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 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

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

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!

 

 

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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