dawn

Location: Salida, CO

Our Pick: Iced latte

This little coffee shop in downtown Salida makes our favorite iced latte. The espresso is strong (which we love), and the iced lattes are thick and smooth tasting – none of that watery, weak stuff that you get at most coffee shops. We also love the environment at this cafe. It’s located in an old car garage in one of our favorite mountain towns, which makes it our go-to post-camping/mountain biking/snowboarding beverage.

#2 Urban Steam

Cubano Cortados at Urban Steam

Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Our Pick: Cubano Cortado

I really cannot fully express how good the Cubano Cortado is at this place. It is a revelation and currently our most favorite coffee drink of all-time. Urban Steam makes this drink a little differently than most by blending espresso, a bit of milk, sugar, salt, and BUTTER. That’s right – it has butter in it, which makes it rich, creamy, and very smooth. We HIGHLY recommend ordering one of these babies ASAP. You won’t regret it.

#3 Alleycat Coffee House

Location: Fort Collins, CO

Our Pick: Red Eye Cat

You haven’t lived until you’ve had Alleycat’s famous chai, whether iced, hot, or in a milkshake. Even better than their regular chai is their Red Eye Cat – basically a dirty chai (chai+espresso). We had dozens of these in college and it was the perfect study drink. We’ve since tried dirty chai’s in other cafes around Colorado, Washington, and Canada, but nothing even comes close to Alleycat.

#4 Camp 4 Coffee

Location: Crested Butte, CO

Our Pick: Hot or iced latte

Every time we’re in Crested Butte to mountain bike or camp, we’re sure to stop here for a latte. They have the strongest, darkest espresso I’ve ever tasted – like knock your socks off strong – which we enjoy but other people may find a bit intense. We like that they roast their own beans and are located in a TINY shack covered in license plates. So much character. The only thing we don’t like about this place is their high prices.

#5  Steam Espresso Bar

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Location: Denver, CO

Our Pick: Macaroons

This place gets our vote for the most stylish coffee shop in Colorado. It is seriously a work of art. I had the most delicious macaroons of all-time here (get the lemon and the chocolate) and wish I’d bought some to take home. We also ordered their iced latte and iced dirty chai – both of which were excellent.

#6 Black Eye Coffee Shop

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Location: Denver, CO

Our Pick: Cold-Pressed Honeydew Mint Juice

Ok, disclaimer: this was our last stop on our Denver coffee tour day and we were so overloaded with caffeine that we decided to opt for a cold-pressed juice instead. I’m so glad we did. The honeydew mint juice was hands-down the most refreshing drink I’ve ever had. It was so good that we tried recreating it at home with our own juicer the next week. This place also gets bonus points for carrying our favorite espresso roast of all time: Owl’s Howl from Sightglass Coffee. It’s a life-changer, people. We can’t wait to come back to Black Eye and try their coffee!

#7 Fifty Fifty Coffee House

Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Our Pick: Cold Brew

With this quaint neighborhood shop being located a few blocks from our house, we bike or walk here at least once a week. They have a nice patio, a super friendly staff, and great local partnerships. In fact, they’re located next door to Switchback Coffee Roasters, where we buy most of our coffee beans.

#8 Huckleberry Roasters

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Location: Denver, CO

Our pick: Cortado

This place also roasts their own coffee, which is awesome. It’s located off the beaten path and has a very calm, quiet, and laid-back atmosphere. We both ordered Cortados and thought they were top-notch. We’d love to buy a bag of their beans the next time we’re in Denver.