Big/Huge Update and Hotel Talisa Recap

OMG - HI!!!

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It's been a minute, guys! A lot has changed since I wrote my last post... and if you follow me on instagram or facebook, you know that Jonny and I are expecting a little girl in June (this is a mocktail in my hand (btw)! We are OVER THE MOON excited and can't wait to meet the little lady.  I have to admit, posting during my first trimester was hard and became nearly impossible because 1) I felt like crap and 2) I am not the best secret keeper (especially when it is super exciting news!).  I am so used to sharing everything in my daily life with you guys and I felt like all I wanted to do was ask for advice and shout our fun news from the rooftops and since Jonny and I decided we were going to wait until after the first trimester to share the news I really just shut down and felt I couldn't write at all.  Not to mention, it was a little hard to want to prepare for shoots when I'll I wanted to do was be in my bed, watching bad TV during most hours of the day and eat nothing but clementines during my waking hours.   

I am now 20 weeks and I seriously can't believe that we are already half way there.  Although the first trimester slowly ticked by, since week 12 I have felt great and it feels like I blinked and we are half way! Baby (we call her Booglet) and I both grew a lot last week and I felt her first kicks right after our ultrasound last Monday which was the most bizarre and incredible feeling all at the same time.  She is growing and I plan on doing a much better job documenting the second half of this incredible time in our life and I am certain that I will have some questions that you will all have tips for a first time mommy like me!

I am so excited to share some more big news in my next post - I am embarking on another huge adventure and cant wait to share the exciting news with you guys!!! Hint the Denver Darling family is growing too :).  Any guesses?

A few weeks ago, Jonny and I joined our friends for a ski weekend in our favorite ski town.  I have shared a few other Vail guides (here and here).  We spent the weekend at the new Hotel Talisa which was the perfect ski in ski out spot for the guys and the perfect place for me to relax with plenty of snowshoe trails for me and Stanley.

We used to visit this same property as a family growing up, but it definitely did not look like this.  The Hotel Talisa gave the old property a complete update and refresh - the rooms are so comfortable and spacious and we all enjoyed some of the most delicious meals that we had ever tasted.  I think you can truly the quality of a hotel by the extra touches put into the room and being pregnant I go to the bathroom about 25 times a night and I was so pleased by the automatic/nightlight features in the bathroom so I didn't bump into things every time I got up (it's the little things guys).

The Hotel Talisa is located just outside of the main village and they have a shuttle running constantly between the hotel, Lionshead, and Vail Village.  We rarely used the car throughout the weekend because parking in the village can be such a pain and the shuttle made it super convenient.

I had a ton of questions about this stay and hope I answered them all!! We truly had a blast and can't wait to go back.  

I also got this poncho last year, it is perfect for a mountain getaway (and pregnancy!) - it is sold out, but love this one, this one and this one too! And so far these jeans have been my only maternity splurge (thanks mom!) and wear them all of the time.

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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?!!

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.

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!