Monday, August 29, 2016

Beach Vacation Must Haves

Growing up at the beach I never realized how much I love the smell of salt water until moving to the mountains. If you'd asked me a year ago the last vacation I'd want to take would be a beach vacation, but this year I'm craving one. And while I don't see a salt water and sun trip in my near future, unless someone wants to gift me one, I can't help but lust after all things screaming beach vacation. But maybe you're luckier than I am and have an end of summer beach trip planned. So if I did have a trip to a coast booked, here's what I'd pack.

I'm especially lusting after that donut beach towel! What are your beach vacation must haves?

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Out West Wednesday : a review of Maya

Maya is honestly the very first place I ate when I moved to Vail, other than a frozen pizza in my kitchen the night I moved in, so I think it'll always hold a special place in my heart. Mexican is my favorite food, so my mom took me as treat before she flew back home.  Plus it was right across from my condo so it was impossible to get lost getting there. Located in the Western hotel right at the base of Beaver Creek, this is not your typical hotel restaurant.

When we went they were having a special off-season deal featuring an appetizer, two entrees, and dessert for a special price. Because it was the last time I was going to be with my mom for a while we decided to splurge and order that much! I clearly was thinking like a hungry girl, and not like a blogger because I didn't snap any photos until dessert, so I'll just have to rely on my words to describe our meal.

We started with a shrimp quesadilla because my mom loves shrimp in her Mexican food. I'm not a big fan of shrimp and cheese, but this was really good because it also had peppers so it wasn't just shrimp and cheese. Next we split al pastor tacos and chicken mole. The tacos were your traditional street taco size with lots of cilantro and pineapple giving them a great fresh taste. The chicken mole was okay, I prefer my mole a little spicier, but the real star on that plate were the caramelized plantains; I honestly could have eaten an entire plate of them! To finish we had the fried ice cream which was served almost like a banana split featuring three different flavors atop a caramelized split banana.

Maya isn't my favorite type of Mexican; I prefer Tex-Mex with half my plate covered in melted cheese, but it was a fun experience. They also have a great happy hour with $6.50 margaritas and 2 for $8 tapas. I highly recommend the pineapple margarita and the smoked brisket nachos. They also have a great patio next to the river that is fun when the weather is nice.

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Monday, August 22, 2016

5 reasons I'm not shopping the Lilly sale

The Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale is upon us once again. I've been a big fan since it was formally named the Endless Summer Sale and then the New Year New Cheer Sale in January. But for the first time I didn't set my alarm to wake up early and shop it. I didn't log into my account last night and double check all my information was current. I didn't read all the shopping tips blog posts or emails plotting my strategy. For the first time in forever I'm essentially ignoring it. So why am I not as enthused as every other 25 year old female about this? It certainly isn't because I no longer love Lilly; I've been a forever fan since I first saw her perfectly cheerful prints on the mannequins at the depart stores as a small child. These are the 5 reasons I'm not shopping the Lilly sale this time.

1. I just shopped the Nordstrom sale - Y'all the Nordstrom sale ended like a week ago, and I know I'm not the only one who went a little crazy with the discounted prices. I haven't even taken all my purchase out of their boxes, the last thing I need to do is shop another sale.

2. I live in Colorado and that clothes is honestly impractical - It already feels like fall here, so I really do not need more summery items. I'm literally sitting here in a sweater as I write this, I do not need to purchase a sundress. As much as I love Lilly absolutely none of it fits into the category of items your wardrobe needs in a ski town.

3. I still have items from the Lilly at Target collaboration I haven't used - Yes, the sale that occurred in April of 2015. Now granted most of those unused purchases came from the home section and I bought them knowing I wouldn't use them for a while. But I do have one dress that I love and have only worn twice.

4. I have two trips coming up - Yes you can travel for cheap, but I'd rather have a good time on my vacations and not think about staying within a tight budget. Given the choice between a bright printed dress or a dessert at a fun restaurant I'll probably never get to visit again, I'm choosing the food every time.

5. I need to save in general - I've recently decided I really want to put a focus on saving money and growing my savings account in the next few years. I've had to remind myself of my motivations to save money especially during this sale.

All that being said, I don't think there is anything wrong with shopping these Lilly sales, especially if you find an item you've been lusting after. The only item I would have easily allowed myself to purchase was a tote bag to replace the one I use daily that I bought in the sale a few years back, but none of the ones left are really what I'm looking for as a replacement. Those Riley loop scarves and coasters are very tempting though!

Did you shop the sale, what'd you purchase?

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Friday, August 19, 2016

20 questions

I've got a bunch of new faces around this little blog so I thought it'd be fun to do a little get to know me post again. Call me vain and self-centered but these are some of my favorites to write. I found this list of questions a long time ago and have had them sitting in my drafts folder just waiting to be answered and now seemed like as good a time as any!

Maybe if I start using this as my profile picture people will think I'm more athletic than I am 

1. What's your middle name?
Elizabeth, and I actually have always liked it more than my first name

2. Do you have a hidden talent? 
I don't really have a talent in the traditional sense, but I am good at random things like spotting people in the backgrounds of photos,

3. What's your biggest blog-related pet peeve?
Bloggers being shady about sponsored content

4. What's your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?
I don't know if it my biggest pet peeve, but I HATE when people tear the labels off water bottles

5.What's your favorite song?
Let it Be by the Beatles

6. What's your favorite shop?
I'm a big fan of Nordstrom currently because I can get everything shipped for free!

7. What's your favorite way to spend your free time when you're alone?
Binge watching Food Network or HGTV

8. What's your favorite junk food?
chocolate covered gummy bears

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what kind and what is it's name?
I haven't since I was younger. But I'm dying for a black lab whom I'll name Elvis

10. Favorite form of social media?
I'm all about the Instagram

11. What's your favorite beauty product?
I probably use BB cream the most, but I also love lipstick because it makes me feel like I have my life together when I wear it

12. Least favorite thing about the place you live?
Colorado is great, except for the whole mountain time zone thing. Being on an hour delay for television from the east coast and central time zones is awful

13. If you could only drink one beverage for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
I'd say a margarita with salt, but then I'd sound like an alcoholic, so instead I'm going to say sweet tea without the extra lemon wedge

14. What's your favorite movie?
Roman Holiday - Audrey Hepburn as a princess who doesn't really want to be a princess any more.

15. Early bird or Night owl?
Naturally a night owl, but having to be at work for 7am has turned me into a bit of an early bird

16. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you visit?
Number one on my list is Rome, Italy

17. PC or Mac? 
Mac all the way. I bought a new one last year when my faithful first one finally died

18. Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boyfriend?
My boyfriend really is the best and does sweet things all the time, the last being sending me a sweet good night text

19. Celebrity crush?
Prince Harry!

20. Favorite Snapchat filter?
I'm a big fan of the old person and the lion, big not fan of that butterfly one - PS follow me hill_goodfellow

Monday, August 15, 2016

So you're a blogger? FAQs

The other day I announced my blog to the world. I thought many of you may have some questions about my hobby so I decided a FAQ type post would be the best way to address them.

Do you spend money on this?
I spent $12 to purchase my domain name and hosting from GoDaddy for 2 years. Other than that, no I don't spend money. I did all the design and code myself after reading a few tutorials.

Are you a famous blogger?
I wish! Companies are hardly throwing free products at me and Target isn't begging me to create my own interior design line. I did get to write this fun sponsored post though. Hopefully with now sharing and promoting myself to everyone I know I'll gain more exposure and maybe one day be a famous blogger. I'll know I've made it when someone offers to send me on a free vacation.

Does anyone actually read your blog?
Yes they do. I've actually made really connections through blogging and consider some of these friends. That's the coolest thing about blogging; you get to meet so many different people from around the world.

Why is your blog called Salsa and you don't just write about food?
When I started blogging I actually blogged under the title From Mississippi with Love. My background was orange and white flowers and was truly horrendous. I then started to be interested in the design aspect and self thought myself how to create something more ascetically pleasing using skills I'd learned in journalism classes and google. My design was red, white, and blue and featured an outline of the state of Mississippi. About two years ago I realized I really loved blogging and wanted a name that would make sense no matter where I lived, so after much thought I decided to rebrand. You can read all about that process and the explanation of my name here.

What's the best way to keep up with your blog?
In general I try to post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but sometimes life happens and I just don't get a post up. You can follow along via bloglovin by clicking that button to the left. I also maintain an Instagram and Twitter account solely for my blog.

Anything else you want to know about my blog?

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Friday, August 5, 2016

5 reasons that make today great

Happy Friday Friends!! Was it just me or was this week a million days long? I don't know if it was just because I had so much fun last weekend celebrating my birthday, but I was exhausted by Tuesday afternoon. It sure didn't help that I worked an almost 15 hour day on Wednesday. Technically I still have to work 3 more days this week until I get my weekend, but the end is in sight! Here are 5 reasons that make today great!

1. Pay Day - There is nothing better than payday after a long week. Even though I won't be paid for this week's work for another two weeks it just makes it so much more satisfying. Plus I might have gone a little wild with my spending lately so my bank account is extra happy to be replenished.

2. Fun Weekend Plans - I have to wait a few more days till my weekend, but I'm already so pumped about my plans! I'm going down to Denver for a Rockies baseball game. We got great seats right behind the away team dugout because they're playing the Rangers. And because I'm a great girlfriend I agreed to cheer for my boyfriend's team. Plus I look better in red and blue than purple.

3. The Nordstrom Sale - Yes, yes, yes I know you're tired of hearing about it, but this is the final weekend. I've noticed they've been restocking things so it's worth your time to check back if something you really wanted sold out before you hit purchase. I keep debating about some things from the home section that I really want, but really don't need.

4. The Olympics - I cannot wait to see Team USA kill it! I don't care who you are, nothing helps bump up your patriotism like the Olympics. I probably won't watch much other than the opening ceremony and the gymnastics, but I just like walking into places and seeing it on every tv.

5. This song - I don't know why, but I'm seriously obsessed with this song and have been singing it all week

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Out West Wednesday : 4 reasons to visit a ski resort in the summer

Everyone knows ski resorts are top vacation destinations in the winter, but did you know a ski resort is also a great place to visit in the summer!? We have a saying around here about employees, they come for the winter but stay for the summer. After about of summer I quickly realized how true that is. With the start of August I've realized I'm sadly almost done with my first Vail summer. You might not be able to move out here, but you should visit a ski resort in the summer.

1. Price - I honestly had no idea how expensive ski town vacations were until moving out here. But they're wildly more affordable during the summer. Rooms that regularly go for $800 a night in the winter will be priced down to about $200 in the summer. Plus lots of restaurants have specials as well!

2. Crowds - Ski resorts in the summer are still a bit of a hidden gem, meaning these months are much less crowded than the winter. Less people mean you're more likely to get reservations at the hardest to snag spots in town and not have to worry about someone photo bombing your perfect Instagram pictures.

3. Weather - I honestly cannot even imagine more perfect summer weather than I've experience here in Vail. The temperatures stay around the mid 70s which is unheard of in most parts of the country for summer months. Plus Colorado gets tons of sunshine meaning you'll be able to enjoy the long hours of summer sun.

4. Activities - If you're into the outdoors a ski resort in the summer is your dream destination! There's tons of hiking trails and bike paths to keep you busy all day. Plus fly fishing, river rafting, and jeep tours! Vail recently just invested a ton of money to create summer on mountain activities including a coaster, tubing, and zip lining.

Have you ever taken a summer vacation to a ski resort?

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

Monday, August 1, 2016

50 in 500 : the final update

Saturday was my 25th birthday and the official completion of my 50 in 500 challenge. In the past few days I checked a few more items off including attending a concert (if you ever get the chance to go to Red Rocks or see the Avett Brothers live, don't even think twice, go) and sharing my blog with family and friends. I didn't get everything accomplished and that's okay. I completed 26 items, a little over half! So I'll be adding $52 to my savings account and for the other 22 I didn't fully complete I'll be donating $44 to charity. I'm really proud of myself and everything that I did accomplish over 500 days, so today I wanted to recap some of my favorites.

The items I'm most excited I checked off
1. Attend a professional sporting event. Going to a MLB game was one of the most fun things I did during this challenge. I had so much fun I'm hoping to go to another one this month down in Denver.
2. Leave a 50% or more tip. I did this one at Sonic, so yes 50% wasn't a huge amount, but I have a feeling my small amount was a big surprise to that carhop.
3. Share my blog with friends. This was by far the most difficult thing for me to complete because I was so nervous about it. I posted the link to Friday's post on Facebook and didn't really make a big deal out of it, so honestly I don't even know if anyone saw it. But this was a huge step for me, and I'm really glad I included it in my challenge.

The items I'm most disappointed I didn't check off
1. Have $20,000 in savings. Had I not made the decision to move to Vail last fall I would have easily reached this goal. While having such a large amount in savings would have been fabulous I think this move was worth not reaching that goal.
2. Send 25 handwritten notes. I now own the most adorable personal stationary and I'm sad I haven't used it more. I went a little crazy when I was ordering my monogramed note cards and actually ordered a few different packs from May Designs; they're all so cute I'm really going to try harder to use them.
3. Attend a networking event. I really think I didn't get to this one because I am in a job that I enjoy finally and don't feel the need to network because I'm not actively seeking a new job. This is a huge mistake because networking isn't just for job seekers, it's for all professionals.

Have you ever done a similar challenge? What was your favorite item to cross off?

 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png