Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Out West Wednesday : 4 day trips from Denver

10 years ago I felt like nobody talked about Denver. It was just the mile high city, where John Elway had once played ball, and the airport you fly into to go skiing. But I feel like that's really changing now. Denver has become a destination itself, and a hip place fellow 20 somethings are flocking to. But I'm a big believer in getting the most bang for your buck, and if you're going to go all the way to Denver you might as well see something else too. When I went to San Diego last year we drove up and spent the last day at Disneyland it was the best decision. If you ever find yourself in Denver, here are 4 awesome day trips.

1. Vail - Call me biased, but I think this is the best day trip. I suggest visiting the Ski and Snowboard Museum, riding the gondola, and grabbing a bite to eat at the Red Lion.

2. Boulder - I always like to walk around little college towns, and as the home of the University of Colorado this one shouldn't be missed.

3. Breckenridge - Breckenridge actually started as an old mining town, so they have a classic downtown with a cute main street. Grab a burger from Flipside and a Crepe from the crepe stand.

4. Fort Collins - I'm actually a little sad I haven't made the trip up to Fort Collins yet because it's supposed to be such a fun town. Number one thing I'd want to do is a brewery bike tour, including one of my favorite brands, New Belgium.

Obviously check the weather before making any of these trips, because driving in the mountains during a snow storm is difficult even for locals. But on a nice sunny day, grab a rental and a great road trip playlist and any of these trips would be well worth it!

Monday, February 26, 2018

4 books I hope to read this year

Reading more is one of my 2018 goals and included in my 101 in 1001 list. I'm aiming to read a book a month, something that in theory should be easy. I really struggled through my January book, so much so that I finally just returned it to the library with only about 50 pages read. But I've actually almost finished reading two books this month, keeping me on track! I realized the difference is totally in what book I'm reading. I'm one of those people who keeps a list of books to read on my phone to reference whenever I go to the library. Here are 4 books I'm hoping to cross off my list and read this year.

1. Sisters First - Jenna Bush Hager is one of my favorites; she's one of those celebrities that I just feel like would be like talking to an old friend even if it was the first time you met her. As someone who cherishes the relationship I have with my own sisters I love the idea of this book.

2. The Beautiful and Damned - The Great Gatsby is my favorite book, but its the only thing I've ever read from F. Scott Fitzgerald, I think 2018 is the time to change that.

3. The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - I've heard so many good things about this one; I think I saw it listed on the favorite reads of 2017 from about 5 different bloggers. Now I just need the waitlist at the library to go down so I can get my hands on this one.

4. A biography of Mary Queen of Scots - I binge watched Reign a few months back and was fascinated with it. I realize most of it was dramatized for television, but it got really interested in this queen.

What books do you hope to read this year? Any I should add to my list?

Friday, February 23, 2018

10 Pinterest recipes I want to try

I've loved Pinterest since it first became a thing back in college. It was the perfect homework distraction or time filler when I was a little too early to class. Now post college I still love it, but I think I'm a little more thoughtful about how I use it. I no longer just pin things because they're popular, choosing instead to only pin items I'm interested in revisiting and using.

One pin board I'm really into lately is my recipe board. I know how to make a handful of things well, but I'd love to expand my abilities. Here are 10 Pinterest recipes I want to try.

1. Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa - I'm a big fan of anything involving cilantro and avocado

2. Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Garlic Kale - I'm not a huge kale person so I'll probably switch this out for spinach or green beans.

3. Creamy Tomato Soup with Baked Mozzarella Balls - This looks so perfect for a winter day!

4. Coconut Lime Skillet Chicken - Another lime chicken dish? Sign me up

5. Avocado Chicken Salad - I'm such a big avocado fan I honestly don't know how I haven't made this one yet

6. Brie and Pomegranate Crostini - A food recipe from a liqueur website?

7. Date night Mushroom Pasta with Goat Cheese - This looks too good to just be regulated to date night

8. Thai Peanut Chicken Skewers - Fingers crossed I get a grill this year!

9. Pumpkin Pecan Baked Brie - This looks like the perfect fall girl's night wine party dish

10. Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach, and Goat Cheese - The perfect dish to jump on the spaghetti squash train

What Pinterest recipes are you dying to try? Any you tried that were a big hit?

Did you check out these 6 romantic recipes from Pinterest I shared the other day.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Recent Netflix Recommendations

With all the cold weather I've been opting to spend more time inside where it's warm which means plenty of time to work through my Netflix list. Honestly nothing sounds better on a cold night than snuggling under my beloved heated blanket with some of my famous hot chocolate for a good Netflix binge. It's so funny that I only jumped on the Netflix bandwagon 2 years ago, because now I honestly can't imagine not having it. I'm currently watching Jane the Virgin, but here are a few recents that I would recommend.

1. Land Girls - This one was originally a BBC miniseries, so it starts slow the way I feel all British shows start. It follows a group of girls during WWII who move to work on a farm. I don't think it's very accurate but the story lines quickly suck you in. 4 out of 5 stars

2. The Santa Clara Diet - Why is there still only 1 season of this and why did I wait so long to watch it!? Drew Berrymore is a realestate agent turned zombie. I binge watched this in one day. 5 out of 5 stars

3. The Young Victoria - After watching this I realized I know nothing about Queen Victoria other than she ruled for a long time. I think this one if fairly accurate, but if nothing else the costumes were beautiful. 3 out of 5 stars

4. Suite Francaise - I watched this one on a total whim and was glad I did. It's about a French woman and her affair with a Nazi officer when her town is taken over by a German unit. It's one of those movies that reminds you not every bad person is 100% bad and not every good person is 100% good. 3 out of 5 stars

5. Wild Hogs - I watched this one with the boyfriend, but honestly I'd recommend it even if you're alone. What's not to love about Tim Allen and John Travolta as middle-age men who ride motorcycles. 4 out of 5 stars

6. White Gold - This one took me a while to get into, but I ended up enjoying it in the end. I think the biggest drawback is watching Chuck Bass have a British accent and be someone you don't want to cheer for. 2.5 out of 5 stars

7. Grace and Frankie - If you've ever watched this Netflix series than you know you are in for a treat! This may have been my favorite season yet, and I can't wait for the next. 4 out of 5 stars

8. When We First Met - I clicked on this one when nothing on my list sounded good at the moment. I feel like they could have done more with the plot, but over all was pleased with this Netflix original. 3 out of 5 stars

What have you watched recently on Netflix? Anything you wouldn't suggest?

Friday, February 16, 2018

what's in my shopping cart - Nordstrom winter sale edition

Have you checked out the Nordstrom winter sale section? Last night I clicked over to see if the Valentine's Day pillow was on sale post holiday and I discovered a whole new sale section. One thing I pride myself on is being a bargain shopper so obviously I had to click over and see what deals I could find! I just bought a plane ticket so while these all might be in my shopping cart, sadly I don't think they'll be mine.

I think all these items are perfect to help carry you through the end of winter. I'm especially loving the two tops and those booties! I think they're the perfect mix of trendy and classic. Buy them now on sale and wear them again in the fall!

What's in your shopping cart?

Monday, February 12, 2018

6 recipes for a romantic at home Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day, but I also don't love overpriced rushed meals. Unfortunately when you dine out on the biggest date night of the year (I just made up that fact but it sounds believable) that's what you're usually facing. This year the boyfriend and I are opting to cook dinner at home and just enjoy a relaxing evening together. Call me biased, but I think this is 100% the play for Valentine's Day. I'm making shrimp stir fry Wednesday night, but today I rounded up 6 recipes for a romantic at home Valentine's Day.

1. Lobster Mac and Cheese - the only thing better than mac and cheese is lobster mac and cheese

2. Heart Shaped Pizza - you don't need a fancy meal; sometimes simple is best 

3. Grilled Pork with Dark Cherry Sauce - but sometimes fancy is nice and this sounds fancy

4. Goat Cheese Sweet Potato Rounds - this looks like the perfect side dish for your famous steak

5. Mint Chimichurri Lamb Chops - whenever I think of lamb I think of the scene in How to Lose a Guy in 10 days when she pretends to be a vegetarian 

6. Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes - because what's Valentine's Day without dessert 

What are your plans for Valentine's Day? Anyone else planning a romantic night at home? 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Valentines gifts for her $50 and under

Valentine's Day is just a week away! That means if you haven't picked up a gift you're running out of time. Full disclosure I'm not a big Valentine's gift person. I'd much prefer a card and maybe some flowers (I've seen lots of my favorite tulips lately hint hint) with quality time. But if you are the type of person who likes gifts, or you've got a girl in your life who really loves them (we all have different love languages) I've rounded up a few of my favorite Valentines gifts for her $50 and under.

mug / earringsvase 

If I had to pick a favorite it'd probably that ring. It is so classic and really looks more expensive than it is. But that llama pillow is a close second because I'm obsessed with Grease.

Do you do gifts for this holiday? What are you hoping to get for Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 5, 2018

4 looks for Valentine's Day

The other day I shared 15 dresses for your Valentine's date night, but today I wanted to share three looks for Valentine's Day that don't require a dinner reservation at the hottest spot in town. I mentioned the boyfriend and I are skipping going out opting to cook shrimp stir fry at home instead. Valentine's Day falls on Ash Wednesday which means I won't be eating meat that day (Catholic problems) and honestly being rushed through a dinner so they can flip the table for the next reservation isn't my idea of a romantic evening. As people try to make the day less of a Hallmark holiday and into a more personal experience I think the idea of staying in or having a casual date night out is becoming more popular.

Work Day - I fully believe in dressing up for holidays even when you have to work. This outfit would help spread some love at the office without going overboard

Casual Date - You and your beau decided to skip the overpriced restaurants and are going to your favorite date night spot. Just because you won't be paying triple digits for your meal doesn't mean you shouldn't have fun dressing up.

Single Ladies - You're single this February 14th and grabbing drinks and tapas with the girls. You're not dressing for a boy; you're dressing for yourself and the fierce Instagrams you plan on taking.

Pajamas - Let's be real, this is the outfit I really want to be wearing. Nothing says love like a cozy pair of pajamas

What are your Valentine's Day plans?

Friday, February 2, 2018

15 Valentine's Day Date Night Dresses

Now that February is officially here I'm so excited to start sharing Valentine's Day content! I've always loved Valentine's Day, even at my most single. Call me a cheesy hopeless romantic, but there's just something so lovely about love! I also happen to think the conversation hearts are one of the best candies and seriously underrated. And who doesn't love an excuse to wear bright pink in the middle of winter. Today I've rounded up 15 great dresses for your Valentine's Day date night.

What are you planning to wear for Valentine's Day? The boyfriend and I are planning to skip the crowds and just cook at home, or I'd want to wear one of those cranberry dresses.