Summer to Fall Dresses with my girls and Garbarini

Hi Guys!!

Wow, am I glad to (see) you!! I tried to get this post up last night and my site was down for about 15 hours so thanks for your help and understanding, especially since things have been a little slow the last week while I was enjoying time with my family in the mountains. Every time I sat down to write a post all I could think was: I need to be outside with Stanley breathing the fresh air, soaking in every minute with my people, and enjoying the mountains. And the 8 year old in me just could not sit still longer than 5 minutes to get a post out.  But HIIIIIII, I am back!! I missed you all and can't wait to share more about my trip later this week.

Before heading to Aspen I spent the day with two of my favorite blog friends - Lacey, who you all know by now, and Ali, one of the lovely Chicago ladies Lacey and I met on our trip to Mexico last spring.  I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again (a million times) I am so thankful for all of the people that blogging has brought into my life.  First of all, all of you! And the wonderful friends that I wouldn't have met otherwise.

We partnered with Garbarini, one of the oldest, high end boutiques in Denver to share some dresses that are perfect for this awkward time of year... when it is too warm for fall clothes, but their is a hint of the season turning.

Location: Union Station/Cooper Lounge // Photography: Jenna Sparks

I'll be the first to say it, I was not "wow'ed" by my dress when I first saw it on the hanger.  You probably know by now, that I am drawn to bright colors and pretty patterns.  However, once I put this dress on I changed my tune... I love the feminine fit and flare and the ladylike lace trim and the fabric is perfect for these transition months.  My exact dress is available at Garbarini, but I also love this $37 option and this one too! 

Ali and Lacey are also wearing dresses from the same designer. I love the patterns, and flowy - lightweight fabric of both of their dresses.  They would be perfect layered with this $98 leather jacket as the days cool off, and great simply paired with a pair of fun earrings (I like these!, these and these) until then!

Get all of our looks at Garbarini (they ship worldwide!) or scroll the gallery below.  

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

Master Bedroom Update PT. 2

Hi Guys!! Happy Saturday!

Jonny and I have been away from home A LOT recently... and him even more than me since his job has him traveling frequently during the week.  As I mentioned last week, we decided to make some updates to our home to make it... more homey.  And our bedroom has become such a cozy and relaxing retreat for us to come home to.

After living together for 7 years and in our current home for 4 we decided it was about time we upgraded our furniture.  I know, what you are thinking... about time, right?  However, the bedroom furniture we had was... fine(ish).  But we have been so happy with the change and I actually understand the people that say their bedroom feels like a sanctuary because their is literally no place I would rather spend my time than our updated bedroom.

When I posted this picture on instagram - I got a lot of questions about the specifics of our bed, and bedding so wanted to be sure to share them with you!  Our bed is the Regina from Joss and Main it also comes in 5 other colors (including pink!) and they carry the same style at  Wayfair.  I love the tufted style and searched all over the perfect one.  I do also love this canopy style, this taller frame, and this pink bed!  

We got our bedding as a wedding gift almost over two years ago, but we are just now able to use it because we ordered everything in a King and our old frame was a queen.  Going from a queen to a king... O.M.G. its the best!  And it is so nice to finally use our bedding that we have been saving.  Also, we chose to register for colors that were timeless and gender neutral and still available here almost three years later!! I love that our quilt that we keep folded at the end of our bed, it has such pretty detail and is so soft! We chose to accent with this paisley pattern and linen Euro shams.

We are heading to the mountains today for the holiday and I am already a little homesick, but excited for some fresh mountain air!! What plans do you have the holiday?!!

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.

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!

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!  

Travel Style

Hola from Riviera Maya, Mexico!

This has been a fun, but busy week!  Last weekend  I celebrated my birthday in the mountains with my very best friends.  We went snowshoeing, made dinner at our cabin and played games - It was the perfect way to ring in 30 for sure.  Then I had just a few hours to get myself organized before heading to Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya.  I can't wait to share more about this amazing resort with you (I have never done this all inclusive thing before and WOW!).

I got a few questions about how I dress when I travel so wanted to be sure and share a few tips! I feel like I have been on a plane quite a bit lately and have figured out what works well for me in terms of a travel uniform.  

When it comes to traveling, my moto is function over fashion.  When Jonny and I first started dating, and he was in school across the country, I would dress up (boots, accessories, the whole nine) for my 4+ hour plane ride to go see him just to be disheveled and uncomfortable after a half day of travel.  

A few years wiser, I try to stick to a simple, classic look when I travel.  I always select pieces that are versatile and can be updated quickly once I arrive.  I like a chambray shirt because it can be worn so many ways like my pants, white jeans, or leather leggings ($18) for dinner once you arrive!  I always layer up with a cardigan and jacket because temperatures fluctuate so much on the plane.  I wore this jacket on our flight to Mexico as well as these tennies on our trip down here and these flats on my trip to NYC - both were unexpected Target finds and I wear them all of the time!  Finally, I like to bring a nice tote that can fit my lap top and double as purse which minimizes having to carry extra bags! I am loving my tote from H&M - affordable and well made, the blush is available in stores, but I also love the taupe and gray!

Love getting your feedback and questions!! Hope you have had a lovely week and happy weekend!

30th Birthday Lessons

Hi Friends,

Oh hi, its me.. I'm Abby and I'm 30??? WHHHAAAA, where has the time gone?!!! I remember crying in 5th grade because I didn't want to go to outdoor camp in 6th grade because after outdoor camp meant middle school, then high school, then college, then marriage, then you're 30!! Welp, 12 year old self, you were right!  I have been struggling all week with this birthday, but I woke up today and am so excited about this next chapter.  I think turning a new year older always brings a little reflection, transitioning into a new decade brings a whole lot of reflection.  Through these past few days I've come up with a list of advice that I would share with my younger self and thought I'd share as a reminder to me and hopefully helpful to you too:

Location: Sweet Cooies Ice Cream // Photography: Jenna Sparks

  • Be Kind

This seems simple and obvious, I know.  I've found when I am having a bad day and the last thing in the world that I want to do is be friendly to anyone other than my dog, doing something nice for another human makes my day instantly better.  Kindness makes people happy - happiness makes you laugh - laughter is the best medicine and keeps you young.... so pretty much being kind is the fountain of youth! 

  • Find Your Passion

They say that if you do something you love you will never work a day in your life.  I am not entirely sure that is correct.  I think once you find something you love you will work your a** off like never before to make sure that it succeeds.  Before starting Denver Darling I worked on The Hill in DC, in the non-profit space as a fundraiser, and also at a PR agency.  Each were great jobs, but never got me excited to wake up early or well into the night like I do now.  

  • Be Active

Do something active every. single. day! Before I found workouts that I loved I would stress about working out.  I would plan a trip to the gym days or a week in advance.  I realize now that was because I never loved the exercise I was doing and was just so dang bored at the gym! I fell in love with CorePower Yoga, it turned into an every day thing for me and now I alternate, yoga, CycleBar, hiking, skiing, running, and walking with Sir Stanley.  

  • Don't Diet (seriously)

Just don't do it! If you know me personally, you know that up until recently I was always on some crazy diet.  I realize now that I missed out on some fun times and delicious meals to a save a few extra cals.  I believe that my metabolism has finally kicked in at 30 because I am eating normally and enjoying what my body is craving.  Eat the damn ice cream cone and enjoy it (and this new spot Sweet Cooies just might be the cutest place to do that!)! #yolo

  • Quality over Quantity

My early 20's self worried about doing as much in one day as humanly possible and spending little time with as many people that didn't mean all that much to me.  Now I spend more time doing the things I love with less people that I care the most about.

  • Roadtrip

Jonny and I have been to some fun places for sure (last year we spent my birthday in Thailand which was a highlight!), but one of my favorite trips to date was a last minute road trip we took to Montana.  We took our time, and stopped for hikes, pictures, interesting biker bars and listened to Hamilton on repeat.  We can't wait to do another this summer!

  • Know your go-to's

Find 2 favorite restaurants that you love that are perfect to recommend to friends for brunch, that you can always drop in and have a great meal and perfect for date night (we love Postino and Linger here in Denver).  Memorize a delicious, but easy recipe that you can whip up for guests or take to a friend's (this dessert is always a hit!). Know your go-to beverage orders... mine are prosecco, an oaky chardonnay (this one is sparkly and gives 15% back to charity!), and Cider!

Enjoy your weekend!! I would love to hear your favorite kernels of wisdom always feel free to email or share in the comments below.

xo

Going Red with Kendra Scott Tonight!

Hi Friends,

I am so excited this morning because today kicks off a long few days of birthday celebrating.  Don't get me wrong, I am normally not a birthday person at all!! However, I think transitioning into a new decade feels a little different and I am going to soak in the last days of my 20's and celebrate the heck out of this weekend with my friends and I just can't wait.

Tonight I am celebrating the start of my birthday weekend with Kendra Scott and the American Heart Association and I can't think of a better place with a more important message to kick off the fun! February is Go Red for Women Month and I recently learned that cardiovascular diseases kill about one woman every 80 seconds and about 80% of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable.  Last year, I touched on some heart issues that my mom had been dealing with and how important, as women, it is to be our own biggest advocate.  The last few months, she has been having trouble again and I have been so proud to watch her advocate for herself to ensure that she gets the care that she needs.  Yesterday, she received a heart monitor to make sure that her heart is working properly and I am thrilled that tonight's event will benefit the American Heart Association.

It is highly likely that I will be wearing this exact outfit tonight (please don't judge).  I don't know about you, but when I find an outfit that I love, I wear the heck out of it!  And I love these pants and can't get enough of them!! I have really been into high waist trousers lately, but they also come in a mid rise version.  The fabric on these is so so soft.  This blouse had me at "hello" ruffles, flowers, and a bow? and a price point under $60, game over!  My Kendra Scott earrings are from their Go Red collection and as I mentioned here 20% of proceeds will be donated to AHA and will be a great way to support if you are not able to make tonight's event.  Hope to see you there!! Please see details below. xoxo

Vail Travel Guide

Hi there, Friends!

As you know, Vail holds a special place in our hearts.  Jonny and I got married here in 2014 and before that, many of my childhood memories were spent just outside of the Village.  I received so many notes requesting recommendations about our favorite places in this lovely mountain town and have been meaning to give you a little tour.  I shared a few of my favorite spots last fall, but winter is often the most popular time so I wanted to be sure and share some of our winter picks as well!

Where to Eat 

  • Up The Creek: Serene view, affordable, local favorite, same day reservations
  • Mountain Standard: New, fun and cozy atmosphere, new-American cuisine, early reservations suggested!
  • Sweet Basil: Romantic, modern, new-American cuisine, early reservations suggested!
  • Matsuhisa: Sushi, creative and modern atmosphere, early reservations suggested!

Wheret to Apres

  • The Red Lion: live music, cozy, good drinks
  • Los Amigos: great view of the mountain, endless chips, great margs
  • Garfinkel's: (Lionshead) best nachos in town, drink specials, and yummy apps

Where to Stay

  • The Sebastian: We love the Sebastian (shared our love for this hotel here and here)
  • The Tivoli: Cozy, doggy friendly, ski in ski out, wonderful breakfast in the morning, and a cozy apres scene with cookies and drinks in the afternoon.
  • The Sonnenalp: Charming, walkable, doggy friendly, great spa, wonderful service!
  • The Four Seasons: So cozy, walkable, doggy friendly, wonderful service!

Where to Shop

  • Blitz Boutique: This whole look is from Blitz, wore more from them here, here and here as well! They have a great location, right by the covered bridge into town and just outside of the parking garage (so it is always hard for me to avoid).
  • Gorsuch: Gorgeous furry things and ski outfit inspo!
  • Odd Molly: The whole store and website is painted pink... need I say more?

xo

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Cyber Monday Sale Roundup!

Happy Monday,

Hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing holiday weekend.... I have to admit that I have been enjoying "cyber week" not just CYBER MONDAY.  This cold has been a real doozy so I have not stepped one foot inside of a mall.  Honestly, as much as I love the tradition and seeing Santa (absolutely serious about that - literally have an Elf moment every time), it has been so nice to shop from the comfort of home.  Also today are some of the best sales yet!!  I have listed them all below.  And check out my favorite picks from each here and here.  

My whole look (above) is currently 60% off. My jacket ($107) and comes in 3 colors and red hunters never go sale (25% off)! Shop it in the scrolling gallery below.