Master Bedroom Update and DIY Shoe Wall pt. 1

Hi Guys!!

I am finally feeling rested after our four days at the Aspen Food and Wine Classic today.  It was one of the funnest experiences I have had and can't wait to give you the full recap later this week, but it is always nice get home!  As I mentioned last week, Jonny and I are traveling quite a bit this summer and our master bedroom update has made for such a relaxing (and organized) space to come home to!

Until recently, for the last four years that Jonny and I have lived in our house, my shoes scattered our closet floor and various areas of our house.  Obviously not his favorite thing about me.  Now I (almost) look forward to unpacking because our home looks and feels so much more organized with the addition of some extra storage.

When I posted this photo of our new shoe wall on instagram a few weeks ago, I got a lot of questions about the specifics.  And I wanted to share exactly what we got because we did this update for a fraction of what I thought was possible.

I figured a ceiling high, book shelf would have to be custom built, which means $$$, but after a little research I found that this would be perfect! And we purchased and installed ours for under $200.  We bought the $69 Billy Bookshelf from Ikea, with the $35 extender for an extra shelf and 3 extra shelves $10 each.  I paid $80 for Ikea to deliver and assemble (so worth it!).  If you do not have an Ikea near you, it is also available on Amazon for a bit more!  I almost purchased this one originally (love the detail!), but I love the versatility of the Billy.

I added 3 extra shelves in addition to the extender on top which gives me plenty of storage.  I love that you we were able to move the shelves around and have space for heels, boots, and flats.  And we also made a shelf for that fits several baskets for my flip flops and slippers.  These are the baskets that I have, but I LOVE these and this 3 pack is great too.

Along with this $12 clothing rack I purchased that day to help with planning outfits for upcoming trips and shoots, our bedroom was instantly more organized and I can't believe that we have gone as long as we did without the extra storage (especially since it can be done so affordably!).  

I will be sharing the details from the rest of our bedroom update next week.  And as always please feel free to send along your questions!!

The Full Scoop on Shein

Hi Guys!

I am packing and planning away for a busy weekend ahead in Aspen and then a few trips in the coming weeks.  I am heading up for the Aspen Food and Wine Classic this weekend - something that has been on my bucket list for a long time, so am pretty dang excited!! If you have been, would love any tips!! 

You may have seen this dress on my Instagram story last week as I was starting to pack for this weekend and I got several questions about it.  Many of you may recognize it as the Self Portrait  ($510) dress of the season, but actually it is a fantastic dupe.  

I am often asked what I think about Shein and similar retailers like Chicwish and I must say, that I am always pleasantly surprised with the product.  In no way is the fabric quality what you would get if you were spending 5 or 10 times the price, but for trendy pieces that aren't worth the investment the fabric is perfect.

When I first ordered from the site, I had a hard time believing that they were legit.  With prices of dresses and tops usually below $20 it sounds a little too good to be true.   However, 9 times out of 10 I have had a good experience (taking this amazing skirt this weekend, and remember this?).

I have 4 rules that I use when shopping these online retailers that always ensure that I end up with good product and not disappointed.

1.  Read the reviews! I know this sounds obvious, but it is so helpful in ensuring you get what you want.  Usually someone has tried the piece before you and if they hated it or loved it will leave a review (see reviews from my dress here).

2. Set expectations! Know you are not getting a $500 dress for $20, but you can still find some fun/trendy pieces without breaking the bank! 

3. Order early! If you find something you like, don't wait.  Shipping can take a few weeks since it is coming from overseas and if it is a popular item even longer.

4. Mix and Match! Mix your new pieces with old investment pieces and no one will never know what a bargain you got! (Unless you are me and you share it loud and proud)!

My dress and the original are in the gallery below (on the blog) so you can compare yourself.  Hope you have a wonderful week!

xo

Lemon Picking and the Perfect Print

Hi there!

I somehow completely spaced blogging some of my very favorite pictures from my Palm Springs trip last month. What. The. Heck! #oops

As you know, I went to visit my grandparents.  We had the best time.  Nana showed me around their property and we spent time playing cards and picking fruit from the trees surrounding their house.  My grandmother is almost 89 and one of the best bridge players in Colorado.  That is amazing in and of itself, but her love for cards keeps her young and she is one of the whitiest people I know.  

I had a quick photo shoot with a local photographer Erica (if you are ever in need of a photographer in Palm Springs - she is a doll!) and my nana asked if Erica could ever use any of my grandmothers printed pictures in her photography and on my blog, so we said she should hold her photo (above) so I could be sure to include it in the post :).

I have more of these Jackie cardigan sets than is probably ok to admit, but I think they get the more use than almost anything in my closet.  I wear them mismatched like I did here or as a set for luncheons and meetings.  This cardigan comes in an adorable set and has just been restocked in all sizes!  I also love this original plain cardigan that comes in 13 colors and on sale ($29-$49).  One of my other favorites is also on sale with limited sizes available - I wore it (here and am wearing an xs).

My skirt is old and one of my go-to summer pieces.  I found similar options here, here, and here that would be perfect for casual brunch or date nights. My tank is from local boutique Inspyre - (they have great graphic tees!).  And you can still get my wicker and leather crossbody here - it is the perfect size if you have a summer vacation planned!  You know who got a hold of mine (seriously nothing is safe with Sir Stan around!), will be getting another one for our upcoming trips.

The Perfect Colorado Road Trip

Hi there, happy Friday!

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In case you missed my Instagram story from last weekend.  I wanted to be sure to fill you in on our fun filled road trip that we took over the long weekend.  Until our road trip to Montana last summer, I had forgotten how much fun they are.  When my sisters and I were little we would take one long road trip as a family a year.  We would pack up our suburban, make a bed with sleeping bags on one row of the seats and listen to The Lion King on repeat (my poor parents).  

This was similar, except with two of Jonny and my best friends and we replaced sleeping bags with dog beds and The Lion King with Hamilton (poor Molly and Brandon).  I guess some things will never change.  

We left Denver Thursday evening and stayed at our cabin in Silverthorne to get an early jump on the drive to Palisade Friday morning.  Palisade is about four hours from Denver (3 from Silverthorne) so we got there just in time to enjoy lunch on the patio (with the pups) at Palisade Brewing Company.  We checked into our adorable airbnb that was set on the sweetest little farm.  Our puppies had a blast playing with the baby goats on the property and swimming in the Colorado River right behind the house. 

We reserved the rest of the afternoon for exploring the Palisade wineries (which I was pretty skeptical about)... We first picked up our cruisers from Rapid Creek Cycles - they were so nice and helpful mapping out our route and gave us so many wonderful recommendations - I can't recommend them enough.  I had no idea the wine tasting would be so extensive in Palisade.  I have always known that Palisade was known for their peaches, but I have never thought of Colorado as being hot spot for vineyards. Honestly, I don't know exactly what I was picturing?  Something like 3 or 4 tasting rooms lined up in a strip mall, maybe?  But that wasn't the case at all.  The bike rental shop gave us a map with a 7 mile loop with wineries scattered throughout.  I was still skeptical.  After our first stop, I was on board, and after our second stop at the Meadery (honey wine) I was in love! The scenery could not have been more beautiful - pastel homes and buildings, lush gardens and wineries, rivers, and the prettiest backdrop all along the way.  We are all already planning our next trip for the Wine Fest this fall. 

Before leaving Palisade Saturday morning, we took our time and grabbed breakfast at the Slice O Life Bakery (they had amazing peach and lavender lemonade!) and got on the road to Telluride.  Telluride is another gorgeous 3 hour drive from Palisade through several small towns and over a scenic pass that drops you into town.

We checked into The Lumiere. OMG. We were all so impressed with this hotel.  The staff, the accommodations, and their doggy hospitality.  Upon arrival, they upgraded both of our parties to ensure that we would have enough room for our pups to play.  I have stayed in some pretty rooms before, but this was definitely one of the biggest!  I feel like I always write about shoulder/mudd season in Colorado because it is definitely our favorite times to travel.  You get beautiful weather and the mountain towns are still sleepy so you can find incredible deals too!

The Lumiere is located in Mountain Village so we rode the free gondola into town for most meals/activities.  Our first night we went to Sidework, a speakeasy in town, and had an early night before our hike Sunday morning.  Sunday, we hiked the Jud Wiebe Trail, which was the perfect intermediate hike (about a 3 1/2 mile loop plus an extra mile to go back and see the waterfall).  We had lunch in town afterwards at Brown Dog Pizza, the puppies snoozed outside with about 6 other dogs at the dog parking spots (so cute!).   We also loved dinner at Oak 221 and our lunch on the way out of town at The Butcher and Baker

We all agreed that we could have spent weeks exploring Telluride.  It is definitely my new second favorite mountain town (Vail will always have my heart).

Have a great weekend! 

xo

My Favorite Happy Hours in Denver

Happy Friday!

I always feel like summer has truly arrived when Memorial Day Weekend is here.  I have been getting a lot of questions about the nightlife and party scene in Denver.  And although my days of last calls and dance clubs are well behind me (mostly... last weekend was a fluke, guys!) long happy hours in the sunshine are my jam! I wanted to share my list with you guys of my favorite places to happy hour in Denver!

1. Postino

On a typical warm weather week, you can find me, Jonny and Stanley on the patio of Postino, enjoying $5 peach bellinis (me) and $5 pitchers of Saison (Jonny), at least twice.  Their patio is huge so there is never a long wait for a great table and the staff is incredibly friendly (fun fact, my middle school boyfriend works there. Hi Tyler!) be sure to tell him hi if you see him.  My girlfriends and I (remember Bethany from this post and this post?!) love the $5 before 5:00 or $20 board and bottles on Monday's and Tuesday's which include a bottle of wine and 4 different bruschettas... yummmm!!!

2. Recess

On casual afternoon or evening with friends we love heading to Recess  (it is also neighbor to Postino so it is easy to go back and forth).  It is Stanley's favorite bar for for sure.  It is the most doggy friendly bar and we love being able to meet our friends for a fun pup date - my favorite happy hour deal are the $6 Moscow Mules and $7 bites 3-7pm Monday through Friday!

3. Tupelo Honey 

Ok, this is on my to-try list! Every time I have tried to go since it opened a few weeks ago something unexpected has popped up (seriously can't believe I haven't been yet!)! Any place that has a happy hour called "The Six Dolla Holla Ya'll" sounds like somewhere I want to be and $6 glasses of wine, $4 tall boys, and $8 Cherry Bomb Frozé definitely is definitely a perfect happy hour!

4 Mizu Izakaya

Mizu opened recently in Lohi and since we rarely leave our little bubble, Jonny and I were thrilled to have a new sushi spot in the neighborhood! They have $5 rolls and drinks and apps before 6pm and after 9pm.

5. Coperta

Coperta recently hosted our first Blogger Social Club event (filling you in on this more soon - in the mean time sign up here if you are interested!) and the drinks were so delicious! They made the prettiest aperol spritzes which are $5 for their Apertivo Hour.  They also serve yummy snacks for $3-$7 2-6pm Monday through Friday and 4-6pm on weekends.

6. Quality Italian

Just yesterday a friend of mine and I were stopped at the mall and a group of people asked us where they should go for drinks in Cherry Creek.  I immediately sent them to Quality Italian.  The scene is so fun and food is seriously heaven in your mouth! Not happy hour, but still amazing, they did just open for brunch - woo hoo!!!

7. The Way Back

The Way Back has the most creative cocktails I have ever tried.  The bartender was like a mind reader.  I told him specifically what I didn't love and he brought me my favorite drink that I have ever had (I wish I could remember all of the ingredients... but it was delicious!).  Take a peek at their yummy happy hour menu here!

8. Linger

Always a fan fav. Always has been, and always will be on my list for friends when they are coming to visit to stop by for happy hour, dinner or bottomless brunch! And the rooftop is the perfect spot to sit and and enjoy views of the city in the summer (see a few pics from last summer here).  I love their $6 prosecco, $5 cocktails, and $5 snacks Monday - Friday 4-6:30!

9. Avanti

They don't have any specials per se, but it is one of the best views of downtown and it is the perfect place to go with a group because of the cafeteria style set up! Drinks are typically about $10

10.  Toss Up

It was a toss up between Los Chingones, LaLa's, and the Art Hotel's Fire Lounge and my friend Molly we are traveling with this weekend broke the three way tie and said that she and her fiancé love the views at the Fire Lounge!

We are just leaving on our Colorado road trip, what are your plans for the long weekend?! Would love any recommendations for Palisade or Telluride!

Garden of the Gods Club Girls Getaway

Hi Friends!

I am so happy to see a little bit of sunshine this week.  Last week was pretty gloomy, I was starting to think I lived somewhere other than Colorado.  The weather here can definitely be unpredictable, but it is typically sunny more often than not, so several gloomy days in a row had me in an unusual funk!

Luckily the weather just missed my girls weekend with Leah from Eat Pray Wear love, and Lacey from My Boring Closet at Garden of the Gods Club and we were blessed with a couple gorgeous days in Colorado Springs.  We were able to enjoy views from the beautiful infinity pool overlooking the Kissing Camels rock formations and could even see Pikes Peak!

Colorado Springs is only about an hour and a half from Denver, but our trip a few weeks ago, was my first time to Garden of the Gods since I was a little girl.  It is absolutely stunning and I can't wait to go back with Jonny.  He is a huge golfer and I can imagine the views from the Kissing Camels course are fantastic.

Obviously no girls weekend would be complete without room service and a trip to the spa.  After filling up on our delicious spread I went to join Leah and Lacey at the Spa at the Garden of the Gods Club.  My back was a little sore for some reason so asked for an extra deep tissue massage and it was amazing!  After my massage, I relaxed in the cozy relation room and sat in the Himalayan Salt Room before heading to my pedicure (also amazing!).  I felt so relaxed and beyond pampered.  I am actually getting sleepy just thinking about it.

The Garden of the Gods Club is a private country club as well as beautiful resort.  Since staying there several friends have told me that they have attended some amazing weddings here as well (I believe it!).  We enjoyed the yummiest tasting dinner at the formal restaurant at the Club.  And I can't say enough about our knowledgable server and each member of the staff that we encountered.

You may remember, I left a little early so I could get home to see a movie with my mom for Mother's Day.  I did miss out on a visit to the BodPod which is a pod that accurately calculates fat vs. lean muscle mass. I definitely hope to try it sometime soon to get an in depth understanding of my caloric needs as well as possible health risks.  Cool, right?!!

I am starting to pack for a fun road trip Jonny and I are headed on with some friends this weekend.  I would love to hear about the summer trips you have planned.  As always let me know if you have any questions or suggestions of things you would like me to cover!  You can shop all of our looks in the scrolling galleries (above or below within this post!).

This post is in collaboration with Garden of the Gods Collection . As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

Evening at Alamo DraftHouse

Hi Guys!

Last week was an absolute whirlwind! I was playing catch up all week from my travel the prior week on emails, meetings, calls, and events.  Sometimes I feel like going out of town can be so stressful because I have so much to do when I get back.  The house is a disaster, my suitcase has exploded and taken over our bedroom, and I always have to retrain my body to get back on a regular workout routine (thats for a whole other post).  Luckily I had carved out a little time for fun in my schedule - and the grand opening of the Alamo Drafthouse did not disappoint! 

When Jonny and I first started dating we saw a new movie every week.  As our schedules have gotten fuller, we are pretty picky about how we spend our time and until now have not had the option to enjoy dinner AND a movie in the same venue unless we  drive at least 30 minutes from Denver. So I could not be more thrilled that their is now an Alamo Drafthouse (Sloans Lake) so close to us.

I bumped into a familiar face (Lacey from My Boring Closet - you met her here and here), at the grand opening and before exploring the theater, we were greeted by some rapping magicians on a tilt-o-whirl tuk tuk (I think??)... they insisted we take a ride and "raise the roof", which we of course could not pass up!  I doubt they will be at every movie, but they definitely made for a wonderful first impression.

Jonny and I are already planning our next movie date and can't wait to try the full dine in movie experience.  If you saw my instagram post last week, then you know that the weather was INSANE so getting dressed last week was a little interesting.  I went with this new favorite, lightweight top ($16) (also comes in white)! I have worn it with these white jeans ($59) and these navy shorts ($125) too!  And I wore my favorite OLD sailor trousers, so I am sorry to say they are out of stock, but I found a very similar pair here ($35) and here ($40).

What great movies have you seen lately? Would love to hear your recs!

xo

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Alamo Drafthouse. The opinions and text are all mine.

Palm Print in Palm Springs

Happy Friyay, Friends!

I've sure missed you guys! If you follow me on Instagram you may have picked up that I had a packed travel itinerary last week.  I started out in Palm Springs visting my grandparents and it was so nice to spend uninterrupted, quality time with them.  As we all get a little older I do my best to take in and cherish every moment with my loved ones.  And this time with my Nana and Papa was especially important because I rarely get to spend more than a few hours at a time with them.

Photography: Erica Mendenhall // Location: Palm Springs, CA

Photography: Erica Mendenhall // Location: Palm Springs, CA

When I was deciding what to pack for Palm Springs, Scottsdale, and Chicago, honestly I was a little overwhelmed! The idea of squeezing outfits for three cities, multiple events, and very different climates made my head spin a bit.  At the end of the day, I had a few things that worked for me (more on that next week!).  But the one thing I knew was I wanted to find the perfect palm print to wear while I was in Palm Springs.  And I was thrilled when I found these palm print overalls!

Anyone else been resisting the overall trend? Me too. I thought these were a great way for me to ease into it! They are advertised as a romper (or playsuit.. potato/pot-a-to), but they definitely need a little top under (I like this one, this one with ruffles or this one $12), so I think they are definitely in more of the overall category!  I opted to size up so the shorts would be longer, but if you are looking for a tighter/shorter fit I would say it runs true to size.

While I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get ready for my trip(s).  I stopped by a new boutique in Denver, Billie and got these sunnies and this adorable lemon print top!  This clutch is so perfect for vacation and summer and I even wore it dressed up in rainy Chicago.

What are your Cinco de Mayo or Derby plans this weekend?!  

xo

Mercury Retrograde and J.Mclaughlin swing dress

Hi Guys!

I heard someone say yesterday that Mercury was in retrograde and I completely believe it!  I made it safely to California to visit my grandparents, but getting here was quite the battle.  Mercury Retrograde may be a wives tale, but it sure would explain a lot.  Apparently we are at a peak retrograde season which rules travel delays, communication issues, contracts, which you can imagine is not ideal when you are 1) changing you name (more about this in another post!) 2) traveling.

I spent Monday going back and forth to the SS office... (yes Jonny and I have been married for 2 1/2 years and I am just changing my name).  Then the DMV and they were still unable to change my name because I only brought a copy of my marriage license and not the original (so then I had changed my name at the passport office, social security, but not DMV).  As you can imagine this made things a little tricky at the airport!  

Because my names didn't match (although I have been using my maiden and married name for two years) and I only had my temporary license and non matching passport, I was flagged for double screening.  I very much appreciate the lengths TSA is taking to keep us all safe so, no complaints there, but the name change is such. a. pain!!!!! I barely made my flight and had almost as much trouble renting my car.

As you can imagine I couldn't be happier to be relaxing and spending time with my grandparents.  I can't wait to share more with you from my trip with them.  I wore this dress to dinner with Nana and Papa my first night here.  I wanted to be a little more casual so wore sandals and a cardigan over my shoulders, but I am already planning to wear it with pumps (like these) to a wedding this summer!  Sizing wise, I am wearing a 0 and hemmed it about two inches (I am 5 '2ish) so am sure to tailor a lot of my dresses to get the exact fit that I want!

Hope you are having a wonderful week! I am off to Scottsdale tomorrow for Molly's bachelorette (crossing my fingers I have a little better luck traveling tomorrow!).  If you have any recommendations please send them my way!  

Spring catch up with J. Mclaughlin

Happy Monday!

Yesterday Jonny and I were surprised with a free afternoon.  We have always loved being busy, and the two of us over schedule ourselves to a fault, which I am sure a lot of you can relate to.  So realizing we had an afternoon with no commitments, and the most beautiful spring weather to enjoy was certainly a welcomed surprise.  

In case you were wondering, that is why I was little quiet on social media yesterday.  I was enjoying the gorgeous day with Jonny.  He pointed out that I kept repeating how beautiful the day was, but it truly was one of the most gorgeous spring days so far.  As a blogger, my work is always at my fingertips and so accessible, I have to remind myself the importance of having quiet social media free time.  

I am so thankful for rejuvenating  days like yesterday to prepare me for days like today.  A little glimpse at today's to - do list: catch up on work, dog trainer for Stanley (Stanley ate our carpet this weekend.... so there's that!),  social security office, new license, pack for 3 trips in 8 days. Yikes!  By the way, for those of you that guessed Palm Springs on my post on instagram - you got it! Tomorrow I am headed to Palm Springs to visit my grand parents then on to Scottsdale for my dear friends bachelorette then to Chicago for my mother in laws birthday next week.

When I have a series of trips like I have coming up, I am sure to pack lightweight sweaters like this one from J.Mclaughlin.  It is beautiful quality and can be dressed up with jeans and heels, worn with dresses or skirts, or casual with shorts.  I also love the length of their shorts - not too short or too long and the scallop detail is such a sweet touch.  I now have a few of their gorgeous accessories and (first warn here) I can't get enough of them!  This purse is the perfect size for travel so will definitely be coming with me this week (also love this one  this one and just got this one)!

This post is in collaboration with J.Mclaughlin . As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

Easter Mountain Weekend

Hi Friends!

Photography: Jenny Nelson

Photography: Jenny Nelson

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend.  I was lucky enough to spend the entire weekend with my family.  Jonny, Zoe, my mom and I spent the Easter weekend enjoying Spring Back to Vail which was an absolute blast! Anytime you are able to ski in shorts/leggings and grill mountain top it is sure to be a great time!  If you watched my Instagram story, you saw that Jonny participated in the World Pond Skimming Championship.  If you don't know what I am talking about (here) is a little video, and no he didn't make it across... he is already planning out his strategy for next year!

As we get older, it seems quality time with our families is harder to coordinate.  With busy schedules and double (sometimes triple or quadruple) the family to visit on holidays, it can sometimes be hard to slow down and truly enjoy the time with our loved ones.  My heart is always so full after time with mine - as I am sure yours is too! And I am always reminded how important making time for quality time is.

I originally brought this dress ($24) and blazer for Easter brunch (please excuse the wrinkles... I packed in about 3 minutes 🙈) but it was so sunny and warm I ended up wearing it to dinner one night instead.  My furry blazer is currently sold out, but I am sure will be restocked soon.   My dress is great for lunch meetings and I have a friend or two that I have already promised to lend it to for their bridal showers.  The weight makes it a perfect spring/summer transition dress and I love the bow and fringe details.  

Each spring I always stock up on things that I know I will need next fall/winter because you can always get the best deals.  For me, right now, I know I am looking for skis and snow pants (I like these and these).  But it is also a great time to snag boots that you have been eyeing! I like these $70 ( 5 colors!), these $59, and these $70.  Have you found any great spring sales?  I would love to know what you are looking for!

Have a wonderful day!

xo

48 Hour Girls Getaway Vail Itinerary

Hi Guys!

Location: Four Seasons Vail // Photography: Jenny Nelson

Location: Four Seasons Vail // Photography: Jenny Nelson

It has been a week since I returned from my fantastic girls weekend in Vail with Emily and Victoria.  I shared a little about the first part of our trip (here) - it was such a refreshing and welcomed time with old friends.  

Jonny, and Emily's husband, Tom, go on an annual boy's golf trip so we decided we definitely deserved a retreat of our own.  Emily and I met in college when our husbands (then boyfriends) were roommates.  You can imagine the immediate bonding that takes place when you are the only two females visiting in a mice infested frat house (not kidding!).  9 years later, we live on opposite sides of the country and it never feels like a day has passed when we get together.  Em introduced me to her childhood friend Victoria at her bachelorette and we hit it off and have been planning our reunion ever since.

I am often asked about my favorite places for a girls trip in Denver (check out some of my favs here, here, and here), but it is no secret that I love Vail and with the mountains so accessible I always recommend getting out of town to enjoy the scenery a bit if possible.  

Upon our arrival on Friday at the Four Seasons Vail we were greeted with the most beautiful display of goodies.  I am always so impressed by their attention to even the tiniest detail.  My friends pointed out they even replicated my logo on a piece of chocolate, which made my day!  After getting settled in, we went down to The Remedy Bar for an afternoon drink before heading out for some exploring.

Whenever friends visit for the first time I am always overly cautious about everyone staying hydrated.  Altitude sickness is a real thing, guys so we were sure to drink lots of water on this trip and you should too!  Next we walked around town and stopped at a few of my favorite boutiques (shared them here!).  We obviously worked up an appetite so stopped in the Red Lion for a quick snack.  We were bummed that we had just missed the live music (my favorite!), but the delicious nachos almost made up for it!  We had a light dinner at an adorable local spot - Up The Creek (more about them here) and went to bed early to prepare for a fun filled Saturday!

Emily and I got up early to ski Saturday morning, although the snow left little to be desired, you still can't beat clear blue skies and sunshine on the mountain.  Victoria has never skied and decided she was going to enjoy a relaxing morning at the hotel before meeting up with us.  Since Victoria had never been on a chairlift before we wanted to make sure that she was also able to enjoy the views so we made reservations at the 10th (insider tip: if you are not skiing and purchase a chairlift ticket for $40 they will give you a $20 credit to the restaurant).  It was beautiful and we were able to eat outside on the patio and soak in some sun and scenery before heading down for the afternoon.

I think we would all agree that the highlight of the weekend would definitely be the Remedy Spa.  Emily and I both had the Mona Massage which reminded me of a Lomi Lomi/Hawaiian style massage and Victoria had a deep tissue! We all loved our treatments and then they gave us chocolate dipped pineapple and we saw the make your own hot cocoa bar and we thought we might actually be in heaven.

It was a busy weekend in town so I reserved a large table well in advance at Mountain Standard for the three of us and several other friends in town.  It is always a fun atmosphere and food is so unique and delicious.  

Sunday morning we took our time getting ready and packed up.  I had heard great things about Vintage - the new brunch spot right across the street from our hotel.  We walked over without a reservation and  were lucky that they were able to squeeze us right in - considering, as we were leaving there was a line out the door.  Honestly, they have my ideal brunch and I was sure to make reservations for Easter! It has the perfect mix of sweet and savory options.

As you know, I am a pretty indecisive person, so ordering is always a chore and with their menu, although everything looked yummy - I knew exactly what I wanted!  After brunch we packed up the car and Emily could not leave town without a trip to Garfinkels and comparing the nachos to  Red Lions'.... so we did (yolo? We skied it off??).  It was another gorgeous day so we sat on the patio and enjoyed the sun before heading back down the mountain just in time for Big Little Lies, which was THE BEST!! 

It was obviously a packed weekend with lots of fun and food and I wouldn't change one thing! I always love getting your questions and emails so please let me know if you have any questions or anything you would like me to cover!

xo

This post is in collaboration with Four Seasons Vail . As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

Springtime in Vail and a Nordstrom Giveaway!

Happy Monday Friends,

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I am just getting home from the best weekend in Vail, with two wonderful friends.  Its hard not to feel rejuvenated after a few consecutive days filled with laughing until you cry, a dreamy spa day, delicious food and a few yummy cocktails... Am I right?!

My friends Emily and Victoria booked a last minute trip to Denver and after finding out that Victoria had never visited the Rockies, Em and I quickly agreed that a majority of the trip should be spent enjoying our beautiful mountains.  We spent the weekend at the Four Seasons which was the perfect spot for a girls trip! And I can't wait to share our 48 hour itinerary later this week so be sure to check back!

Springtime in CO, and particularly in the mountains can be extremely unpredictable - the girls had a difficult time packing because our forecast was so all over the place.  It called for 70 degree weather one day, snow the next and even a little rain mixed in.  One of the things I love most about Colorado is our varying conditions and that we can pretty much count on sunshine at some point every day.

Layering pieces are perfect for spring mountain days! And right now, you can find some serious steals on great staples like my camel coat (similar here $70).  My turtleneck is $14.99 with code KNOTKIDDING.  I wear these jeans - all. the. time. sadly, they are not on sale, but this VERY similar pair is  (also love these $60).  My boots from EMU Australia are the perfect weight for chilly spring days and I love that the metallic can make any plain out a little more fun!

I have a great giveaway for you today! I have teamed up some fabulous other bloggers to bring you a chance to win $1000 to Nordstrom! I did one of these giveaways a few weeks ago and got great feedback from you guys that you found some new blogs so I hope you enjoy this one as well - and good luck!!

Now…it’s time for a fabulous giveaway! I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to give YOU a chance to win: a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time for some spring shopping!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 4/17. Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!

$1,000 NORDSTROM GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY a Rafflecopter giveaway

My favorite Denver neighborhoods

By far, the question I get most frequently is, "What is the best neighborhood for young women to live in Denver?"  And it seems recently, I have been getting more emails, comments, and messages that a lot of you are making a move here from out of state (or even just looking for a change of scenery within the city).  First of all, YAY!! You will love it! We can't wait to have you!  And next, the mission for my blog has always been to be a resource for friends new and old to share my love for all things Denver/Colorado.  That being said, I get giddy when I see your emails asking for neighborhood, restaurant, or shopping recommendations because you are taking a trip or moving here.  You may have noticed the new "Denver Guide" tab at the top of the blog which I will be adding all my local recommendations and favorites going forward.

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Lohi

A few of you have been pointing out that you are hoping to live in a place that is fun, but have outgrown the party scene.  I'm with you!  Jonny and I live in Lohi and it is hands down my favorite neighborhood, but obviously I am a little biased.  Lohi is nestled between the Highlands and the edge of Downtown, where the rejuvenated Union Station area is.  We love that there are at least 10 great restaurants within a few blocks and a new one popping up seemingly every day (I say this all the time, but we love Linger, Postino, Avanti, Lola, and Recess to name a few).  We rarely leave our little Lohi bubble because there is so much going on: a fun place for happy hour, great brunch spots, and it is a 15 minute walk (via pedestrian bridge) to the Union Station area to enjoy the beautiful farmers market in the summer.  And because I am a visual person and maybe you are too, here are a few of my favorite looks I have shot around the hood (look 1, look 2, look 3, look 4, look 5).  

Apartment recs: Commons Park West, The Station, The Manhattan (Riverfront), Line 28, Studio Lohi, Glass House (for rent by owner)

Wash Park

When it is nice out I am at Wash Park at least once a week.  Because Colorado is landlocked people flock to big parks to hang out when it is warm and Wash Park is the perfect location.  It is right between Downtown Denver and Cherry Creek (which we will cover next).  Cherry Creek Shopping Center is the closest mall to me and I must admit, that I am there far too much, but I do love stopping at Wash Park before or after for a quick jog with Stanley.  The neighborhood around the Park is just as charming as the park.  Just south of the park is the best sushi in town and a couple of my favorite boutiques on Pearl Street and a few blocks east is an adorable gift shop and bakery.  A couple of my favorite looks from Wash Park (here, here, here, and here).

Apartments: Country Club Towers

Cherry Creek North

Cherry Creek North is another neighborhood I find myself in often.  Jonny works in the area and my mom lives in the neighborhood as well (it doesn't hurt that the mall is there as well).  My mom loves living there.  She walks to dinner with her friends, and is able to walk to the mall or boutiques.  The salon I have been going to since I was 18 is a stones throw from her condo and several of my favorite restaurants (Hillstone, Cucina Colore, and Quality Italian are all within blocks of each other. I shot a few of my very favorite looks in CC North! Like this one and this one from our holiday card!

Apartments: The Seasons of Cherry Creek and Steele Creek

Cap Hill

Some of our best friends live in Capitol Hill and love it! It is in walking distance to Trader Joes (which was a big deal for us CO peeps btw), several other grocery stores, and Cheeseman Park, another gorgeous park for jogs and picnics.  

Apartments: Acoma

Other favorites:

  • Highlands: West of Lohi, great restaurants and a lovely farmers market in the Summer.
  • Riverfront: Connects Lohi and Union Station, affordable apartments, great restaurants like Colt and Gray, and Sushi Sasa.
  • Uptown: East of Downtown (gosh we were creative with the names here...?) affordable apartments, great restaurants! We like Coperta and Beast and Bottle!
  • Congress Park: Just discovered this adorable neighborhood, but shot these photos at Sweet Cooies here and can't wait to go back! The main street could not be cuter.. packed with families and young people.

 

Spring Break Essentials

Hello Friends!!

With spring fever in full effect and seemingly everyone escaping to warmer weather for spring break, I wanted share my spring break essentials and a few things that made it into my carry-on.

Last year I went to a bachelorette in Miami and learned the hard way that you should always have a few key pieces tucked away in your carry-on.  Since I was flying from wintery weather to 80 degree temps I was woefully unprepared and ended up purchasing a swimsuit, sunglasses, cover up, sandals, and some toiletries.  I have since learned my lesson and am now sure to include one day's worth of fun in my tote.

Here are a few things that I packed in my carry-on to Secrets Akumal (I like a plane to beach tote like this one $39 or this one $139):

A One Piece: I love that they double as a body suit so can be worn multiple ways. This pink one from Phax Swimwear is definitely a favorite - the deep V and low back are such flattering cuts and the bright pink is perfect for the beach. Also, love my gingham and bow suit $52, and this one $35

Bikini:  Always need a good bikini to work on that tan! I love the colors in this one - starting at $69, and the high neck cut of this one - starting at $49

Cover-up: A nice cover-up is a must.  I loved mine from Phax Swimwear (worn here) that was perfect for the beach but still lunch appropriate.  I also love this one and this one.  

Shorts: My shorts are old, but these $55 and these $78 are very similar and SO affordable $55 and I wear them all spring/summer long! 

Sunglasses: I wanted to bring sunnies that I wasn't scared would get scratched, sandy, or lost and these were perfect $12!  And these $200 are my favorites and I have purchased the same pair 3 times because I love them so much.

Sandals: If you can only take one pair of sandals, take these $117. They are nice enough for dresses and casual enough to wear to the pool.

Toiletries: Don't forget sunscreen, and bug spray

Floral Dress and a Gucci Bag Giveaway

Happy Thursday, Friends!

I have been itching to get through this week as fast as possible because we are supposed get a glimpse of 80 degree temps this weekend!! Typically, in CO, we don't see days like this until late spring so it always feels like a holiday around here when we get our first dose of really warm weather.

The changing seasons also mean that I clean out our closets and swap my cozy winter clothes for light and fresh spring and summer dresses.  I love in to a row of pastels and florals.  I will will be sharing more with your from my spring cleaning in the coming weeks.

This dress is $69 (also comes in black) which I think is an absolute steal considering its versatility.  After snapping a few pictures of this look I threw on my favorite leather jacket (this one and this one are under $100) for date night with Jonny since it is not quite jacket-less weather just yet.  I wear dresses like this one to meetings all the time and cant wait to wear it to an upcoming ladies luncheon.

For sizing, I am wearing an XS and it is still a little loose in the chest area.  However, I grabbed an old belt (similar here) and wrapped it around to make it a bit tighter and threw on a little cami underneath.  I think a pretty lace one like this would look really lovely. 

I am so excited about this giveaway (I wish I would have had this purse to go with my dress!!).  You guys know how I feel about pink!! Follow instructions below to enter.  Have a wonderful weekend and good luck!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic This week I am teaming up with an amazing group of ladies to bring you an INCREDIBLE giveaway. One lucky reader will win a Gucci Marmont Mini Bag in Pink. Image and video hosting by TinyPic Money Can Buy Lipstick | Diary of A Debutante | Coming Up Roses | 30A Street Style | A Gallon of Glitter
DTK Austin | Life by Lee | Upbeat Soles | Fashion and Frills | Style on Edge
A Vintage Splendor | I'm Fixin' To | My Boring Closet | The Closet Crush | Sequins and Sea Breezes
Not Necessarily Blonde | Posh in Progress | Wishes & Reality | The Middle Page | Style of Sam
So Heather | Street Style Squad | Glitter & Gingham | Sunsets & Stilettos | Adored by Alex
Life Lutzurious | Topknots & Pearls | Denver Darling | i'm a little | The Body Type Stylist
Blondes & Bagels | Vandi Fair | Zoe With Love | Le Fab Chic | Styled Blonde
Live Love & Read | Fashionomics | My Style Diaries | Side Smile Style | Sabby Style Image and video hosting by TinyPic The giveaway is open internationally! The more “tasks” you complete below, the more entries you will receive, increasing your chances of winning! a Rafflecopter giveaway You are sure to discover some amazing bloggers you may not already be following! Good luck!

Breaking Down Liketoknow.it and the new app!

Hi Guys!

I hope you had a great weekend!  Jonny and I had a low key-ish weekend at home and if you follow me on instagram you may know that we attended the Heart Ball benefitting the American Heart Association.  I am so impressed by this organization and am so grateful for the wonderful work they are doing to educate people about heart health.  

We also went to dinner with friends from out of town and several asked me to walk them through exactly how and what Liketoknow.it is.  Halfway through the conversation my little sister (who may online shop and use social media more than me!) let me know that she has never fully understood how to access Liketoknow.it.  I realized if my closest friends/ and hippest family members don't understand what I am talking about, then I need to do a better job of educating!  So here goes:

1. I use Liketoknow.it on most of my instagram photos (like this one) to create shoppable links for you guys. Until recently (last week in fact!) you had to register with Liketoknow.it in order to receive these details.  You can still sign up with your email (here) to receive outfit details direct to your inbox within 5-10 minutes of liking a photo of your favorite bloggers who are affiliated with Liketoknow.it.

2. With the launch of the new Liketoknow.it app getting details from your favorite bloggers pictures is even simpler!  Once you have downloaded the app (no email/registration required), you can shop details direct from the app by taking a screen shot or liking a Liketoknow.it enabled image on Instagram, Instagram Stories, or SnapChat.

3. How do you know if a photo is shoppable with Liketoknow.it? Good question! You may have noticed a little heart in the lower right hand corner of my instagram photos this past week (like in the above pic).  That is the new Liketoknow.it logo and will signify a shoppable image (via like or screen shot) on instagram or stories (sorry my snapchat game is the worst!).  Another clue it is Liketoknow.it enabled is, @liketoknow.it and hashtag #liketk is within the caption of the post.

4.  With technology there is never a guarantee, right?  If the app or emails are not working you can always go directly to denverdarling.com/liketoknowit and find all of my Liketoknow.it enabled instagrams and details there!

I am so excited about the new app! And I hope this clarifies any questions that you have had.  If you have any more, don't hesitate for a minute to reach out!.

 

Highlights from Secrets Akumal

Happy Friyay!

We have been on a major spring like streak since I returned from Mexico.  It has been in the 60'/70's all week which has made for a nice transition from the tropical temperatures in Riviera Maya.  However, we know in Colorado we can just as easily have two feet of snow on the ground tomorrow, so I am soaking in the sun while it lasts.

A few weeks ago, I had a serious case of the winter blues... serious!! And I got an invitation to attend a viewing party of Top Chef at Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, where it was filmed, and I could not reserve my spot on the beach fast enough.  Apple Vacations and Amstar made this last minute trip seamless!  They booked everything and made sure transportation to and from the airport was a breeze.

Every direction I turned at the resort was simply picture perfect.  However, more importantly the service was wonderful.  We were greeted with cocktails upon arrival (big bonus points), and the staff made us feel right at home.  Several people have asked about the food because I guess all inclusive resorts are typically not known for their cuisine, and I have to say, the food was absolutely a highlight!  

Secrets Akumal has 7 restaurants and I was so impressed with each one.  Lacey and I loved the breakfast spread at The Market - the smoothies were the perfect start to my morning! And I also loved the all pink French restaurant, Bordeaux, and the sushi spot we dined at our last night.  I wore this dress with these comfy wedges ($39) to our progressive dinner tour which commenced in the main kitchen of the hotel with the most delicious and creative eight course dinner.  I could not have been more impressed!

For me, the most important part of truly enjoying a beach vacation is laying out.  Jonny would have something to say about that, so as much as I missed him, it was nice to be on a girls trip with some lovely ladies who understand the importance of soaking in some rays.  After spending a sufficient amount of time laying out and swinging on the swings at the beach bar we spent the afternoon relaxing in the Pevonia Spa.  It was the perfect way end to the day!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend - would love to hear what fun spring break trips you have planned! And as always, please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

xo

This post is in collaboration with Secrets Akumal . As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!