Friday, December 30, 2016

five things I learned in 2016

I know most people are ready to see 2016 bite the dust, but for me I've actually had a really great year. 2016 was honestly one of my best. Maybe I'm just being optimistic and trying to remember the good instead of the bad. So here are five things I learned in 2016

1. Hard work pays off - This year I received not only one, but two promotions at work. I put my mind to it, worked my butt off to prove my worth, and it was all worth it in the end. I have no doubt that if I keep working hard more good things are in my professional future.

2. Trust your gut - Remember how last year I was offered a job that I ultimately turned down because they would only offer the very lowest of the pay range they had advertised? And then I ended up freelance writing for this same business later in the year? Well without going into too many details I'm no longer free lance writing for that company, and it taught be a very important lesson. If someone seems shady, they probably are.

3. You can love someone without them being the one - While my relationship this year came to an end I learned an important lesson about love. You will fall truly in love with more than one person in your life. Really I had a great relationship that I don't regret at all, but in the end it just wasn't meant to be.

4. Always purchase renter's insurance - This was the very first lesson I learned this year, only a week into 2016 in fact. A water line burst in my condo building forcing my roommate and me out for about two weeks. Thank goodness I had renter's insurance that covered our living costs during that time, and work for a hotel so I was able to actually find a place to stay until we could move back in.

5. Say yes to spontaneous stuff- I went on two rather spontaneous trips this year. The first in April to Dallas for a week with my now ex boyfriend and the second to Las Vegas with Ashliegh in September. The first I decided to tag along about two days before we left and the second Ashliegh and I went with zero things planned other than our cheap flights and hotel. I'm so glad I threw caution to the wind and did these unplanned adventures.

What did you learn this year?

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

6 things to do in a ski town if you don't ski

When I first decided to move to a ski town everyone was shocked because I'd never been skiing before. I've now worked for a ski resort for over a year, where a ski pass is benefit given to all employees, and I've used that ski pass less than 10 times. Learning to ski is still something I want to accomplish, but I'm having a very difficult time getting over my fear of accidentally going down a double black diamond. Honestly if I never learned to ski I would still love calling my little ski town home. There is so much more to ski towns than just skiing.

1. Eating - I've already documented some of my favorite spots to eat in Vail, but that barely scratches the surface of all the local spots. I always enjoy eating local foods when I vacation because it's so different than where you're from and use to eating. If fancy restaurants aren't your idea of fun there are still plenty of local bars to enjoy. Apr├ęs is a time honored tradition in all ski towns that can be enjoyed wether you spent any time on the mountain or not. And the best part is these bars are super casual so you'll always be dressed appropriately.

2. Shopping - There's more than just souvenir shops and sports stores. There are lots of local boutique stores that sell everything from furs to hand-made wooden treasures. My favorite store in Vail is Gorsuch which has the most beautiful treasures I'll never be able to afford. I like to play a game where I'll go in and try to guess the price of items before looking at the price tag.

3. Riding the gondola - Did you know you can ride the gondola up and down? It's not just a one-way ride. You can purchase a discounted ride ticket if you aren't skiing and just ride to the top to see some of the best views of your life. Ride the gondola up, meet your friends for lunch, and then ride it back down. This is something I've actually done more than skiing down.

4. Spa Day - Most ski town hotels have fabulous spas. Maybe you just want to get a  manicure and sit in the steam room or maybe you want a full day of treatments. The spa at my hotel has lots of great body treatments specifically designed to rehydrate your skin and ease your sore muscles after a day on the slopes. You'll also probably have access to a hot tub which is always fun, even when it's below freezing out.

5. Relaxing - Just picture yourself sitting in front of a giant fireplace, mug of hot chocolate, and a good book with the snow gently falling outside. Doesn't that sound relaxing? Or maybe you're more into sitting on a heated patio with an Irish Coffee doing some people watching. There is great people watching in ski towns, from the rich and famous in full length furs to small children waddling in their very puffy coats, there's always someone interesting passing by.

6. Take a ski lesson - If you're on a vacation to a ski town and have never skied I 100% recommend taking a ski lesson at least one day. You could be the next Lindsey Vonn, but you'll never know unless you get on the slopes. I wouldn't recommend going up alone, or just with a friend, but you'll be in great hands with an instructor. Most of them have been instructing for years, have taken hours of training, and are even certified. Honestly the only reason I've used my pass as many times as I have is because I've had such great experiences with lessons.

Would you go on a ski vacation even if you don't ski? Ski resorts aren't just for winter, they're also great to visit in the summer!

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Gift Guide 2016 vol 6 : gift guide roundup

Here we are at the end of the gift guide 2016 posts. I've rounded up the best gift guides from across the internet. Hopefully all your holiday shopping is finished, but if you're still searching for the perfect something for someone hopefully you can find it here. It seemed like the gift guides were fewer across blog land this year, but still overwhelming. Each of these guides is seriously great and different. I hate when I look at gift guides and every single one is the same 15 items over and over again.

$50 and under from Carly of The College Prepster
Guys from Emily of Life with Emily
The frequent flyer from Jess of Bows and Sequins
Feminine from Brighton of Brighton the Day
Small extras (think stocking stuffers) from Kate of The Small Things Blog
Hostess from Ashley of the Fancy Ashley
Christmas Pajamas from Brittney of Hosting and Toasting
Parents and Grand Parents by Belle of Capitol Hill Style

And my 5 guides
what I'm wishing for
holiday lover
$25 and under
last minute gifts

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gift Guide 2016 vol 5 : last minute gifts

Christmas is less than two weeks away! I feel like we were just talking about Thanksgiving. I dropped the last of my gifts to mail off at the post office yesterday; leaving just my work Secret Santa left to buy for. The deadline for most stores to guarantee shipping by Christmas without the ridiculous overnight prices is this week so if you want to skip the in-store madness you need to get a move on. I've rounded up a few of my top picks, at varying price points, that you can still get in time!

necklace / mug / pajamas / book

Really running short on time? In one Target run you can make a movie night basket; wrap up a Christmas favorite or new release, a couple of cute mugs for hot chocolate, and a box of popcorn. Or whip up a batch of cookies (easy recipes here, here, and here) pack them in a cute tin and you've got a great, homemade with love, gift.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Gift Guide 2016 vol 3 : children

I am in no way shape or form planning to have a child anytime soon, but I've accepted the fact that I've reached the point of my life where many of my friends are, and that's great. Celebrating Christmas with children just makes the holiday more magical. I've always said the Christmas my little  sister stopped believing was the worst. Even when you no longer believe having someone around who does makes everything more merry and bright. Plus who doesn't love shopping in the toy aisle? Wether you're shopping for your niece or the child you selected from the Angle Tree at church; children are some of the most fun to buy for.

I think any of these would be more exciting than the latest Barbie or nerf gun.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Gift Guide 2016 vol 4 : $25 and under gifts

The $25 and under gift is the most versatile gift type. These are for your neighbor who picks up your mail when you're on vacation; the office Secret Santa; or your old roommate who you never see anymore but still want to send something to. Some people love opening presents; give them three of these smaller gifts and they'll be more thrilled than with just one large gift. I'm also of the school of thought that all stocking stuffers should be $25 and under gifts.

I may have gone a little bit overboard with this one, but these are honestly my favorite gifts. $25 and under gifts are mostly frivolous, the best type of gift in my opinion. Plus I promise anyone of these will be a bigger hit than a Starbucks gift card at that White Elephant party you're going to.

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Gift Guide 2016 vol 2 : the holiday lover

Lately I've been thinking that the holiday themed gift is the most underrated gift of all. There are so many cute holiday decorations out that I would love someone to gift me. I wouldn't buy myself something holiday themed, but I think it's the perfect frivolous gift, especially to use as a hostess gift for that tacky sweater party you're going to. Plus it's something to use year after year.

The kitchen towels and a jar of your favorite baking mix or a cute mug with some hot chocolate mix are the perfect last minute throw together gift. A darling classic ornament is one way to make sure you're thought of every year.

What's your thoughts on holiday themed gifts?

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