May 30, 2013

Summer Hair

I thought I would mix it up a little for the summer & go blonder than I have in a long time. 

What do you think?


I took a few too many selfies last night...


Happy Thursday!


May 27, 2013

MWF seeking BFF

I've had several people take interest in my most recent read, so I thought I should provide a little clarity about it & maybe even a little review. 



MWF seeking BFF is a book that I had my eye on since it has been out. I came across it shortly after our wedding in 2010, by seeing its praise in SELF & from authors of interest (to me), like Gretchen Rubin.

During this time I was new to the MWF category & actually seeking a BFF. My friends were shifting from the group of people who I had been hanging out with since high school (and a few from college) to individual friends that I had more aligned interests with. Some relationships from my past were deepening (and thus, my best friend emerged) and some were fading way. 

So it was really no surprise that this book was very appealing to me, though I never got around to taking the plunge of reading it until my book club decided on it. While it didn't get rave reviews from that group, I still decided to give it a try. 

The story is about a newlywed whose moved from Manhattan to Chicago & while she has two best friends & plenty of other satisfying friendships in her life, she is looking for friends in her new-ish town. With my recent move to Fort Collins, it seemed totally fitting.

So while this is not really a "self-help" book on how to find friends in a new town, it does provide many ideas for meeting new people, if that is not something that comes naturally to you. The author tries many things (both successfully & unsuccessfully), including:

Asking out-of-town friends to set her up with their in-town-friends
Rekindling any connections that she never followed through on: college acquaintances that live in Chicago to a nice girl she connected with in a cooking class awhile ago
Taking out a want ad (yes, really)
Signing up for special interest groups (cooking class, religious gatherings, etc.)
Sparking conversations with strangers
Joining friend meeting groups, like meetup.com

I will admit, I've never had trouble meeting new people & converting them into new friends. It just comes naturally to me. But this book did make me view friendships differently & reminded me that aligned interests can influence a surface level conversation with an acquantance to go much deeper.

As a MWF new to her city, I've found this book interesting & mildly entertaining. The author throws in some interesting stats about friendships and has a great overview about all aspects of friendships, in general. I definitely took more away from this book about the value, life-cycle & different types of friendships than I originally thought I would. 

I would love to know your thoughts on this book if you've read it too!


May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Ahhh...the weekend that unofficially kicks off the summer season. Do you have traditions for this weekend? 


One of our past traditions for this holiday was road tripping to Bull Schoals lake w/some friends of ours. Since we've moved, we have the opportunity to create some new traditions, so we've spent this long weekend BBQing, pooling & trying some new (to us) restaurants in town. 

This morning's brunch at Snooze was something to write home about.

The Godfather Bloody Mary


Pancakes, from L to R: Pineapple Upside-down, Chocolate Chip & Velvet Elvis (yes, a red velvet pancake)


Two Styles of Eggs Benedict + Hashbrowns


And afterwards, to let our food settle, we took a little stroll through Old Town.


Some other plans we have for this summer are:

Summer softball league-ing
Biking
Spending plenty of time by the pool
Drinking our fair share of Summer Shandy
Hiking
Vacationing 
BBQing
Lounging on any & every patio we come across
Training for our second 1/2 marathon
Celebrating Bonnie & Brandon at their wedding
Exploring 

I would love to know what your plans are for the weekend & the summer!

May 20, 2013

Instagram Roundup

My weekend, as told by Instagram:

There is no other way to say this: Friday sucked. By the time 5:15 rolled around, my hips & legs were literally sore from sitting in one chair all day with only a few very brief breaks (to go to the bathroom, make a PB&J & let me dogs out - that's it). I really needed some fresh air & open space - turns out discovering this Fort Collins treasure was just what the doctor ordered.


This little hike started my weekend off on the right foot. 

Saturday I woke up & went to barre, which is by far my favorite strength work out ever, & then managed to squeeze in a little bike ride with Cory before he went to work.



 While Cory was working, I snuck over to the pool at our gym, which is right across the street from our apartment complex, and got a little reading in.


Later I met up with Lacey, a friend from home. We tend to only see each other in brief, random spurts, but it was great to catch up with her. 



Then Cory & I met our friend, Rachel out for some drinks at a place we had never been before: Ace Gillet's. LOVED IT. It's a fancy little jazz club hidden underneath a boutique hotel on College called The Armstrong Hotel. Their Ruby SOHO martini is to die for, but Cory decides to get this:


What are you gonna do?

Sunday I met another Wichita friend, Jessica & her friend for brunch at Lucille's. It's a little cajun place that always has a 45 minute wait. And people actually wait because it's that good. 



We dined on a chai lattes, beignets, biscuits w/sausage gravy & finally eggs sardou. YUM.


Overall, it was a very nice weekend. After a rough week, it was good to take my mind off of work & remember the important things in life: family, friends, love and faith in God's plan for each of our lives. And with these kind of views in our everyday surroundings it's easy to realize that not much else really matters.









May 17, 2013

Friday Favs

I don't know about you, but it's been a really busy week for me. Here are my favorite things about it!

Getting to see Kate again, so soon! 
Our new boss called this meeting a couple of weeks ago & we were more than happy to oblige.



Digging In at Work.

The main reason that it's been a long week is because I've had so much going on at work. We have a lot of new & exciting stuff on our plate in the marketing department & I'm looking forward to growth.

 

The start of softball season!
Cory & I are playing on a co-ed team & he is also playing on a men's team, which means softball is our life two nights a week for the next 10 weeks (minus a vacation week or two in there).


My Day Designer is in. 

*Nerd Alert*

I'm in the habit of getting my planners mid-year, so when I noticed that my current planner was coming to an end, I knew exactly what I wanted to get. I've been coveting this baby for months now & it's finally arrived. I haven't had time to sit down & beginning filling it out yet, but I am so excited to do this!


A Beautiful Mess - The App!

All of my photos today have been doctored by this free app, which is similiar to Instagram. It's owned by these bloggers & has been a hit with the blogging community thus far. Check it out!











May 16, 2013

Reading List

Reading is one of my absolute favorite things to do & this year I've committed to reading at least 20 books (although secretly I'm aspiring to 24 - two a month). I'm also trying to make it through all of the unread books off my shelves, since it seems I have a little habit of buying books in bulk & not reading them. So I'm close to halfway through my reading list and excited to jump into some summer reading in about a month.

If you haven't already, take a look at some of the books I've read so far this year & my (shortened) thoughts on each of them. 


And here's what I'll be packing for my Florida vacation/Vegas conference (back to back) in June:


I've heard that they are making this book into a movie, with Charlize Theron as the lead character. Speaking of books being made into movies, I'm dying to see The Great Gatsby this week.  

I would love to know what is on your reading list these days. Leave your comments below!

May 14, 2013

Life Lately

Life lately has been a bit interesting for me. And if I'm being honest, I've felt a bit uninspired over the past few weeks. A bit taken aback and disheartened. 

As many of you know, my friend, Kate & I launched our social media marketing company, The Social Avenue at the beginning of the month. Due to reasons that I will not go into, we have put a halt on that effort for the time being (as well as the foreseeable future). After months and months of work, to say that we are disappointed is a bit of an understatement, but on the positive side, this new change has shed some light on things previously hidden. 

I've learned many things about myself over the past couple of months, including:

A newfound love for branding. And I do mean love.
An ability to overcome fear & "go forth in the direction of my dreams", whatever they may be.
The will to shut out self-doubt talk & thoughts.
A level of creativity I didn't realize I possessed. 
The ability to truly not care what others may or may not think. 
The courage to fail, and sort of like it because it means I'm actually living.



Through everything I feel so blessed & truly lead to be on the path that I'm on. I've struggled, made mistakes & am coming out of it all with the knowledge of who I am and what I want from life. 

May 13, 2013

Colorado Casual

This Saturday Cory & I attended the Medical Center of the Rockies and Poudre Valley Hospital Foundation University of Colorado Health Spring Benefit. Whew...what a mouth full. The attire for this event was "Colorado Casual", which initially left me stumped. Through my job I attend numerous events every month (sometimes, like last week, even numerous events per week), but never had I come across a dress code quite like this. 

We love living in Colorado, and so does everyone else who lives here. In fact, there is even a popular bumper sticker that says, "I'm not a native, but I got here as soon as I could!" So, being the newbies that we are, we really wanted to get this right.

How do you think we did?





We saw people in everything from a backpack + NorthFace jacket + shorts to a short, lace black dress. Quite the variety. We had a great time & even ran into people that we knew, which was a strange, but good feeling! We even had the privilege if witnessing a fellow attendee single-handedly donate $50,000 to cancer research (which is the cause the benefit was raising money for). It was amazing.  


I hope you had a great weekend, too!

May 11, 2013

Saturday Morning Sweetness

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness this morning. 

Here's a little list of what is making me so happy at the moment:

Last night's BBQ at our place w/friends.
Sleeping in until after 9:30 a.m.
This gorgeous weather.
Pretty Flowers.


A soft black tank.
Blueberry Waffles - Eating them reminds me of mornings at my grandparents' house when I was growing up.
Soft & Sweet Background Music.
This Cuddly Pup.


A Clean House.
Coffee.
God's Hope & Grace.



May 7, 2013

Hunters

There is a lot of rain forecasted for Fort Collins this week, which is perfectly fine with me. I love rainy days for several reasons:

- The relaxing energy they bring
- It's perfect reading-on-the-couch-with-a-blanket-and-cup-of-tea weather
- A reason to break out my Hunters

I purchased my Hunters last October & am happy I did so. They are much more stable than the former pairs I've had (from Target) and since they are not a super structured fit, I was able to save some $ and order a Kids size. 

When I went to pull them out this spring, I realized that I had no clue what I would wear with them. So I've put together an inspiration board for myself & anyone else that finds themselves with this problem. 




Hunters



Miss Selfridge peach maxi dress / ChloƩ , $360 / Print top / J Brand coral jeans, $430 / H&M low rise jeans, $47 / Hunter wellies boots, $160 / Michael Kors water resistant watch / Henri Bendel stud earrings / Cowl scarve, $225

May 6, 2013

Motivation Monday

Last week was a crazy one for me. Lots of ups & downs, highs & lows, excitement followed by some disappointment. Through the craziness I really thought a lot about God's grace, and how important that is to try to emulate in our every day lives. 

It seems like the only thing we can really control in this world is our attitudes, and when facing unseen obstacles we can't give up. We must continue and with a smile on our face. When we get knocked down, we must get up & try again. 



So with that attitude, I start off this brand new, gorgeous May week. I hope you will join me. 


May 3, 2013

The Derby

Happy Friday! 

If you're weekend includes Kentucky Derby festivities (or the Derby, itself), I've put together some outfit inspiration for you. I will be spending my Saturday at 20/30's Down & Derby Party, mint julep in hand & a big blue hat on my head!

The Derby



Topshop lacy dress / Timeless nude heels, $45 / Tory Burch evening clutch / Lilly Pulitzer jewelry / Yves Saint Laurent vermeil jewelry / Tea party hat / Roberto Cavalli logo sunglasses, $380

May 1, 2013

The Social Avenue

I am super excited to share with you all a "project" I have been working on for the past three & a half months. Today, my friend, coworker & business partner, Kate Simon & I are launching a social media marketing business.



The idea came to Cory in, of all places, a brewery. Go figure. But since that moment in January, we have been off - brainstorming, establishing, purchasing, branding, learning & creating - working our little tails off! And today we finally get to launch & are excited to show our loved ones all of our hard work.

Please check out our website. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram. Show us some love!!

Also, you can head on over to the Ashley Ella Design site and check out her post on our brand.

Now...we're off to find some clients. Wish us luck!