Velvet Victorian Blouse and Comfy Denim

October 7, 2017

Categories: Fashion

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Victorian Blouse.  Black Jeans.  Chloé Nile Bag in Black.  Chloé Nile Bag in Rose Gold.  Chanel Belt and Shoes.  Similar Loafers.

Hair Extensions, Lashes, Tan, Nails c/o Glamour Bar Denver (Mention My Blog for $50 Off Lashes)

Miranda L. Sober Photography.


This beautiful blouse incorporates two of my favorite trends for Fall 2017… Victorian and velvet. Together, they create sumptuous texture and an incredibly feminine silhouette that makes a statement. To keep the look slimming and appropriate for evening, I added a pair of stretchy black jeans and a velvet loafer. A pop of saddle brown (I love the idea of a rich metallic too) add interest to an otherwise all-black look.

Fit Details:  Top runs true to size; it is designed to be worn loose and flowy and is quite comfortable. Jeans run true to size as well. They will appear small when they arrive – don’t worry! I didn’t believe everyone when they talked about how flattering, stretchy, and comfortable this denim brand is, but as soon as I put this pair of jeans on I completely understood. The jeans feel more like leggings in terms of comfort, but they slim the leg like a great pair of denim.



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Apple Watch Review

September 26, 2017

Categories: Lifestyle

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Apple Watch 38mm Pink Sand Strap.  Apple Watch Black Leather Classic Strap (ON SALE).  Apple Watch Charging Dock.

Wearing:  Denim Jacket.  Workout Tank (ON SALE).  Ivy Park Sweatpants (The BEST You Will Ever Wear!)  Gray Phone Crossbody Bag.  White Birkenstocks.


“It’s the ugliest watch I’ve ever seen… Who would wear that?!” My exact words after Apple launched its much-discussed Apple Watch a few years ago. I found its sleek, glass design to be unattractive and lacking any creativity whatsoever, especially when it comes to the strap selections. And then I attended a wedding at which many of my friends were wearing the Apple Watch. My criticisms of the watch’s outward appearance quickly disappeared when I saw exactly how functional it is.

These women were answering phone calls via their wrist, simultaneously wrangling children and bridesmaid dresses. One was touching up her makeup and with just a word to her wrist she sent a message to her husband, letting him know it was time to pick up all her primping items from the bridal suite. Another was requesting an Uber from her wrist, her arms full of wedding gifts. They seemed like Wonder Women with their watches and suddenly the watch’s stark design didn’t seem quite so bad after all as I fumbled around with my phone in hand.

Since you’ve been seeing my watch in my Instagram Stories, many of you have been asking me about it… What I like, what I don’t, and what apps I use. In this post I’m breaking down all the details for you!

The Basics

I have the Apple Watch Series 2 38mm in Rose Gold. This is the smaller size and I love it as the larger 42mm seemed to take up my entire wrist and appeared more masculine. However, if you prefer oversized watches and are used to wearing one you would probably be happy with the larger 42mm size. I am linking the new Series 3 watch that recently launched September 22nd in this post because the Series 2 is no longer available via Apple and is not currently shipping from Target either. (Plus, if you’re going to get one, might as well have the one with the latest bells and whistles, right?!)

I wear the size S/M Pink Sand strap. My wrist is about 6″ around and I could also wear the size M/L strap, but the excess strap length hanging off looked a bit sloppy and bothered me. I understand that if you order the watch online, you get both strap sizes in the box. I prefer the Pink Sand strap for working out, doing housework, yard work, etc. I also have the Classic Black Leather strap for everyday and to pair with casual outfits.

I found that at night my watch often slid off the flimsy charger that comes with the Apple Watch. I would wake up with an uncharged watch more often than not, so I found this rose gold Belkin Charging Dock that keeps both my iPhone and Apple Watch organized and charging during the night. It looks super cute on my nightstand and now I just take the original charging cord when I travel. If you’re also a fan of the AirPods headphones like I am, I also found this pink charging station that allows you to charge all three Apple products at once.


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Functionality

I got my Apple Watch in the hopes that it would improve my productivity and it has certainly done so. Since I work from home and toggle between housewife and blogger roles a large part of my time is spent doing laundry, tidying our home, doing yard work, steaming clothes for shoots, and photographing new products. I’m all over our house during the day. That used to mean I had my phone in hand in case anyone called or I needed to keep up with Instagram comments in between tasks. But the biggest difference the Apple Watch has made is eliminating the need to carry my phone with me 24/7. I can easily call, text, and see emails that come through from my watch. And with the Airpods, I don’t even have to speak into my wrist, so I can keep gardening or folding laundry during my phone call.

When I’m out, I leave my phone in my bag and use the Apple Watch to send talk-to-text messages and pick up phone calls. I use the Uber app, the Starbucks app, and the Maps app the most when I’m on the go.

Health & Fitness

I have had a love-hate relationship with working out the past two years and my Apple Watch has encouraged me to live a healthier lifestyle both mentally and physically. I never realized how much time I spend sitting at my desk until I began wearing my watch and receiving “Stand Reminders” when I have been sitting too long, working through emails and creating blog posts. A notice pops up on my screen and I take that as my hint to let the pups out, tidy up, or go run an errand or two. Instead of slouching at my computer for hours on end, my days are interspersed with activities and I feel happier and healthier overall. I can check the effectiveness of my activity throughout the day in the Activity app, which tracks calories burned, steps taken, and hours standing vs. sitting.

It can be difficult to prioritize health in a culture that romanticizes being busy and rewards long hours. But… I’ve learned there is a fine line between being productive and living an unhealthy lifestyle. If we do not have our health, we have nothing. This also includes mental health. The Apple Watch comes with the Breathe app, which facilities mindful breathing throughout the day. The app guides you through, inhale by exhale, and monitors your heart rate. I began to look forward to these moments when I could take a few deep breaths, think about my day, and be grateful. Over the course of a couple weeks, I noticed my heart rate had gone down a bit as well. Recent neuroimaging studies have suggested that meditation increases the functional and structural plasticity of neural processes underlying emotion and attention.

Another app I’ve fallen in love with is Kayla Itsine’s Sweat app. Fondly known as “BBG” or Bikini Body Guide by her devotees, it is an easy-to-use app that provides the user with weekly workout plans comprised of clearly depicted moves that can be done from anywhere with very little equipment. The app also provides a meal plan (I haven’t used this feature yet) and playlists of music to listen to while you complete the workouts.

Apps To Check Out

Breathe – Comes with iOS

The Breathe app is a mindful breathing guide for reducing stress and improving overall mental health.

Sweat – Available Here

The Sweat app is an easy-to-use weekly workout plan, food plan, and weight tracker.

iTranslate – Available Here

iTranslate provides a button that allows you to say something into your wrist to get it quickly translated into whatever language you need.

Mint – Available Here

The Mint app keeps track of the bills you have coming in and the money flowing in and out of your accounts. Allows you to quickly see an overview of your budget at a glance.

Shazam – Available Here

Shazam is an app that recognizes music being played, then finds the song info and the lyrics for you too.

Trivia Crack – Available Here

Trivia Crack is a more basic version of Trivial Pursuit, but a great way for us nerdy folk to pass waiting room and line time nonetheless.

Peak Brain Training – Available Here

Remember in The Other Woman when Kate King says she needs “brain camp”? Well, here it is… Designed by both neuroscientists and gamers.

Quartz – Available Here

The Quartz app breaks global news down into bite-sized pieces with an opportunity to learn more if you want.


Do you have the Apple Watch? I need to know your favorite features and most-used apps! Any hidden treasure apps I’m missing?



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Favorite Reading Spot in My Navy Blue Silk Shirt Dress

September 21, 2017

Categories: Fashion

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Shirt Dress.  Louis Vuitton Sac Plat.  ‘H’ Charm Bracelet.  Pink Slides.

Extensions, Lashes, Tan, Nails c/o Glamour Bar Denver (Mention My Blog for $50 Off Lash Application)

Miranda L. Sober Photography.


The weather is so pleasant here in Denver and the bookworm in me has taken full advantage, stepping out with a good book to soak in these beautiful fall days. My favorite reading spot in Denver is on the west side of Governor’s Park on 7th Avenue and Logan. There’s a shade-covered stair and plenty of benches as well. There’s a Trader Joe’s across the street, so I usually pick up a cold drink to sip and some fresh blooms to bring home.

I’m wearing this beautiful navy silk shirt dress from Rebecca Taylor. This dress style is universally flattering, comfortable, and can easily be dressed up or dressed down. Pair it with a jacket, tights, and booties as the temperatures drop! But for now… I’m wearing it with these incredible blush suede slides with pearls in the heel!

I always get lots of questions about this Louis Vuitton Sac Plat bag. It’s become one of my most-carried bag styles because it’s perfect for everyday and it holds so much. I bought mine vintage because I love the way this particular style looks when the leather has darkened and it looks used and loved. There’s just a certain personality vintage bags have that you can’t get when you buy new. I know it can be scary to purchase a vintage bag not knowing if it’s the real deal, but I like this site because all their pieces are completely authenticated. It’s also a great resource when you’re trying to find a bag style that has been discontinued.



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Denim Wrap Top

September 15, 2017

Categories: Fashion

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Denim Wrap Top (ON SALE!)  Similar Lace Skirt.  Watch.  Bamboo Bag.

Hair, Lashes, Tan, Nails c/o Glamour Bar Denver (Mention My Blog for $50 Off Lashes)

Miranda L. Sober Photography.


Another great transitional piece as we head into fall… This denim wrap top is super soft and comfortable. Runs true to size. I’m looking forward to pairing it with burgundy jeans when the temps drop!





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Current Hair Styling Favorites

September 14, 2017

Categories: Beauty

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t3 Hair Dryer.  t3 Interchangeable Curling Wand Set.  Thickening Spray.  Illuminating Cream.  Heat Protectant.  Dry Shampoo.  Hair Spray.  Texture Spray.  Nourishing Oil Spray.


One of the questions I’m asked most often is what products I use on my hair. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that great hair products make a big difference in the appearance of a hairstyle and how long it lasts throughout the day and through events, weddings, etc. Before we get into the products I use and the order in which I apply them (just as important as the products themselves) I think it’s important to give you a little run-down on my hair type just in case it’s different from yours.

I have hair that’s both highlighted and lowlighted, fine in texture but there’s a lot of it. I now have no-heat, no-glue, n0-tape hair extensions from Glamour Bar that add volume and a bit of length. These photos were taken pre-hair extensions (you can see them here) but I was pleased to discover all of these products work well with them, so I haven’t really had to alter my hair routine at all.

Styling Prep – While Damp

  1. Spritz Reference of Sweden Thickening Spray into roots and focusing on the crown area, distributing with your fingertips.
  2. Take a nickel-sized dollop of Kérastase Forme Fatale cream-gel, flip your head over, and distribute this halfway down your hair to the ends. Comb through with a hair pick to gently detangle. This product adds volume, movement, light hold, and a beautiful shimmering sheen to your hair. Twist hair half-up in a large claw clip to air dry while you apply lotion, do your makeup, etc.
  3. When hair has air dried for 10 minutes or so, flip your head over and apply a nickel-sized dollop of DryBar Hot Toddy halfway down your hair to the ends. This product is a heat and UV protectant that will protect your hair from your styling tools as well as the environment throughout the day.
  4. I love this t3 Featherweight Luxe 2i Hair Dryer because it’s lightweight and it dries my hair in half the time. Blow-dry hair with a round brush, focusing on creating volume at the roots by pulling the brush straight up and curling hair around the brush itself. I finish my bangs by pointing the blow dryer downward and smoothing them down with a round brush.

Styling – While Dry

  1. If you’re starting with second-day hair (or more, I’m not here to judge) spritz some DryBar Detox dry shampoo in the roots and the sections around your face. I love this dry shampoo because it smells beautiful and it erases any trace of greasy hair better than any other brand I’ve used. P.S. The key to making hair last multiple days is to brush it out at night, then twist up and wear on top of your head like a granny bun while you sleep.
  2. Curl hair away from your face to create the loose waves I often wear in my photos. Wrap sections no larger than the curling iron barrel you use to ensure the curl holds. I like to hold sections for 10 seconds or so, then unwind and let the curl cool. This interchangeable curling wand is great because it comes with three barrel styles perfectly designed for curls, loose curls, and beach waves. I’m using the largest barrel in these photos.
  3. As you curl, spray each finished section with DryBar’s Money Maker hair spray. It smells divine (as all their products do – think the best combo of fresh + feminine) and it gives a soft, flexible hold to hair. Once you’re done curling, spray all over your hair.
  4. Once your curls are completely cooled (about 5-10 minutes) I flip my head over and spritz Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray all over the underside of my hair, taking my fingers to my scalp to help distribute product and break up curls. This product smells incredibly sexy and gives texture, hold, and volume to your hair.
  5. Tip your head back over with all its sexy new volume. Use the round brush to smooth any fly-aways. To finish off your look, spritz a few sprays of Shu Uemura’s Essence Absolue on the ends. This product is a silky hair oil that hydrates ends, gives a floral fragrance to hair, and creates silky movement. A little goes a long way… I’ve had mine for almost a year.



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Transitional Fall Style

September 13, 2017

Categories: Fashion

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Pearl ‘5’ Brooch.  Denim Jacket.  Polka Dot Dress:  Sizes 0 and 6.  Sizes 6 and 8.  LOVE this Similar Dress.  Chanel Bag.  Chanel Leather Flower Bow Pumps.


Denver’s weather has been switching from somewhere in the 70’s with crisp mornings made for hot lattes… To days simmering in the 90’s with haze from the Western wildfires making its way across our city. It’s no surprise this makes for difficult outfit options. I was just in New York and Vermont for my mother’s birthday and the crisp fall air made me so excited for sweaters, boots, and scarves. But until then? I have a transitional outfit idea for you.

Slinky little dresses for layering are so popular this fall. They’re perfect with tights and booties and topped with chunky sweaters. But in the meantime, top these pretty dresses with a denim jacket or army jacket and strappy heels.

Fit Details:  This dress runs true to size. The only fitted part is around the waist, so it would be very easy to tailor if you need. It’s currently on sale, but only available in a few sizes which I’ve linked above just under my photos. I also linked a blush-nude dress I love and is available in all sizes. I sized down in the denim jacket to make sure it’s fitted.



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L’Occitane Petal Cleansing Oil and Pivoine Masks

September 1, 2017

Categories: Beauty

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L’Occitane Peony Collection

I’ve been a longtime fan of L’Occitane en Provence’s lovely skincare and body products, so I was thrilled when L’Occitane reached out to me to share their beautiful new peony masks with you. I had never tried their peony collection and I’m so happy I finally did; if you love floral scents, you will fall in love with the collection just as I did.

This was also my first experience with multi-masking, a genius way to target your specific skincare needs with multiple masks at once in order to achieve a completely balanced canvas. L’Occitane’s new peony masks come in little one-use pods, but I found that when multi-masking I only needed to use about half. I placed the unused portions in our fridge and used them the next day… Talk about a glow! Multi-mask, sleep in the overnight mask, then multi-mask again. Do this before an event or date night and you will honestly be glowing.

Take a peek at my quick video above to see me explain the multi-masking process. Then read about each of the products below. And let me know if you try the cleansing oil or the masks. I think you’ll love them as much as I do. All of the masks come in different packages on the site so you can buy them individually, in a variety package to multi-mask, or a multi-pack of your favorite kind.

Peony Petal Cleansing Oil

Apply this silky oil with suspended peony petals over dry skin to break up leftover makeup and cleanse the skin. Add a little water to lather just slightly, then rinse. I love how soft and hydrated this product leaves my skin. I am all about cleansing without drying and this product does just that. (The gorgeous scent doesn’t hurt either.)

Peony Purifying Minute Mask

This soft, creamy mask is perfect for areas with visible pores and congestion. I applied this mask along my t-zone, chin, and my cheeks that were experiencing some clogged pores from makeup. In just a few minutes this mask helped to pull out impurities, leaving my pores tighter and my skin clear and matte.

Peony Flash Moisture Mask

This silky, super-hydrating mask is made for facial areas that feel dry or dehydrated. I applied this mask on the bottom of my cheeks and jawline, along my upper lip, under my eyes, along my temples and hairline, and down onto my neck. When I rinsed it off my skin felt soft, supple, and hydrated. I didn’t apply anything else on my skin all day and usually I need a serum and moisturizer here in dry Denver, Colorado.

Peony Overnight Perfecting Mask

This light, gel mask sinks into applied onto face and neck overnight so it can work wonders while we sleep. If you’re worried about transfer onto your pillow, you can lay out a clean towel. But I didn’t find this product to be messy or goopy at all; it sunk right into my skin like an overnight cream. I woke up with glowing, radiant skin and noticed that my under-eye area looked particularly refreshed and revitalized.



This post sponsored by L’Occitane U.S.A.

L’Occitane Peony Collection

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Vail Glamping Guide

August 28, 2017

Categories: Travel

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Kemo Sabe Hat.  India Hicks Bag.  Königs Riding Boots.

Collective Retreats


This past weekend was my husband’s birthday. And in the past, I’ve made some really disappointing birthday plans for him. (Numerous sub-par dinner reservations and a particularly trying trip to Jamaica involving chickens on the dining table and feral cats running the hotel halls come to mind.) Naturally, I blame it on him and the fact he’s a bit complex. Outdoorsy with Midwestern sensibility, he likes a full itinerary of activities with a bit of the outdoors incorporated, yet he also prefers luxe accommodations with access to nice restaurants. And he calls me high maintenance, ladies.

So I was thrilled and a bit proud of myself when I thought of glamping outside Vail, Colorado. The two-hour drive makes it the perfect weekend trip away from Denver and Vail’s Western-chic vibe reminds me of J.

I booked our Vail trip and wasn’t even sure I would share on social media. But everything we were surrounded by and everything we experienced was so stunning, even J encouraged me to take some photos and videos along the way. I was completely caught off guard by the number of DM’s and messages I received, asking about our trip and where we were glamping. So many of you had questions that I’ve quickly realized 1. I need to incorporate much more Colorado content into my site and 2. I need to write this post to give you all the details about our trip so that you can recreate it if you’d like.

We loved so much of what we did and truly had a wonderful experience. But there were also things we would change. I also learned a lot about the Vail and Beaver Creek area and have some tips to help you if you decide to visit. This is why I have a website, right? To gather all my best tips and share them with you. So here it is… All you need to know about Vail glamping!


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Collective Retreats

All About It – Website Here

Collective Retreats is a seasonal glamping campground with luxe, safari-style tents and a concierge experience. The retreat operates just 20 miles outside Vail in a high-desert area overlooking a valley (think sagebrush, rocky terrain, and a field full of horses). It’s a picturesque place with the sound of a rooster and whinnying horses to wake you up yet it’s only a short walk to the nearest highway, ensuring strong cell signal to post all those incredible photos you’ll take.

There is a large tent where complimentary breakfast is served every morning and where you can opt to have an incredible farm-to-table dinner under the stars. More affordable (yet just as gourmet) boxed lunches and boxed BBQ dinners can be purchased and each evening you can expect a complimentary kit for s’mores to arrive at your tent. This was my first time experiencing a s’more made with a roasted marshmallow and a peanut butter and chocolate fudge square sandwiched between two crisp butterscotch cookies. Wow. Jordan was our chef (@theglampingchef on Instagram) and she was honestly the highlight of our stay. We chatted with her under the stars long after our five-course farm-to-table dinner was over.

Collective Retreats is on a ranch called 4 Eagle Ranch that offers horseback riding, zip lining, and ATV rides. Collective Retreats can also organize and schedule other off-site activities like hiking and fly fishing. We later discovered that when I organized our fly fishing through the Collective Retreats concierge it was upcharged, but if you’re the type that is willing to pay extra for someone to do it for you, then this may not bother you. But if I had known this, I would have done it myself. For example, I paid $420 for our 2-person half-day fly fishing trip, while the actual anglers charge $375 for the same. We went fly fishing with Emily from Vail Valley Anglers and she was such a knowledgeable, patient fishing guide. She organized our waders, boots, my rod (J brought his own), everything… Having a fishing guide to set you up and even carry your rods, untangle your fishing line, change up your flies, makes the process super easy and stress-free. Plus, you get to ask all the questions you want and learn along the way. J and I had a wonderful time and both of us felt that we greatly improved our fly fishing abilities and learnt so much about trout, Eagle River, and nature in general. I would definitely suggest this as an activity to do when you’re glamping in Vail. We can’t wait to return and ask Emily to help our fly fishing again!

My advice? If you’re staying at Collective Retreats, you can organize activities yourself through 4 Eagle Ranch or Vail Valley Anglers. We wanted to do a horseback ride at the Collective Retreats ranch, but it cut too close to our fly fishing time. But we heard amazing things about Beaver Creek Stables and they seemed to have more riding availability than 4 Eagle Ranch.

I was truly impressed with the decor inside the safari-style tent. Think Ralph Lauren ranch – cowhide rugs, beautifully upholstered chairs, vintage tables and desks, and a king-size bed. An antler chandelier hung above a king-size bed with the softest linens. There was a little stove and the toastiest electric blankets for cold summer nights. No AC during the day which got a bit warm, but we opened up the tent flaps and were able to get a bit of breeze.

Now bear with me because things are about to get very real and honest. My one complaint? Each tent has a teepee bathroom just a few feet behind it with a small sink, a shower with warm water, and a pedal toilet. I was prepared for glamping and this outdoor bathroom would have been okay but for the simple fact the toilet functioned like one in an outhouse; a flush of the petal sends the contents into a sewage tank just under the wooden deck both the tent and teepee bathroom sit on. The odor wasn’t an issue when the temperatures plummet to 40 degrees during the chilly summer nights. But during the day when temperatures can climb to 85 degrees? You smell everything that has accumulated in that tank since the last time it was emptied. If you don’t mind your tent mate hearing every tinkle AND you don’t mind the smell of a port-a-potty or outhouse when you’re showering/washing your face/brushing your teeth, you will be fine. I know I’m probably picky.

Ultimately, we decided to skip out on our second night to save the romance! We left in the afternoon when the temperatures were highest and ended up checking into the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek just in time to cozy up in robes and get a luxe couples’ massage.

Pros and Cons

  • PRO – The visuals. Beautiful ranch-like scenery with charming tents, grazing horses, and glowing campfires.
  • PRO – Incredible gourmet dining. There is something really special about having a chef cook for you outside as the sun sets over the mountains.
  • PRO – Complimentary made-to-order breakfast and nightly s’mores by the campfire add to the experience.
  • PRO – Exquisitely-decorated tents that feel luxe and cozy and make for the most beautiful photos.
  • PRO – There is a winery at 4 Eagle Ranch where you can buy your own wine to enjoy by the campfire or in your tent.
  • PRO/CON – There’s the option to have your activities planned for you, albeit at an elevated cost.
  • PRO/CON – I liked being close to the road because it made me feel safe and allowed me cell service, but J didn’t like being able to hear cars in the distance.
  • CON – The sewage tank underneath the deck the tent and bathroom teepee sit on definitely smells like an outhouse and some people may not be able to get past it.
  • CON – Try to get naked in a teepee to shower when it’s 6:30 AM and 40 degrees. I dare you.
  • CON – Tricky temperatures. Nights are cold and you’ll need to start the stove in the tent. There’s no AC or shade for hot days.

Tips

  • If you’ve never been to a ranch, this is a great way to get that ranch feel; vintage western decor, the peaceful connection to nature, experiencing the outdoors: fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and ATV rides. J and I both have family ranches, so this part wasn’t as unique to us, but both of us think everyone should experience a ranch at least once.
  • I think this experience is perfect for one night. My advice? Use baby wipes to freshen up early the next morning if you can to save yourself the 40-degree strip down, then pack up and do some outdoor activities before checking into a Vail or Beaver Creek hotel for the remainder of your stay. You can still organize outdoor activities each day while enjoying the benefits of running water.
  • If you’re going to stay at Collective Retreats, you have to go for the farm-to-table dinner. It’s a beautiful experience to dine under the stars with a gourmet chef cooking for you just steps away. And don’t skip the delicious breakfast before you leave!
  • To save money, organize your activities yourself. Horseback riding, zip lining, ATV tours can be organized through 4 Eagle Ranch. Horseback riding can also be organized through Beaver Creek Stables. Fly fishing can be organized through Vail Valley Anglers. And don’t forget, almost all hotels in the area offer a concierge (don’t forget to tip them!) to help you plan activities as well.
  • What to bring? Attire is very casual. Bring layer-able outdoor clothes for daytime activities and a jacket, flannel shirt, jeans, and cute boots for nighttime. Don’t forget slippers to pad around the tent, shower flip flops, a little speaker for some ambiance, bug spray, and sunscreen. I prefer to wear a hat during the day and I should have packed my huge fluffy robe to keep me warm at night.

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Vail and Beaver Creek – Tips and Must-Do’s

Vail Village Shopping – Website

While Vail doesn’t have the high-end shopping Aspen does, you can find some really great things like jewelry, custom cowboy hats, cowboy boots, fur coats, artwork, and charming decor. There are recognizable shops like Lululemon, Gorsuch, Patagonia, Marmot, and Loro Piana. We love grabbing a coffee and walking around this area, window shopping. If you have kids, they’ll love the live music, fountains, and open areas. Don’t miss the huge Vail Farmer’s Market on Sundays that features everything from live music, fresh produce, accessories, and fresh-made food and take-home desserts. Anything goes as far as attire goes and varies from restaurant to restaurant… I try to avoid heels as they can be a bit tricky when walking across uneven ground.

Kemo Sabe Hat Shop in Vail – Website

Kemo Sabe is a beautiful hat and boot shop in Vail, Aspen, and Las Vegas. I discovered it online when I was looking for good cowboy hat shops in Vail and it did not disappoint. So many Western wear shops now sell tacky hats that won’t hold up long term, but we found some really great options at Kemo Sabe. We loved Ilse who helped both us of choose our hats, then she custom-shaped them to our liking and even branded the brim with our initials and our family brands. If you go, ask for Ilse to help you choose something perfect… She is great at styling the perfect hat and hat band for your skin type/coloring and she is amazing at applying the brands. J got a gray Stetson x Kemo Sabe hat with a silver and turquoise band. I got a Kemo Sabe True Grit distressed taupe-gray hat with a tattered green band and two rusted nails tucked into the band. Make this your first stop and feel like a real cowgirl during your trip. Fun fact… The Victoria Secret Angels will be wearing these hats for their Holiday 2018 campaign.

Vintage in Vail – Website

Vintage is a charming little French cafe with the cutest bistro chairs and marble outdoor tables (hello Insta photos). Allow 1-2 hours to brunch when it’s busy. But with the delicious coffee, French-inspired food, and scrumptious sweets like bread pudding you’ll barely notice the wait. While attire varies throughout the day (it’s open late-night too) you’ll see everything from hiking clothes to dresses with heels.

Matsuhisa in Vail – Website

One of our favorite spots in Denver also has a sister location in Vail. The Vail location is spacious and open, with fire pits and an incredible view of Vail mountain. Everything is delicious, but don’t miss the foie gras lettuce cups, creamy spicy rock shrimp tempura, and the mochi ice cream. If you’re adventurous, try letting the chef choose with omakase. This is a spot you can dress up a bit; jeans are okay, just dress them up a bit if it’s a weekend night.

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek – Website

We checked into the beautiful Park Hyatt after our stay in the glamping tent. (We were ready for showering without the cold morning breeze and actual plumbing!) Beaver Creek is a short drive from Vail and all the hotels, restaurants, and shops are tucked behind guarded gates, which makes it feel safe and secluded. Much smaller than Vail Village, you won’t find the same level of shopping, restaurants, and nightlife but Beaver Creek is a beautiful and serene little enclave. Your kids will love the skating rink (even in the summer) and you can treat yourself to a sweet at the gelato shop before checking out something musical at the Beaver Creek Performing Arts Center. I would highly suggest checking into the Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt – it’s visually stunning, peaceful, and the staff are attentive and pampering. We treated ourselves to a long couples’ massage and afterward we sipped champagne in our robes inside the relaxation lounge.

Happy Glamping, babes!!

 


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Hammermill Gives Back To Schools

August 13, 2017

Categories: Lifestyle

blogger gives back

free student workbooks

free classroom curriculum

hammermill paper

back to school giveaway

complimentary classroom curriculum

hammermill paper is power

teacher giveaway back to school

Similar Blazer.  ‘B’ Belt Buckle.  Reversible Belt.  Jeans.

Hammermill Paper


How did #OneMillionSheets begin?

I was browsing online, about to add a pair of jeans to my shopping cart, when I received an Instagram message from one of my followers. She mentioned she loved my sale coverage and the way I included items most bloggers weren’t featuring. I responded, asking her what she decided to purchase from the sale. She told me that she was skipping shopping the sale because she needed to purchase school supplies for her classroom of students.  I instantly felt a rush of guilt. Here I was, about to add another pair of jeans to my closet and this woman was concerned with purchasing school supplies so her students wouldn’t have to do without. Talk about perspective.

Just because I love fashion, accessories, styling, and beauty, it doesn’t mean I’m blissfully unaware of the real problems happening in our world. And lately I’ve felt a gnawing pressure to do more; to use my platform to give back to something real. So amidst my sale coverage, I shared a little perspective with my readers. I took a photo of my shopping cart and pointed out that I was able to buy supplies for a classroom for the price of a pair of jeans. And I was blown away by the positive responses I received.

It turns out that many of you are teachers and feel the real impact of the gap between school budgets and students’ inability to afford their own school supplies. Many of you readily dip into your own pockets to save your students the humiliation and disadvantage that comes with not being able to afford school supplies. And I also discovered that many of you have been waiting for more bloggers to use their platforms for good. To give back to great causes and to shine a light on real issues. I’d like to do more of that within my content and I’m starting now.

My teacher follower told me copy paper is frequently in short supply due to budget constraints. So I reached out to Hammermill paper, told them about this issue, and asked if they would be interested in teaming up to give back to teachers. We had a chat the next day and I was happy and impressed to learn about their long-standing passion for sustainability and giving back. Best of all? Hammermill was completely on board to collaborate on a back-to-school giveaway to take a bit of the pressure off teachers this year.

Hammermill is giving away one million sheets of paper! That’s 200 cartons gifted to five teachers. One million sheets of paper that will, in turn, end up in the classroom helping students learn. Those million sheets will become class worksheets, book reports, and art projects. They’ll make the difference between hearing a classroom lesson and actually taking part in that lesson.

Before we get to the giveaway details, please do us a huge favor and share this post on your social media and with any teacher or school administrator you know. The more this post is shared, the better chance we’ll have to reach teachers and school districts this could help… And the better chance we’ll have to team up for great causes like this in the future.

Now the details. This giveaway is for teachers or school administrators only. To enter, simply sign up through the widget below. There are multiple ways to gain entries – complete them all and you’ll accumulate the maximum possible entries and have the greatest chance at winning the giveaway. The giveaway begins Sunday August 12th and ends at midnight Sunday August 20th.

Even if you don’t win the giveaway, Hammermill is offering teachers complimentary curriculum kits for both elementary and middle school classes HERE. These curriculum kits provide step-by-step lesson plans, objectives, and directions and they fit within the Core curriculum.

We hope you take advantage of these opportunities from Hammermill. Thank you for supporting teachers and students. And best of luck with the giveaway!


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How To Clean Candles and Reuse The Containers

July 25, 2017

Categories: Lifestyle

repurposed candles

how to melt candles

how to melt left over candle wax

how to clean out candles


If you’ve ever watched my Instagram Stories or seen the photos on my Instagram page, you know I always have a candle burning. I rely on them for ambiance and stress relief throughout the day. For me, having a home that feels calm and smells beautiful is important and I just don’t feel right if I don’t have one of my favorite candles burning. I think a large part of this is due to the fact I work from home; I have to create my own atmosphere to work in, so lighting a candle and turning on some soft music are the first things I do before start on a new post or work through emails.

For some strange reason, I always admire candle containers. A candle’s packaging has often played a large part in which candles I chose to purchase, yet I never knew what to do with them after I was done burning them! After a stash of burned candles built up in one of our cabinets, I decided to do a little experimentation and find new purposes for my favorite candle containers. I shared the process on my Instagram Stories and so many of you asked questions that I decided to turn this into a blog post.

The candles I’m repurposing in this post are the soft and slightly tropical Coconut Milk Mango and my all time favorite Black Hibiscus, a mixture of black tea and romantic florals that creates an unexpectedly sexy twist on floral scents.

1.  Melt Candle Wax in the Oven

Create a little aluminum foil “boat” to catch all the melted wax your candles will create and place the aluminum foil on a cookie sheet into the oven at 250°F for about 5-10 minutes. You’ll want to check the candles every five minutes or so continually to ensure everything is melting safely. (Your kitchen will smell amazing while you do this.) Remember you’re not just wanting the candle wax to melt – you’re wanting the glue underneath the metal wicks to soften and melt as well.

Carefully remove the cookie sheet and candles out of the oven and use a butter knife to check and see if the glue under the metal wicks has loosened. In some cases, the glue will completely melt and you’ll see the wicks floating around with the rest of the wax in the aluminum foil. If the glue still seems hard, put the cookie sheet and candles back into the oven for another five minutes and check again. The glue is the most difficult part to remove, so you want to melt as much of it as possible.


how to remove candle wax

uses for candle jars

how to reuse candle containers


2.  Clean and Soak Candle Container

Using a butter knife, gently push the wicks (if any are left) off the bottom of the candle container and scrape off any remaining glue underneath. Pour out any remaining candle wax into the garbage disposal or trash. Squeeze a bit of dish soap into each candle, fill with hot water, and allow them to sit and soak for a bit. This will soften and loosen any remaining wax or glue. After they’ve soaked a bit, I use a stiff dish brush to scrub the candle containers clean.


uses for candle containers

uses for empty candles

ways to use candle containers


3.  Ways To Repurpose Candle Containers

Tea Lights:  Add a little battery-operated light or a small tea-light candle and place around the house. I light or turn these on before guests come over and it creates a very cozy, comfy environment.

Office Supplies:  Large, wide candle holders are perfect for storing office supplies in a pretty way. I have these binder clips stored in one of my favorite old candles with a beautifully designed lid.

Mini Planters:  I love tucking a small succulent into a little tea light candle holder. These make adorable gifts to give. (See below.)

Bath Products:  You know I love baths and beauty products. I use the large pink candle holder down below to keep track of all my sheet masks and mask samples. (See below.)

Makeup:  You’ve probably seen a lot of these Diptyque candle holders reused on Instagram because they are so pretty, clean, and classic. I use mine to keep track of my LipSense products. As you can see, I already have containers for my makeup brushes and liners, but I think the Diptyque candle holders would be perfect for that as well. (See below.)


ways to use candle jars

best ways to reuse candles

how to empty diptyque candles

 


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