Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Week Re-Cap

There are so many photos from our trip that I want to share but instead of putting them in a re-cap I'm just going to put them in my huge Midwest roadtrip post that is upcoming! How are y'all?

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

8 Summer Movies to Watch this Fourth of July

For the first time in a long time, I don't have plans for the Fourth of July weekend. And...it's refreshing. I figure I'll take myself on a little roadtrip one day but on the actual day I'm going to have a movie marathon with all my favorite foods and watch all of my favorite summer movies. What is a summer movie? Something set in summer that puts you in the mood to dive into a pool, go to summer camp and make s'mores. Speaking of s'mores...make my casserole this weekend! What is your favorite summer movie?

1. The Parent Trap

Where to watch: Disney+
When I say this is one of my all-time favorite films, I'm not lying. It is such a feel-good with the most incredible soundtrack. I was desperate to go to this summer camp as a kid (even though sleep aways are not for me). Fencing? Peanut-butter Oreos? Lake swims? Sign me up!

2. National Lampoon's Vacation

Where to watch: HBO Max
Nothing screams summer like an ill-fated summer roadtrip to an amusement park! I'm not an amusement park girlie...unless it's to enjoy the insane food options but the Griswold family makes me laugh like nothing else.

3. Something's Gotta Give

Where to watch: Netflix
If you're firmly in your coastal grandma era (check out my playlist), this is the bible of that vibe. You'll want to stroll the beach with Diane Keaton in a cream sweater and drink rose on your porch. It's just so beautiful.

4. Jaws

Where to watch: Peacock
This is the movie that inspired this list! I love the subtle humor of it all. While it doesn't make me want to go to the beach, it does make me want to pop popcorn and settle in sans-phone to watch.

5. Dirty Dancing

Where to watch: ABC
Another summer camp I was dying to go to! The activities look so fun! Do I find some of the characters incredibly annoying? Yes. Do I find Patrick Swayze attractive? No. Does it ruin the movie? Absolutely not!

6. Caddyshack

Where to watch: HBO Max
So inappropriate and yet so funny. I am pretty anti-golf, I think all golf courses should be turned into parks, but this makes me want to be a member of a country club. I want to wear preppy clothes and stroll the green with an Arnold Palmer in hand.

7. Moonrise Kingdom

Where to watch: HBO Max
I want to live in this world. It's so aesthetically pleasing. All the story lines are so fun and each time I watch it I pick up on something new.

8. Mamma Mia

Where to watch: Peacock
I mean...it is what it is.

Want more?

The movies I watch when I'm having a bad day >>
Watch the movie of the summer at Denver's drive-in theater >>

Monday, June 27, 2022

Monday Links


Happy Monday!

I'm very pro-union because of my grandfather and I hate that Starbucks is trying to get rid of healthcare to their employees that unionize.

My favorite restaurant in Denver's chef won a James Beard award!

Black trailblazers.

Lizzo changing the lyrics when she unknowingly said something offensive is exactly how you take accountability.

Obsessed with this picnic basket.

The ultimate summer reading list & 15 summer novels for summer reading.

A mint green kitchen? Amazing.

This Josh Brolin interview is hilarious. Love to see actors making fun of themselves!

Katie Holmes summer of sass is hilarious.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Current Favorites

It has been a while since I share some of my current favorites so here we are! Let me know something you're lovin' in the comments.

Josie | Fashion Mumblr Vlogs

I have become obsessed with the coastal grandma aesthetic and someone that I think embodies it with a British twist is Josie. She has been a big thing on the internet for a long time and I'm just incredibly late to the party. Her voice is so soothing, I'm obsessed with her house and I want to pull of dresses like she does.

Kindle Unlimited

One of my friends is a Bookstagramer and because of her I bought a membership to Kindle Unlimited. And let me tell you, I've gotten my money's worth. It is the best way to read BookTok romance recommendations! Instead of waiting for things at the library I can instantly download a book to my phone and then read it anywhere. I'm in love.

Hello Darling Notepad

When I was in Greenville a month ago, I spotted this notepad and fell in love. I literally told myself I didn't need to buy it, put it back and walked away. But then I decided to buy a book and ran back to get it. I have a big life change coming up and decided that this would be my notepad for it. I prefer a legal-pad style to a notebook because I like to rip pages off when I'm done and trash them.

Want more?

Monday's links were good last week >>
Find some summer sandals >>

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Bear Lodge (Devils Tower) Weekdend Trip from Denver


One of the things I wanted to do when I moved to Colorado was visit Devils Tower. My dad and I watched "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" when I was little and I became obsessed with the mashed potato scene. Fast forward to now, I convinced one of my best friends to make the drive up to remote northeastern Wyoming with me. I will not lie, it is quite the hike from Denver, but I 100 percent think it was worth it. I've included the route we took and where we stopped along the way! Have y'all been to Devils Tower National Monument?

The Hilltop Bar & Grill

On our way up from Denver we stopped in for lunch at this Wheatland golf-course restaurant. It was delicious! Very classic American options (cheeseburgers, grilled cheeses, etc.). They do have a bit of outdoor seating as well.

Douglas, Wyoming's Jack

I had written about Douglas a while back so I had to visit the giant jackelope statue. It's a cute little town.

The Rail Yard Gillette

We grabbed dinner to-go at this nice Gillette restaurant. I got a Southwestern wedge salad that was good and the homemade cakes are yummy!

Empire Lodge

Highly recommend picking this lodging for your trip. It's about 35 minutes from the entrance of Devil's Tower and it's affordable. One night split between the two of us was about $50 a person. They are mini cabins with kitchenettes (we made eggs and toast in the morning before leaving), a bathroom, bunkbeds and a queen bed. The front porch has a picnic table so we ate our meals outside to enjoy the weather.

Devils Tower National Monument

The whole point of this post! Bear Lodge is a massive piece of rock that rose up from the Earth...well they aren't sure how or what exactly it is. Some people think it's a giant petfried tree stump (it isn't) and the Indigenous tale of how it came to be is that people were running from a massive bear and the earth rose up to protect them, the lines down the sides are the bear's claw marks. It's one of those landmarks where you don't see it until your about a mile out and it does rise up from the surrounding area in such an odd way. Highly recommend getting there early (on a rainy Memorial Day we got there at around 8am to an empty parking lot, but when we were done the parking lot was full). Definitely hike the trail that goes around the entire monument, you'll understand the scale of it which is something you don't get from photos.

Outpost Cafe

On our way back to Denver we popped into this gas station restaurant and had a delicious meal. The chicken fried steak tastes like something I would get back home and I highly recommend ending with a ice cream sundae.


Want more?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Week Re-Cap


Sampling for Hope was an immense success this year!
I'm gallivanting through the Midwest right now, hope you have a great week!


Some of the best tacos I've had in Denver — Street Feud.
Archetype Distilling
Rewild's watermelon salad

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Monday, June 20, 2022

Monday Links


Happy Monday from somewhere in the MidwesT

Love the new version of The Stripe.

50 LGBTQ+ movies to watch this month — happy Pride!

So sad that Bonnie Brae Tavern is closing.

TikTok vs. Reels.

The Ya Ya Sisterhood is one of my all-time favorite movies & this column encapsulates why.

Bryce Dallas Howard's home is beautiful.

Love Pueblo's breweries!

Definitely want to make these frozen jalapeno watermelon margs this summer.

Walking workouts? Sign me up!

Want more?

Last week's Monday links >>
Visit a Denver farmers market >>

Friday, June 17, 2022

Juneteenth

 

Juneteenth is the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865 news arrived in Galveston, Texas that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free. The fact that this holiday isn't recognized federally is a true issue. Why do we celebrate the Fourth but not this important freedom-gaining holiday?

In order to celebrate I thought I would collect some resources for you to learn more. From donating to learning, let's take this day to support Black Lives Matter. 

D O N A T E

There are many organizations, these are my favorites.

L E A R N

Use these tools to educate yourself.

B U Y

Support these Black-owned businesses.

Want more?

MLK Day >>
Five Points Denver walking tour >>

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Steamboat Springs Weekender Guide

In mid-May my girlfriends and I took a trip to Steamboat for the weekend. It's about 2.5 hours from Denver and we had a blast. Below is everything we did and I highly recommend all of them. If you aren't skiing, a weekend seems like plenty of time to see the 'Boat.

Things to Do in Steamboat Springs


Strawberry Park Hot Springs

With multiple pools of varying temperatures, Strawberry Park is a rustic-meets-luxury hot springs. They sit right alongside Hot Spring Creek, which is so.cold. You can literally take stairs from the hottest pool into the creek and rush down it only to hop out and submerge yourself in the warmth again. We went around 4pm (in summer) and it was beautiful, golden hour was just beginning to hit and everyone was friendly. This spring does turning clothing optional once the sun sets. You must make a reservation online as well, and trust me it makes the process super easy!

Fish Creek Falls

Colorado is oddly sparse when it comes to waterfalls, but Fish Creek is incredible, just look at it! Plus, they have a ton of parking and it's a short walk to the observation deck. There is a difficult hike to a secondary part of the falls but we did this on Sunday morning before driving home and it was the perfect ending to our visit.

F.M. Light & Sons

When I first started working at my job, I wrote about F.M. Light & Sons, then when my family visited last summer we drove by so many signs advertising their wares. So, this was probably the number one thing I had to do in Steamboat. And it didn't disappoint. For my southerners, it reminds me of the Mast Store...just Western. And...we all bought hats. I got my first Stetson and I'm in love. You can also get any kind of cowpoke boot and pearl-snap shirt.

Morning trip to Hayden, Colorado

Just 35 minutes away from Steamboat is Hayden, a cute little Yampa Valley town with an incredible coffee shop. Of course I had to visit because, you know, I'm Hayden.


Wild Goose Coffee at the Granary

I have written about this spot for years but wasn't expecting it to truly wow me. They have a bunch of delightful coffee options but also, they make every baked good in house. And there are vegan options! I am in love.

Hayden Mercantile

Located on the far west side of town, this is the grocery store, ACE Hardware & gift shop for the town. Pop by for something delicious and to get a t-shirt (like I did) to remember your little adventure.

the press.

Most weekends there's a ton of live music around town however, the week we visited this was the only place in town. A conglomeration of local musicians was jamming out to some very old country and it was really fun.

Bop around Downtown

We walked up and down Steamboat's main street a bunch of times and there are a bunch of stores you can pop into. Lots of Western wares, a Steamboat Ski Resort shop and more.

Where to Eat


Back Door Grill

Recommended by Lauren's Starbucks barista, Back Door makes insane burgers (including the one above with a bun made of donuts). We really enjoyed it! The burgers were cooked well and the unique toppings made it even better. I highly recommend the How Ya Doin Burger (cream cheese, jalapeno jelly & bacon). Oh, don't forget to bring a dollar bill to decorate and staple to the wall.

Creekside Cafe & Grill

One of my favorite things about mountain towns is the cute cafes with plenty of outdoor seating ideal for an early lunch of sandwiches, salads and iced teas. Creekside fulfills all those briefs. And the roaring creek next to it? Amazing ambiance.

Salt & Lime

Right on the main drag, Salt & Lime has margarita pitchers and a taco combo plate that are worth the hype. The steak popper and Colorado bison tacos with black beans & rice are so dang delicious.

Colorado Bagel Company

Before heading out of town, grab some freshly baked bagels from this strip-center shop. My friend thoroughly enjoyed the Tuscan with its herbed goat cheese, avocado, tomato and balsamic reduction.

Where to Stay

We stayed at this Airbnb and loved it. The host is amazing (you don't have to do anything but leave at the correct time, like a hotel) and it is convenient to everything. We spent most of our time in the condo out on the massive balcony drinking beers & chatting away as the sun set.

Want more?

3 day guide to Portland, Oregon >>
Go on the ultimate Colorado roadtrip >>

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Week Re-Cap


New favorite beer garden!
Happy mid-week! A lot has been happening and I'm feeling quite overwhelmed with everything, but it's fine. And it will all work out. Anyway, I've been trying to live my best Colorado summer life so I've been taking myself out after work to do fun things. Then I started quarantining because tomorrow I'm headed on an epic roadtrip with the family. I'm pumped! How are y'all doing? Anyone else watching the Jan. 6 hearings?
Tommy's at Soda Lake Beach
Walking tour of Five Points
 
Cerveceria Colorado's Venga lager

Drive through Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge 
Delicious salad at Just BE Kitchen
Oh hey buddy!
Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria
 
Antiquing at Brass Armadillo
Southwest Gardens in Wheat Ridge
All the bowls from Whole Sol.
New favorite summer cocktail: The Popsicle at Welton Room.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

3 Days in Portland, Oregon

In early May I visited my best friend for a long weekend in Portland, Oregon. I have been before, so a lot of the classic "things to do in Portland" didn't apply to me. But, she planned an incredible itinerary and showed me some of the adorable neighborhoods that the City of Roses has to offer. What's your favorite thing to do in Portland?
Begin with an early morning coffee stop into Barista for a hot latte. They take their coffee seriously in this eclectic shop — think floral wallpaper paired with steer horns and old-school boxing posters.
Walk just down the road to this French restaurant & bakery. We got croissants and goodies to-go (we were both working two of the days I visited). Next time I would love to eat at the cafe, it feels super Nancy-Meyers meets Coastal Grandma.

Rollin' Fresh

For lunch order a sushi burrito from one of Portland's best food trucks. They have a few locations around the city, including the Alberta neighborhood. They have regular sushi options but a killer vegan menu as well — I got the Veggie Crunch (tempura squash, tempura asparagus, tempura carrot, tempura sweet potato, pico, blazing salsa) and loved it.
Highly recommend visiting Portland in early May, everything will be blooming!
With towering trees, a pond full of waterfowl and the potential to see a bald eagle. Laurelhurst is a beaut. When it was donated to be a park in 1912, they decided to go with the Olmsted-vision and it just feels so lush and natural. Take an afternoon stroll before...
...grabbing a beer! Over in the Boise neighborhood, StormBreaker has a huge outdoor patio ideal for sipping a clear Kolsch.

Eem

 Walk a few blocks over to Eem for incredible drinks (in glasses that will bring out your inner kelpto...do not steal them) and spicy curries. The green curry comes with crispy pork and roasted veggies and I loved it! Definitely order the "Drugs" cocktail, it's frozen and tastes like a dreamsicle/Dole whip. We did not get there super early on a Thursday night and got in to sit at the bar immediately. But if you have a bigger group or are going on a weekend I highly recommend going early.
End your day with a scoop of Salted, Malted, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough from the West Coast's most famous ice creamery.

Day 2


Pine State Biscuits

Biscuit restaurants seem to be the 2022 version of 2012's cupcake shops. Head over to Pine State for The Chatfield (fried chicken, bacon, cheese, apple butter). It hits the spot on a chilly, rainy, Portland day.

Get your morning cafe fix at the Hawthorne location of Coava, a coffee roaster that is intense about making your drink right.
Probably my favorite thing we did, Mt. Tabor is an incredible city park located on an ancient volcano. I'm a big public park girlie and even the bathrooms were a delight (don't they look like they're out of a storybook???). We parked at the visitors center and walked up to the top. I will admit I got winded at one point because there are two options — a trail that slowly makes its way around or the stairs straight up — and the stairs were rough. The view at the top is impeccable as well.
 
 Once you've gotten your cardio in, change into something a little bit dressier and pop over to Wilder. We just went for drinks and sat out in the street under their massive tent. I liked the Tamarind Fuego with Serrano infused tequila, tamarind puree, honey and lime. 
Gabbiano's
Just down the street, have dinner on the beautiful patio at Gabbiano's. The pasta was delicious but if I'm being honest the thing I think about the most at this meal was the cocktail. It might be the best I've had in years...basically it's a frozen Bellini (white wine, white peach puree, lemon, orange flower water, prosecco and a peach ring). Incredible.


McMenamins

The bestie is obsessed with the McMenamins chain, a wild group of pubs that began in the 1980s and has everything from restaurants to bars to hotels. They like taking historic buildings and making them new again and they even have a passport so you can visit all of them. We visited the Kennedy School location for drinks with a friend, but we also walked around the whole thing (there was an 80s prom happening) and I was into the garden with its picnic tables and lush green plants. It's 100 percent worth a visit.
Named in Yelp's recent "Top 100 Donut Shops, 2022", Pip's is an icon. They serve up chai and mini donuts most mornings. Now...I do not want to be a downer. I loved the vibe. I loved their Oregon pride. And I loved their chai. Like the chai is incredible and worth a visit. Do I think the donuts were worth waiting in line for? Not particularly. They are just little fried things with icing on top to make them the different flavors. But, they do make for a cute photo. Go for the chai, grab some donuts while you're there.
One of the things I did when I visited back in high school was go to Washington Park to see the rose garden, and we went back but for a different reason. But, how I remembered this park is exactly the same. Just downright beautiful. It showcases views of downtown and Mt. Hood in a verdant setting.

A former Japanese ambassador to the U.S., said that this garden was “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside Japan.” You walk up a hill and into this beauty, with its individual gardens and little pockets of peace. I've never been to Japan so I can't say exactly what it feels like, but this garden feels authentic and not like it's playing at being Japanese. It's the ideal last activity for your Portland trip.

HunnyMilk

Once you've been outside all morning, head downtown for Hunnymilk for your last meal. This restaurant combines things I've always wanted — a savory option and a sweet option in one entree. When you walk in, head to the counter to order, then you'll sit on benches and wait until your number is called. They sit you once your food is ready, which is such a cool concept. I had the Popcorn Chicken and Waffle Donuts with the Strawberry Shortcake Bars. I loved it. 10/10.
Just kidding about your last meal! If you get stuck in Portland's airport, grab an insane grilled cheese from the Tillamook Market.