Monday, December 31, 2012

Bathroom Progress


Are you getting sick of seeing home improvement projects yet? Apologies if you are but unfortunately they're not about to end any time soon :) Lucky Bryce, we've got a few more on tap over the next couple months!

The bathroom remodel has been coming along nicely. We've taken our time so that we don't go crazy over it and we're super pleased with how it's turned out thus far.

After getting the backerboard up, I went to town on getting all the tile up in the shower and on the floor. Unlike the subway tile we did in the basement, these 12x12in mosaic pieces went much quicker. Of course there had to be a catch...the grouting process took about 4 more hours more than planned! Oh well, it looks cool and that's all that matters.

We're starting to piece everything together so adding lighting, fans, toilets, vanities, artwork, and mirrors is next on the agenda. We're hoping to get a few more things done this week and maybe be finished by the following week!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rookie Household Mistake


After we finished installing the bamboo flooring on the main level of our place in 2010, we had a little more leftover than we thought. On a whim, we decided to get one more box of the same wood and put it downstairs in the workout room.

In part laziness and part naivety, we didn't put down a moisture barrier and just used construction glue on the concrete basement floor. Whomp whomp...bad choice. Less than one year later, the floor buckled in the center of the room. If I were into finger boarding, the ramps would actually be really cool. Unfortunately that is not the case. 

 For $133, several long hours and a lot of knuckle skin, I was able to tear out the old floor and lay down some nice rubber tiles.

We now have a ramp-free workout room that is easy to clean and great for stretching and core work as well!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A fun and relaxing holiday!


It's not very often we get to sit down for a few days and just relax but that's exactly what our trip to Vail this Christmas entailed :) We enjoyed lots of laughs, walks in the snow and of course, some delicious Bingham cooking.

One of our Christmas presents from the Binghams was a punch card to the Vail Nordic Center! Since we were up there and had our skis, we had to break the lazy streak!

We haven't skate skied since last March so it was a rude awakening. I always forget how incredibly hard that sport is...especially when you're at altitude AND out of shape. Bryce absolutely crushed me :)

After drinking some homemade apple cider in some cute Santa mugs, Bryce and I were in charge of dinner for Christmas Eve. We made a GF/DF pasta fritatta and roasted brussels sprouts with quinoa. With a lot of sous chefs to help, it was a miraculous success.

Christmas morning was also laid back with homemade GF waffles and present opening. It snowed about 6-8 inches so it was a beautiful white Christmas. The Yule Tide log television station came in quite handy as well! Get it?!?

After Bosco opened his various bones, we did our gift exchange. Along with our nordic pass, we received money to buy a new bike pump (a much needed item in our household) and a garlic press! Big thanks to the Binghams for a fun few days.

After a slow, but beautiful and snowy, drive back to Boulder, we busted out my parent's xmas gift - A KITCHEN AID MIXER!!! Every girl's dream, right? Apparently things are changing because I would have never thought in a million years I would have wanted one of these a year ago :) At any rate, it is amazing and we christened is well by making Almond Thumprint cookies and mashed potatoes for the Torrance Christmas dinner.

Right after walking in Tom's door, we indulged in the various homemade dishes brought by all of our friends. A lot of them made GF/DF foods which was super cool. Shortly after, we started our Secret Santa gift exchange. It was a total blast. Rose got me a sweet Detroit Gnome which will now be an icon in the house.

Tom had Bryce and got him some sweet socks that look like Vans shoes. Tony had to bust out his 'crocs with hairy legs' socks as well which were a total hit. The night was an absolute hoot. HUGE thanks to Catherine for purchasing a 'Star' in memory of Don Torrance. It couldn't have been a more appropriate gift for Rose and the boys!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rose is in town!

Tom and Tony's momma arrived into Boulder on Thursday afternoon for the first since Don's passing. Since many of our friends weren't able to attend his services, the boys organized a big group dinner for Rose to see each of them. The outing to the Rio was a success and we even got a great pic which will be used later for Bryce's secret santa gift :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012


The newest update on our super slow bathroom remodel is that all of the plumbing has been completed. The shower valve has been rerouted to the far wall and is now in a perfect location to turn it on without getting're probably wondering what I'm talking about, but just wait, you'll see here in a few weeks :)

We also had the toilet plumbing redone as well as the sink faucet pipes.

Lastly, the new drain was created and the shower pan put in. We're hoping to get to the backer-board and tiling over the next week or so! Stay tuned.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I wish things were more interesting

As usual, things are crazy busy with lots of work, holiday prep and staying true to our dairy free/gluten free diets. I have to say that eating DF/GF isn't that hard, it just involves a lot of planning. Our once or twice a week frozen pizza meal definitely doesn't apply so being lazy about cooking doesn't cut it any more. I've done most of my holiday shopping online so the porch has been filled with miscellaneous boxes recently but today I opened a nice little surprise gift from my Grandparents (see above)! It couldn't have put a bigger smile on my face :)

I haven't been sharing much of our new cooking ideas recently but thought this would be an appropriate one to post because of how delicious and easy it is. We've been trying to cook large batches of food so they last for several dinners and lunches throughout the week and this one seems to hit the spot even when re-heated several days later. As you can see above, we made a mix of grassfed ground beef (about 1.5lbs), a bag of frozen peas, one red pepper and two small sweet potatoes mixed with random spices to taste in a giant cast iron skillet. I enjoy it over a bed of spinach with salsa, avocado and tortilla chips on top and Bryce likes his as mini tacos with corn tortillas, salsa and sprinkled dairy free cheddar cheese.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cranking Stuff Out

I wish I had more exciting things to report but as I've mentioned several times before, I'm totally swamped with work these days. Although I'm still not quite back to drinking my regular cup of coffee each morning, I have been indulging in a cup of decaf every once in a while and have been eye-ing one of those automatic one cup machines. As an early Christmas present to myself (and for working my butt off), I splurged on a fancy Platnium Keurig Coffee Maker this weekend. I got a variety of decaf cups and Bryce even got a package of Hot Apple Cider cups...might be the best splurge to date :)

Bryce has also been hard at work remodeling the main floor bathroom. He got the whole thing completely gutted and replaced part of the subfloor around the toilet that had rotted from a leaky seal many years ago. Busting out the bathtub already makes the room seem sooooo much bigger! Excited to see all the pieces finally put together.

There was no way I was jumping on the DH bandwagon without my partner in crime joining me so Bryce just recently purchased a frame as well. We're both looking forward to spending the winter getting them all built up and ready to shred on the Winter Park slopes!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Christmas Decor is FINALLY Up!

This is generally the time of the year when things are crazy with work, however, this year seems to be exceptionally busy! I was supposed to travel to the east coast this Wed-Fri to implement a new accounting software for a client but because I have a tremendous workload, I had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel the trip. I've been working around the clock to stay caught up but it doesn't seem to be helping. I did find a quick 30min the other night to help put up the Christmas tree and misc decor to make the house seem more merry. Now, I just need to find some time so I can relax and enjoy the pretty lights.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Playing House

Lots of progress has been made on Tony's new house over the past couple weeks and it's really starting to come together. During his trip to Italy, he saw a really cool space that spawned his idea for a lime green, dark grey and white color combo throughout the house. After painting several samples on the walls, we all agreed on the best colors and went at it. It may look bright in the photo but it's really going to make this house look fun and modern!

Since we've been helping Tony with a lot of his house remodel, he came over this past weekend to give us a little assistance as well. Stay tuned for more pics on the updated new main floor bathroom :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

We're saving some money!

Today we officially refinanced our Boulder townhouse. Getting off an FHA loan and dropping our interest rate from 4.75% to 3.5% saved us over $400 per month! We've had really crappy experiences with past lenders but we couldn't have been more pleased with the professionalism and timeliness of Premier Mortgage Group. Dan Spiegler was a great communicator and really made the overall process quite seamless. If you're in the market for a top notch lender that will get the job done, contact Dan -

Monday, November 26, 2012

Going a tad bit overboard!

If you haven't noticed, the prices on LED televisions and computer screens has dropped drastically in the past year. I've wanted to get a larger computer screen for a while since the 19in screen seemed a bit small, so I jumped on Amazon and browsed around. I found a great 32in LED HD screen for $200 with free shipping and totally jumped on it. I didn't think it was THAT big until I opened the box and put it on my desk :) The picture above truly doesn't do justice unless you compare it to my old monitor on the right. Good thing I keep my sunglasses handy because I need them every time I look at the new screen! Tis the season for shopping.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Back to the Mitten!

After a very simple flight to Michigan on Thanksgiving morning, we arrived at my parent's house with a complete and ready-to-eat, homemade gluten/dairy free dinner! My mother rarely cooks so preparing an entire Thanksgiving feast without any diary or gluten was quite the challenge. She crushed it and we all cleaned our plates pretty quickly. After dinner, we went to my grandparent's place where we met up with my entire extended family. We haven't seen any of them since our visit last summer for my cousin's wedding so it was great to catch up. Friday was a very relaxed day spent catching up with my parents and riding around on my dad's garage full of toys :)

One of the biggest reasons we decided to come back to MI for the holiday was because of my 10 year High School reunion on Friday evening. I dragged Bryce out to the party and it couldn't have been more fun catching up with so many of my close friends that I really hadn't seen in over a decade. What a fun night! We are planning another relaxing day today then head back to Denver later this evening. A short and sweet trip back to my homeland :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's my turn to get RAD!

After a lot of thought, I've decided to sell my trail bike and replace it with a full on downhill rig! With the Trestle Bike Park in our backyard at Winter Park, it's the perfect opportunity to enhance my bike skills and try something new. Since the mountain doesn't open until late Spring/early Summer, I have plenty of time to build this beauty up exactly how I want. I'm still on the fence about which fork to run and the newest debate is whether to ride an air shock instead of a coil to save more weight. It will be a fun winter project and I'm super excited to finally get rad with all my DH friends :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Everyone needs a good plumber!

Bryce has been itching to get a hot water hose bib for the outside faucet forever and his wish finally came true. Our good friend,  Bob Bieterman, is also a fantastic plumber and owner of Silver Springs Heating and Plumbing in Boulder, CO. If you ever in need of someone for any home repairs or remodels, definitely check him out! Looking forward to washing bicycles and dirt bikes with warm hands and hot water this winter! Okay, let's be honest, Bryce is looking forward to washing my toys without freezing his butt off outside :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Friends & Family - I was able to find out a lot of my health issues through a Naturopathic Physician. Please sign this petition so that they may become licensed all states and be included in the new Obamacare program! It really means a lot to me :) Thanks for your help!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Snow riding and Soup-offs!

This past weekend was the first real cold and dreary weekend in Boulder this fall. Even though it was freezing, sleeting and snowing, we decided to tough it out and go for a fun MTB ride at Heil Ranch. Since we bundled up and wore the right clothing, it was actually really enjoyable!

After a warm shower, we made up a pot of White Bean/Sweet Potato Chicken Chili for Jilayne's annual soup off. Paired with some gluten/dairy free corn bread, this slow cooker recipe was awesome! We pulled off a 4th (out of 8) place finish which was surprising considering our culinary skills :) Sunday was another chilly day that was spent hiking with friends, helping Tony at his new house and watching lots of football on the couch.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Chocolate-Almond Thumprints

Makes ~8 cookies
Gluten Free & Dairy Free

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees and combine the following in a medium bowl:
  1. 1 cup Almond flour
  2. 1/2 cup Coconut flour
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 tsp baking soda
* Then mix in 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, 1 egg and 2 TBSP melted coconut oil. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet and push your thumb into the top of each cookie making a well. Bake for 10-12 minutes then put on wire rack to cool.

* While the cookies are baking, combine the following into a small saucepan on low heat until melted:
  1. 1oz (2TBSP) dairy free chocolate (I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips)
  2. 3 TBSP organic peanut butter
  3. 2 TBSP coconut oil
* Let the filling cool and firm up in the fridge (about an hour) then place into each cookie until full. Store in airtight container or put in the freezer. These are very simple to make and absolutely delicious!!!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Busy Bee

You would think that since I haven't been able to train, I would have a lot more time on my hands, right?! Unfortunately the past few weeks have been extremely busy and my usual every other day blog posting has been taken to the sidelines. This time of the year is always frantic with work because of the holiday madness, but it's also the time where planning/budgeting for the upcoming year is in full force. In between the long hours of work, I have been able to squeeze in a few bicycle rides outdoors (which have actually gone quite well) and even attended a Nuggets/Pistons basketball game downtown Denver. My health is progressing each week and I've been adding in a few additional food items here and there per the doctor. I've committed to not racing until June 2013 so I feel very confident that my slow transition back into the sport will be the right move to be fit and fast by the following CX season! I promise to update more often and even share some of the newer recipes that have become a household favorite.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In Memory of Don Torrance

I can't remember the last time I went over 2 weeks without updating my blog and I apologize for the lack of content. However, the past few weeks have been very tough. On Sunday, October 21st, one of the kindest, fun, caring and loving people I know was killed on his motorcycle. Don was the father of Tom and Tony Torrance and wife of the infamous Rose Torrance. This unexpected tragedy left every person that knew Don speechless. No words can describe how terrible and unfortunate this situation is. After taking the boys to the airport on Sunday afternoon, I immediately got a flight back to Michigan so I could be there for them and Rose during this hard time. Throughout the seven days I was there, we had lots of ups and downs. Don's service was extremely sad but beautifully orchestrated at the same time. Between the hundreds of hugs and silent moments, we did participate in some fun and interesting activities.

One of the first things we did was ride around in Uncle Bud's sweet 1969 Chevy Camero. Although Melanie and I were holding on for dear life, Tony reassured us that everything would be fine! The next day we ventured to the 'Poto' trail for a little mountain biking. I haven't been on a bike outside since July and wasn't exactly sure what I was in for. I knew we were in Michigan so it couldn't be THAT hard. The combination of using my mother's bike/helmet and being extremely out of shape and slow didn't make for the best of times, but I absolutely loved the trail. We are planning a spring trip back so we can all rip it up and have a big bonfire in Rose's backyard :)

''Registered Democrats, with guns" - Judy Freeman

The next activity we participated in was shooting guns at a gun range. Believe it or not, I've never shot any sort of gun (other than a BB gun) so I was pretty excited. Uncle Bud and Cousin Chris are very into shooting and competing so they had a whole lineup for us to play with.

We shot everything from assault rifles to hand guns to pistols to you name it. I did manage to knock down all the targets but it wasn't easy!

I had to post this photo because it's just plain funny and reminds me of Charlie's Angels. Leaving the boys and Rose on Monday afternoon was not easy but I know they are all strong individuals and will be able to get through this hard time. My thoughts and prayers go out to each of them along with all of their amazing family who welcomed us Coloradans with open arms. We couldn't have felt more at home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Things that make me smile!


The past several months have been very difficult in terms of finding things that get me really excited. Work is great and I couldn't be more thankful for the amazing friends and family I have, but it's been a while since I've been happy-go-lucky about something. This past weekend was the first time I was able to get out on my dirt bike for a little bit and even catch a little air. Even though I probably rode a total of 45min with lots of breaks in between, it felt so good to finally be doing something I truly enjoy!

The next day, I walked into one of my clients' and tickets to the Nuggets/Pistons game were left on my desk. That instantly put a smile on my face :)

 The following day, there was a package from Timex at my door when I came home. It  had the purple, blue and checkered Timex 80 watches in it! I am slightly obsessed with these watches and wear them all the time so adding a few more colors to the collection was the perfect way to spark some excitement! Thanks again to everyone who has been by my side throughout this whole debacle, it means the world to me. I have been making huge progress lately so hopefully a less restricted diet and more exercise will be in my near future!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I'm becoming domesticated!

My attempts at gluten/dairy/yeast free cooking have been quite the scene lately! I am seriously one of the worst cooks known to mankind so trying to prepare multiple meals a day has been a huge challenge. Although I'm still not able to eat any form of sugar/honey/fruit/etc, I've been making breakfast muffins for Bryce to take to work each morning. Apparently these GF Chocolate Chip Muffins turned out okay! I'm posting a link to each of the recipes I've made in case you're motivated to try them as well :) Remember to substitute coconut milk, vegan butter and dairy free chocolate chips for the real stuff!

Not only is it extremely difficult to get through the day without having anything sweet (I'm going on 7 weeks now), it doesn't make it any easier baking treats every couple of days for my hunny. However, I did find some good dinner recipes that I was also able to enjoy - Shepherd's Pie (made with sweet potatoes) and Chicken Pot Pie (was okay but needed some coconut milk in the filling). For whatever reason, I've been craving scones more than anything the last few days so I went to town searching for a savory recipe that doesn't use any sweeteners. I came across this amazing Olive Oil and Rosemany Scone recipe (pictured above) that 97.6% satisfied my craving! Bryce loved them too which is always a plus.

And since fall is officially here, why not start the day off with some GF Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Muffins?!? They literally just came out of the oven so Bryce hasn't had a chance to give them a whirl. However, with the way the house smells right now, I'm certain they can't be too bad :) Sorry I'm doing a 180 on the everyday bike racing blogging but this is all I've got at the moment. My health is continuing to improve slowly but not quite to the point where I feel great. The short bike rides have helped stimulate some blood movement and a better mental state but 30min is still a struggle. Hopefully each week will continue on this upswing and eventually I'll be telling you how my muffins taste and then I'll stop blogging about food because I'm too busy riding! That's the goal :)