Telluride

JR and I visited Telluride, CO last week! I love doing life with him. It was so windy up there on the mountain. There aren’t any lift lines, hiking it was! I just love mini vacays (and a little bit of Rosé if you please).

When you look at the beautiful blue mountains of Telluride, you’ll be ready for some adventure. It sparks some unawakened spirit when I ski or look at what I’m about to cut into. The history of Telluride is unique, with its historical landmarks and preserved artifacts in the center of the city. Thankfully, I had someone to share that adventure with. We stayed on this resort with breathtaking views. I couldn’t help myself with Drink Entourage bottles. They have this luxury about them, yet so affordable (Side note: I recommend this brand 100%). May as well go all out. I’m a pretty good extravert and hang it all on the line. I believe this much in Drink Entourage and Rosé!

One of America’s top ski resorts, I can see how this resort qualifies as a bucket list. There are more than a few things to do at this resort. Even with littles, bring them along! There are kid camps, featuring different outings for kids ranging from 5 to 12. They have a snow camp, kids’ happy hour, and kids’ night out. You want (how about need) a night out with your person or friends? Perfect getaway! They offer childcare at the resort for you! Safety is of obvious importance, as their website clearly highlights plans and has a system involving kid emergency cards. Enjoy their bike parks, spas, and golfing. JR and I love the golf (and we really don’t mind the spa part too!)

You can go even further and pursue a membership there. We’ve considered it. Our only deal is that we aren’t there enough. It gives you a certain percentage off of specific stores. It also lets members only dine in certain places. I love the mix and mingles Telluride Resort providesーsocial events. Pay for VIP? You’re treated like VIPs.

For all my fellow foodies out there, get ready to celebrate with your taste buds. There’s 221 South Oak, Bon Vivant, and Telluride Bistro. Those are only a few out of so many good choices. I recommend those!

Have you or anyone you know been to Telluride, CO? What kinds of fun things did you do there? I would love to hear from all of you!

Wine Chips

No surprise here, I love my wine. My surprise is in the title everyone! Allow me to introduce my newest investment, Wine Chips. Let me share a little about what I’ve been getting my taste buds into. After a lot of research on pairing wine with cheese (chips), Wine Chips is open for business, and their website just launched last week. It is very easy to navigate and order what you want. Wine Chips gives you the opportunity to search and discover different gluten-free chips of cheeses of your preference.

Flavors consist of Bleu Cheese, paired with Sauvignon Blanc, port, or whatever suits your fancy; Smoked Gouda, paired with Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, or sparkling wine. You are able to pre-order it. Their shop is still under construction, but the website offers quite a bit of insight. After a lot of samples and a lot of wine, I highly encourage you to try out Wine Chips!

The Red:

Really, Wine Chips gives excellent ideas for what should be paired with their beloved chip. My advice? Explore how all the reds are with their Bleu Cheese. Venture out and test it yourself. Remember, with red wine, you want it to be stored at 55° F, 10° F below the ideal serving temperature–according to Wine Enthusiast. Light, humidity, and temperature can all affect the red! (Haven’t heard of Wine Enthusiast? Get to reading my wine people!) Some red examples are–Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, etc.

The White:

Once again, look to my new investment for some info on pairing white wine with their chip (Smoked Gouda). Storing white wine is very similar to red. You want the temperature to be in the 55° range, and watch the light and humidity. You want your wine to be somewhat still when storing. Most wine is not meant for aging, however. There is a very small percentage, so drink it up! Who buys wine to store anyway? Here are some white examples–Chardonnay, Muscat, Pinot Grigio, Reisling, etc.

Read their story and you’ll easily see why I couldn’t wait to be involved:

We made Wine Chips because we love wine and we love cheese (who doesn’t?) but realized that putting the cheese IN the wine was a bad idea for both.

So one evening in 2017, over a glass of wine (ok maybe two), we wished for something simple, portable, dip-able, endlessly snack-able, cheese-ladened and delicious.

With my journey involved with Wine Chips, I want to take you with me! What are you thinking thus far?

We Did It!

All hail. Lift One Corridor plan can commence, and it is all thanks to you wonderful Aspen folk. You all have no idea how this will help our community! We are enamored to see the full effect of your voices coming soon! I am so proud to have been apart of the Lift One Corridor campaign. It’s always so wonderful to see the fruits of your labor.

Have you ever thought about the history of Aspen, and we how got our start? History is interesting because it humbles you and gives you the opportunity to learn from it. Some tidbits and thoughts about my city date back to the 1800s. The first set of people here were miners. Silver was actually a big deal way back when, until an act was passed (Sherman Silver Act) and this demonetized silver, destroying our economy within the community. This seemed to be it until someone found a huge chunk of silver, weighing in at 2,350 pounds. I can’t even wrap my head around that! Our rebirth happened after World War II, when Walter Paepcke started businesses that attracted people and created this empire, essentially, of an international ski resort.

Many citizens  who voted against the Lift One Corridor believe that we should focus all our money and energy on the different needs to Aspen. When I read about what some of these people think we need, I don’t disagree! Yes, we need more lanes to help with traffic. I’m not against that. Do you ever think we won’t need something? Needs will never stop. Want’s won’t either. At what point are we allowed to get Aspen something a little extra? While the Lift One Corridor is a big interest, won’t it also totally benefit our city in big ways? I’m ready! Are you? Are you ready to embrace the goodness coming our way? Another thought, whether or not you like Gorsuch Haus, the new building will encourage tourists and community members alike. It will bring so much growth. One brutally honest author put it like this:

Now, picture yourself on World Cup weekend, making love to a Swedish downhill racer on a bearskin rug in front of a fireplace at the newly constructed Gorsuch Haus. There. That should change your perspective.

On a completely different note, I have a secret I can’t wait to share with my people here. Keep reading my weekly blog posts to stay in the know! Exciting things are happening.

Lift One Talk

I love a good many things. I’d say a good chunk is shown on my social media for all others to enjoy or development a sense of enjoyment. Never forget your loves in order to keep you grounded. I love to cook, love to ski, love to travel, love to hike and explore. I love my friends, my family, JR, and my Chanel.
Beyond these loves of mine are channels of promoting love and being open-minded as well as displaying that way of thinking. Lift One Corridor is something I can’t speak enough on. What this plan could do for the city of Aspen is unobtainable. What this plan could do for the economy of Aspen is something you have to think about! Voting for this movement could mean bigger, better, and beneficial. I want to share with you some of the most common questions of this movement:

  1. The Cost:
  2. I know this is on several people’s minds. According to the Times, the plan is for the city to spend $4.36 million in total. If there is any cost running over, it will be covered by Gorsuch Haus and Lift One Lodge. The city won’t invest it’s money until the Lift has been installed and working. Furthermore, the investment is only to be used for certain parts of the plan. You can read more about that here. I know that amount sounds like quite a bit, but think big. The investment of $4.36 million will be a better asset for Aspen.

  3. Will It Go Back to City Council?
  4. According to the Times, no.

    Lift One Lodge has an existing approval from 2011. State law does not allow for more than 10 years in extensions of development rights. Because of the limited remaining time before that state deadline is reached, the only option remaining will be to build the existing approval if the vote fails. The 2011 approval does not have room for the lift to come down.
  5. Housing
  6. The development partners for the plan will provide housing for 67 employees. Over the next 30 years, there will be more money generated with the two lodges and will more than triple the amount of housing provided.

Digest these facts for a minute. If you are on the fence about the Lift One Corridor Plan, I encourage you to do your own research. The Aspen Times has been really good about keep the community informed, and follow me on Instagram or here for some updates!

What are your thoughts and feelings about this plan? I’d love to hear from you!

Supporting Autism Awareness

I love having fun times with friends while able to support awareness groups at the same time! That’s what Sunday night was for me. It was a time to reflect and be informed about children and adults on the Autism spectrum. Sometimes I don’t think we stop to understand what these spectacular humans go through day by day. Raising awareness in order to support those who need it is an important way to contribute. I drew so much inspiration from Julie Manning, who (as I said on my post) poured her heart, soul, and every fiber in her body to help people with autism. I cannot thank Ascendigo enough for everything they do in order to help and be active in a society such as today. It’s during times like these that we need that light to shine for the world and Ascendigo has. You can give here and become an active contributor as well!

Allow me to share a little about all Ascendigo does. Ascendigo Autism Services is a nonprofit organization based in Aspen, Colorado. Gosh, just another reason I love my city! They offer a summer camp and other services in order to support those with Autism in the world today. They have quite a few programs they offer as ways to engage with the community. Their three core programs include: Adventures, Life Enrichment, and Outreach. Their outreaches aren’t events done in just the winter or summer. They can occur during every season. Ascendigo has these adventures beginning in September that include biking, swimming, hiking, lake sports, pumpkin patch, hay rides, and much more! I just think it’s so neat, how much this organization does for these amazing humans. Check them out on Facebook too!

A review written by a family member of someone with autism:

I am so excited to announce that last year we sent my nephew Michael to this most amazing camp for people with autism last year called “Ascendigo” in Colorado, for his continuous accomplishments on holding a 4.0 GPA and winning the Special Olympics in his hometown, “now 3 years in a row”! They called us and asked that he come back as a volunteer to teach others and be apart of their program. He made such an impression!! If all goes well this year, he is invited back next year as an employee at this spectacular camp! I am so proud of him and I hope he realizes what a true gem he is to his family and everyone around him! Yay Michael!!!!

Valentine Week Update

It’s Valentine’s week and it’s my favorite. I’m always game for an excuse to celebrate, but Valentine’s Day is super important to me. It’s JR and I’s anniversary! I can’t speak enough life about JR and what he means to me. He is my rock, my person. He makes Aspen 10 times better. In everything I’m involved in, he shows his total support. He has definitely spoiled me on this Valentine’s Day. JR surprised me and took me to a couple’s massage at the Regen Aspen. It was amazing. I love surprises! I felt double spoiled with my new jewelry. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, go do it now to be in the know. While you’re there, you might also see I spent some time with my gals for what we call, “Galentine’s.” It was Domino night the night before Valentine’s. It was wine, dine, and Dominoes!

I talked a lot of the Bumble Powder 8 AND Lift 1 last week. I feel as if I owe it to my dedicated readers to update you. I thought Julianne and I did great. While we didn’t win the actual competition, we won best dressed! It was a fun weekend competing with my best friend Julianne Murphy! Thank you Charlie Givens for producing such an awesome event, Regen Aspen for getting me healthy enough to compete, Racy Suits for our ski ensembles, Delyx Ltd. for our beanies, Freeskier Magazine for awarding Team Haute Sauce as best dressed, and our fabulous practice partners Candice Gorsuch, Kelli, JR, and Chris Souki! Unforgettable weekend for sure in the books!

Not only did this happen, but I am still promoting Lift 1. I have several articles and opinions written about this on my Facebook account, but just in case you didn’t see them, I have them linked throughout this post as well. Don’t hesitate to click on them to learn more about how Lift 1 is affecting Aspen in a positive way. I want to thank all my friends who have shown their support. I’ll update you more on this next month, as the voting date is scheduled for March 5. This is what I posted, from Vanessa Corona, on my page about The Lift 1 Corridor:

Scenario A (for Aspen), we vote “yes” and get:

• A new lift that we can walk to

• Two new lodges where lodging belongs at the base of Aspen Mountain

• World Cup racing (for kids who grow up here, this is a big deal)

• Great additions to our otherwise weak apres scene

• Parks, open space, a corridor up the mountain

• A ski history museum

Scenario D (for “dumb”), we vote no and get:

• Lift One Lodge (it’s already approved), but the lift can never come down

• An empty monster mansion where Gorsuch Haus is planned (that’s allowed under so-called conservation zoning)

• No new lift (remember how much it sucked when Lift 1A broke down for three weeks in 2016?)

• No future World Cup racing

If you vote “no,” what kind of the legacy are you leaving for younger generations? Are you really against keeping Aspen a world-class and World Cup ski resort?

One last thought, Lindsey Vonn retired Sunday after an amazing career; she’s from Vail, where the World Cup happens every year. If Aspen votes “no,” can we really keep bashing Vail? Vail will continue to be connected to Europe and the rest of the World Cup circuit.

Meanwhile, Aspen will be remembered as a place where great ski racing used to happen.

Vote “yes” and please don’t isolate Aspen from the world by making our town a subpar ski arena where only NASTAR races happen.

What are your thoughts on Lift 1? What are you doing this week with your person? Maybe your person(s) is your best friend instead of a significant other! What adventures did you find yourself in? Leave me your comments!

Skiing Up For Vote and Competition

Let me bring your attention to a vote! I really do plan on living in Aspen for the rest of my life. I believe with utmost certainty that if we’re not growing, we’re falling behind. Aspen is the most amazing ski town in our country, so let’s continue to prove why we are so incredibly special! March 5th is the big day to vote for Lift 1. Future generations will be grateful if you vote yes! It is a once in a generation project that brings Lift 1 closer to downtown, a new public plaza, new parks, and open space for the community, a museum of Aspen ski history, and preservation of iconic buildings. Let’s have a conversation! 25 days left to vote.

You can register to vote online (www.govotecolorado.com; www.pitkincounty.com)or by submitting an application to the Pitkin County clerk’s office through mail or in person. With your vote as a registered voter in the right county, we would be able to host the World Cup along with other great events. This would ensure Aspen as a top resort in our country! Think of how much revenue and reward this could bring.

Speaking of skiing, my friend, Julianne Murphy, and I were accepted to compete in the Bumble Powder 8 competition February 8! We are Team Haute Sauce. I am super excited to be with one of my close friends and do what I love! This thing could last 2 days in order to have some elimination, but the winners take home $10,000! Finals will be February 9th (fingers crossed) and will be live-streamed! Through sickness and in health, I’m practicing for this competition, putting in long hours of training. I really couldn’t do this without the support of JR!
Did I mention sickness? I have felt like dirt for a while and went in to visit Regen Aspen for some iVitamin Therapy. I highly recommend this! They put in all the vitamins that your immune system and body needs! I love that it is natural and isn’t an over the counter drug. Sometimes I get so sick of drugs to help you feel better. For those of you in a price frenzy, I have the link here. The natural way is usually the best way. Dr. Gail King is at least worth the Google. They offer more than just IV Therapy at Regen Aspen. Check it out! I’m back on my feet in the most natural and rejuvenated way!

Bahama Mama

Yes, we made it. Yes, we enjoyed ourselves! I mean, how could we not? Baha Mar was beautiful and between Rosewood and SLS, the views were breathtaking! JR and I had a blast with friends and each other. Both Baha Mars offer just about anything you can think of. They have fine dining, libraries, golf, tennis, and even things for children. The list goes on. From the food to the party, it was perfect. We had a whole crew there! It’s so much fun to go on trips with a whole bunch of just plain awesome people.

Notice the SLS Baha Mar view I took! This is what I got to wake up to on a gorgeous morning! The trek here from Aspen took us two days of cancelled and delayed flights but it was definitely worth it! I have been SO impressed with the service, views, amenities, restaurants @katsuyabysbe (one of my favs) and the amazing group of people who came out to celebrate our dear friend’s birthday! What a fine group of friends he has which only shows what an awesome guy he is! Thank you for having us!

I had my toes in the sand, and Rosé in my hand… loving life. We celebrated one of our dear friend’s birthday! His wife is an angel! So impressed with the planning, amazing group of people and non-stop laughter! The bikini and wrap I found using Stylust.com. All you have to do is tag @stylust on any Instagram pic, and they will find you the outfit, shoes, or bag! It’s genius! Sunglasses are by @blenderseyewear promo-code: CHECKOUTAMANDA20. Use it up! I’ve talked about Blenders Eyewear in the past. I got my ski eyewear from there. If you follow me on Instagram, you’d know that I love to give my go-to places credit!

This year is kicking off to a great start! I’d love to here about yours thus far! Is there a resolution you’ve made and you’re sticking with pretty well? I wanted to travel and be present. I have many, but these are a few. I think I’ve been doing well in 30 days! It’s just one thing after another and that’s how we roll. Aspen is always full of community and surprises. Just the other day after the Bahamas, we went to the Winter X Games! Take a look at some of the highlights! Would you go and watch these live if they were in your neighborhood? That’s my style. Follow me on Instagram (@checkoutamanda) and Facebook to keep up with our latest!

Sun Basket Delivery!

At the end of the day, isn’t your time much more valuable than you may consider? There are so many things in today’s world that can cut your time in half. From our smartphones to the washer and dryer, our country is awesome, is it not? One of the greatest inventions are meals being delivered to your door. You don’t have to spend minutes or hours thinking of ingredients for meals and then going to the grocery store to purchase those ingredients. Sun Basket is truly the best and if you follow me on Instagram (@checkoutamanda), you’d know that Sun Basket is a regular in the Vanderpool residence. I LOVE to cook. Delivered meals are taking off, with a lot of people diving into all the different food services out there. I have blogged on it before and will keep investing in Sun Basket. Follow the link I attached and check it out if nothing else. Want to give it a try? Go here to get $40 off your first order. Sometimes, they offer deals with more money off. I dare you to give it a try!

So, I have to share my cooking experience tonight. I take all of the food and prep them. I like to have everything measured and prepped before I begin cooking. While I’m cooking, I love using Alexa. Is anyone else out there an Alexa fan? She helps me set the time. I can have three different timers set at the same time. It’s so convenient. While everything is cooking away, I’ll wash any dish that needs washing. Of course while I’m cooking, I love to pour a glass of wine and listen to some music. It makes it more fun!

Chipotle Turkey Chili with Cucumber Sumac SaladThis is heavenly. I had fun prepping and cooking this.

  1. Prep the chili ingredients
  • Cut a small corner from the ground turkey packaging and drain off any excess liquid.
  • Transfer to a plate; pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Peel and finely chop enough shallots to measure ¼ cup (½ cup).
  • Scrub or peel the sweet potato. Cut the potato into ½-inch pieces.

   2. Cook the chili

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until lightly browned but not yet cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, smoky chili spice blend, and as much chipotle chile powder as you like and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the sweet potato, tomatoes, and 2 cups (3 cups) water and season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is tender, the turkey is cooked through, and the chili has thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

When the chili is almost done, prepare the salad.

   3. Make the salad

  • Peel the cucumber, if desired; cut the cucumber into enough ½-inch pieces to measure 3 cups (6 cups).
  • Coarsely chop the cilantro; set aside half for garnish.

In a large bowl, toss together the cucumber, 1 tablespoon (2 TBL) oil, half the cilantro, and as much sumac as you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
What’s really neat about Sun Basket is that they are so healthy. I love to cook, and while Sun Basket delivers the ingredients and recipe to my door, they allow me the pleasure of still doing what I love!

2019

It’s a new year. A brand new one! It’s a time for love; a time for adventure; a time for you! I am ready to encounter whatever comes next and can’t wait for this year and what it has in store for JR and me. What is it about the new year that makes us take a deep breath and think to start over? I’ve reflected on 2018 and now am ready to conquer 2019!

  • Love the people who surround you and love you. Those should be people that will unconditionally have your back. Those are the people that would drop anything in order to help you out or be there for you in the really tough times. I know who my people are. Have you thought about that? Love your family hard. Love your spouses, your girlfriends, your boyfriends, your friends hard. Spread love ultimately trumps any hate.
  • Adventure is just waiting for you to dive in. I’ve been diving in and want that to stay for my new year. I want to keep exploring, little and big. It doesn’t have to be Japan, but maybe for you, it’s hiking or stepping out of your comfort zone to be a little more social. Maybe it’s trying out new meals on a restaurant menu, or staying overnight in a new city just to explore what they have to offer. If you’re shooting for big, maybe it’s travelling around the country in your car or going to a different country. If that’s your dream, sit down and write it down. Write down your budget and how you plan on getting there. Make it happen!
  • You are important. Focusing on you is not a selfish thing. Yes, we can act selfishly out of being human, but bettering yourself will make you better for others. I truly believe this and have blogged about it once before! Self-reflect, meditate, be quiet. Do what centers you. Maybe that’s getting your body healthy on the outside or inside. Maybe that’s centering yourself spiritually and rejuvenating your beliefs. What are you passionate about? Whatever life is throwing at you, just remember, this year and years after, not to lose who you are and what you’re passionate about.

It was an awesome beginning with JR racing in Ajax Cup on New Year’s Eve! For his birthday on the third, we went to hiked to Highlands Peak for the Highlands Bowl. It was beautiful, and some even claim it to be life changing. After this new experience, I’d have to agree. The energy on the ridged edge is what drives me to keep hiking through these mini adventures on the Aspen mountains. It isn’t just the walls of white surrounding me, but the thrill of the descent, and the majesty of the Earth. The only way to the top is putting one foot in front of the other. I want to personally thank the Highland Ski Patrol for making it safe for all the skiers to participate in the Bowl! What a dream.

So, what are your aspirations or resolutions for this new year?