Hello, friends … welcome to December! With the holiday and the end of the year right around the corner, things are insane! Which is why we were so lucky to get the chance to shoot back to New York one last time to see all our loves.
(Mind you we’ve visited our favorite state quite a bit this year, documented here and here and here and more!).
To start, my sister & I planned a surprise 60th birthday bash for our stepdad, and it was so much fun! He was so surprised!
After our day upstate celebrating Grandpa, we spent a quick few hours in NYC on Sunday before flying back that night. We met up with our forever besties, took in the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City, and walked the Bryant Park holiday shops in the glorious rain.
And that was our trip, friends. It’s always too short — even when we stay for weeks! — but always very sweet. Until next time, NY …
Now it’s on to our next adventure … Europe for Christmas in JUST. TWO. WEEKS! We’re meeting Chris’ parents for a winter adventure in Germany, Switzerland and, hopefully, Iceland (if a certain volcano can make up its mind). We are very excited, but also ready to relax for the two weeks until then.
Until those updates … bis bald, friends, and happy holidays!
There’s plenty to love about Beaver Creek — its quaint, safe feel, gorgeous views and friendly people, to name a few — but the Hyatt offered its own set of amenities to treasure.
You can catch the gondola or ski lift right outside the door and take it to the top of the mountain. There you’ll find a lodge with lots of fun games, tons of hiking trails, or plenty of spaces to just sit and sip and relax, if that’s your preferred mountain activity.
The town itself has tons of restaurants and shops, like I mentioned, plus a cute creek and, if you walk a short distance, a playground.
And obviously no trip of ours is complete without trying out the pool & hot tub situation. Both options at this hotel scored a 10/10 on our scale.
And that was it in a nutshell, my friends. We love you Beaver Creek! My only wish is that this place is slightly closer (it’s two hours in good traffic). If it were, we’d be there much more often, I can promise you that 😉
Bis bald, friends! I’ll be back tomorrow with our third and final press trip of the summer — C Lazy U Ranch!
Happy fall, friends! Back in July of this past summer, we were lucky enough to check out Grand Colorado on Peak 8 in Breckenridge for a press trip. I couldn’t share our adventures until the story came out, and now that it has, I’m so excited to drop some mountain love here, as well.
We stayed at the resort from Friday night through Sunday afternoon. And even though we hit some gnarly traffic on the ride home, it was definitely worth it. Other than a small accident that put Emilia in urgent care on Saturday night, we all had a blast.
We arrived to our suite late afternoon on Friday, and holy hell was it impressive! Our living room had amazing views of the mountain, the Adventure Park activities and the pool area down below. In general, the hotel was very well suited for families, and the girls had the best time exploring.
On Saturday we explored the resort a bit more (pools, kids’ crafts & cafe), and drove into town to check out the Breckenridge Alpine Garden.
And that was it, friends! 10/10 recommend this place for adventurous, outdoor-loving families looking for a fun getaway! Until my next press trip post (we had THREE!) … bis bald, friends!
Happy end of October, friends! I just finished pulling off a MASSIVE surprise that I’ve known about since we were in Australia in December. All four of Chris’ siblings flew out to surprise him for his 40th bday bash, and it was epic and wonderful and all the things.
After our trip out to Disneyland earlier in October, these two big events made for a super fun month. I hope you’ve all been making the most of fall and gearing up to head into a holiday season filled with love and festive activities.
Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately <3
And that was it in a nutshell, my loves. We’re so sad it’s over, but so happy we got to be a part of it at all. Life sure does move fast, friends. The only saving grace after saying goodbye to our loves was our first snow of the season.
Happy September friends! I hope you all had amazing, restful Labor Day weekends. We spent ours back East with our beloved NY fam for my sister’s twins’ baptism, of which Chris & I had the honor of being anointed their grandparents at.
The baptism and afterparty were the main events of the weekend, but we snuck in some quality hang time at Grandpa’s, some quality pool time at my brother-in-law’s parents’ house, and some quality drinking/relaxing time at Angry Orchard, as well.
Steph had never been to Angry Orchard — an orchard that distills hard apple cider — but it’s well-known throughout New York so it was fun to go and check out where the magic happens.
Well I, specifically, will be back at the end of September for my cousin’s wedding, which made this goodbye sad, but not as sad as it would have been had I not had that to look forward to.
Because plans are what keep me going, friends! So until then … bis bald, my loves!
Happy Tuesday, friends! I just arrived back from the best trip down South — to Savannah, Georgia, to be exact — with three of my closet friends that I’ve known since our 2nd grade Balmville Elementary School Days in Newburgh, New York. 2023 marks 40 years on earth for all of us, meaning 30-plus years of friendship.
If that’s not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is.
We stayed at this Airbnb, which was the perfect location for us. We were walking distance to so many restaurants, bars and shops, not to mention the water and the Savannah and ghost tours, both of which we took full advantage.
Since I knew I’d be mostly catching up with my friends, I didn’t spend too much time researching what I might want to do while in town. Seeing my friends, checking out some gorgeous trees and eating delicious food was about all I had on my list. Luckily, my friend Laura did do her research, and she guided us through the most magical and perfect couple of days in (holy crap it was hot!) Savannah. Some of our highlights included:
Dinner at The Olde Pink House. This place was SO. STINKIN. COOL! It’s actually an old house that turned naturally pink when the sun baked through the white paint to expose the brick underneath. You can check out the entire house — which is gorgeous — after you eat and, of course, they say it’s haunted.
On Sunday we drove out to Tybee Island, which was about 20 minutes and totally worth the drive. It was the cutest little beach town.
Arco Lounge had the yummiest (and prettiest!) craft cocktails.
The breakfast at Little Duck Diner was so good (even if the service was so incredibly slow).
Besides all the eating, drinking and site seeing — which was an integral part of the trip, don’t get me wrong — it was so amazing to catch up with these lovelies. We live in Colorado, upstate New York, Florida and Arizona, respectively, so as you can imagine we don’t get together that frequently. Upon leaving this trip we made a pact to do this every five years.
I surely hope we can keep that promise.
Here’s a bit of what we saw, friends!
I sure do love these muffins. Best friends are hard to come by. People who stick by you through thick and thin are hard to come by. Finding people who have been with you from the beginning is a nearly impossible feat. My luck to have been found these friends is off the charts.
Bis bald, my friends. I hope you’re soaking in the last days of summer, too!
Happy August, friends! Man, oh man, did that summer fly by! I mean, I know it’s technically still summer, and for most of the country, kids are still out of school. Here in Colorado, though, we’re gearing up for the return of the school season (TOMORROW!), and all the insanity that comes with it.
Traditionally speaking, summer has never been my favorite season. I obviously loved having the time off from school when I was a kid, but as an adult, the heat and humidity, long, lazy days … it’s just not really my thing. So, after returning from New York at the start of the girls’ summer vacation, I vowed to make this year different. I vowed to say yes. Yes to more concerts and more shows. Yes to more swimming and more adventures. Yes to being out in the (hot!) world more. The older girls would be in summer camp for the majority of the break, but I also wanted Emilia to have a stellar time. I enrolled her in swim lessons and a couple half days of camp. I made an Emilia Summer Bucket List and slowly ticked things off as the weeks went by. We took more walks, went to story times at the library and got her a scooter.
All of this is to say … this summer, I changed my own personal narrative. Don’t get me wrong. I was still very tired and had moments of absolute stress. We had illnesses and bumps and bruises and fought boredom (and each other), for sure. But overall, this was a summer for the books, and we didn’t even travel until the last few weeks of it. We made fun in our own backyard, as it were, and I’m here for the results, experiences and memories.
I hope you’re all making the most of any breaks that have come your way, as well!
I hadn’t been to Red Rocks as much in my eight years of living in Colorado combined as I have this season … including one more to come in September that I’m SO EXCITED FOR!
Swim Lessons For Em
Junkyard Social Club
Playdates, Playdates & More Playdates
Father’s Day Delights
Camp, Camp & More Camps!
Ralston Central Park & Splash Pad
Touristing With Visitors
Camp for Emilia, Too 😉
The Book of Mormon
Children’s Museum of Denver
Milestones & Makin’ Memories <3
Our Neighborhood Block Party
The Indigo Girls in Fort Collins!
Mordecai Children’s Garden (the Denver Botanic Gardens)
Big Soda Lake in Bear Creek Lake Park
Yard Sale Sunday!
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Press Trips x 3!
We were lucky enough to be able to go on not one, not two, but THREE press trips this summer. I can’t write a lot about them just yet, but once the story is out, I’ll post more details. For now I’ll just share the where ….
When my stepdad was in town for Lotte’s birthday, we took Emilia to check out Tiny Town, a cute little kids’ play area in the mountains that has a bunch of small, kid-sized buildings that make up a “town” they can play in, plus a playground and a train. So cute <3
Lair o’ the Bear Park
Taking Emilia to visit Lair o’ the Bear Park was the final tick I needed to complete her Summer of Fun Bucket List. It was even better that the girls had the week before school started off and the four of us got to visit together <3
PHEW! And now, the girls start school tomorrow. We’ve bought backpacks and new clothes, gotten haircuts and had our doc check-ups. I don’t know what to say about the fact that time keeps on flying. Except that I’m sure glad I said yes to this summer, and that we’ve all had these experiences. Starting the summer in New York with our loves was the absolute best, and we did our best to keep the party going all season long. It’s been a summer I won’t forget.
It was the sweetest of days with some of our besties <3
American Museum of Natural History
Alice’s Tea Cup
After the museum we walked over to Alice’s which, while thoroughly expensive (it was a full tea service that, let’s be honest, mostly got thrown out) was a true NY experience, as well. I’m really glad we did it!
We left Alice’s around 2:30 and had reservations at 4 for Top of the Rock, so we took our time wandering through Central Park to get there.
Top of the Rock
This is one of Chris’ favorite spots in the city, so it was fun to take the girls there to experience the city the way that birds do <3
After a very long day, it was back on the subway to head to our home away from home.
Seeing the sites is one thing, but catching up with your loves … that’s everything.
I feel like I should start this post by writing: “And just like that, I was 40.”
It’s what almost everyone says about turning 40, but it doesn’t actually feel that way. On the one hand yes, I feel like I turned 21 just yesterday. But on the other hand … holy hell a lot of work has gone into reaching this decade!
Between 30 and 40 I became a whole new person. I entered into my first year of marriage, started my business and moved across the country. I added countries and states and continents to my travels, bought a house, sold a house, bought another one. I had two miscarriages and three babies. I lost and gained friends. I lost my Mom.
It’s been a ride, friends!
Anyway, all of this is to say, entering my 40s does feel like a milestone, but not in a “oh my God I’m so old!” way. More in a, “Wow, that was a whirlwind. I wonder what’s next?!” kind of way.
So to kick off this new and exciting decade, I thought it would be nice to celebrate in a place that’s been on my Bucket List since I wrote a geography report about it in 8th grade: Glacier National Park.
And I was right — she did not disappoint.
Although traveling at the end of March/early April meant that most things (restaurants, hotels, sections of the main road) would be either closed or covered in snow, it also meant that we literally had the entire place to ourselves. It was magical, friends. When I tell you the park was our playground, what I mean is that we probably saw about a dozen people the entire time we were there, and the majority of those were on the final day when we visited one of the most popular lakes in the entire park.
We’ve already made plans to go back when the weather is nicer, now that we got to have our initial trip all to ourselves.
Here’s a little bit of what we got up to on my 40th birthday trip.
Day 1: Arrival
We didn’t arrive until mid-afternoon on our first day, which was a nice way to ease into the trip.
We knew we wanted to get up early on Friday to start the exploring, so after dinner we hit the hay (the girls did enjoy their loft beds in this Airbnb, that’s for sure!) and called it a night!
Day 2: East Glacier
On our first full day in the park, we hit the road! We were staying near the West Glacier entrance, but we wanted to head over to the East side to check out Two Medicine Grill for breakfast on our way to St. Mary Lake.
Day 3: Polebridge Mercantile
On our second day in the park we traveled over dirt roads and through rivers (basically) for … HUCKLEBERRY BEAR CLAWS!
It was honestly a good day, friends, filled with Facetimes and family and fun and Huckleberry things. I felt very loved and special on this day, and there wasn’t anything else I could have possibly wanted.
Oh, Montana, you stole my heart. This was the trip of a lifetime, and I’m so happy I got to spend it with my crew.
On Monday it was …
That was my 40th birthday adventure in a nutshell, friends. I hope you enjoyed following along.
I can’t wait to see where my 40s take me in this crazy beautiful world, and I can’t wait to bring you along.
Happy Monday, friends! We celebrated the holiday weekend with a visit from one of my oldest friends and her husband and kids. Another one of my high school friends moved to the area recently, and this little mini-reunion between the three of us — along with my kids getting to hang out with Faye’s kids — was everything my soul needed.
The excitement began before we even got off the plane, friends … look at that view!
After spending Christmas and the next few days at Chris’ parents’ house in Bathurst, we loaded up the car and headed off to Sydney, where the girls would be staying with their grandparents and some aunts, uncles and cousins, while Chris and I headed off to New Zealand — BY OURSELVES — to celebrate our 15-year meet-a-versary, our 10-year anniversary of being married, New Years Eve (which just happens to be the anniversary of both of those aforementioned things) and the upcoming year of our 40th bdays.
But really, you don’t understand. We never leave our kids, and we especially don’t leave them overnight. In fact, we’ve only left Lotte & Grace overnight once, and that was the last time we were in Australia.
In other words, this was long overdue!
Despite knowing how much we’d enjoy the trip, we definitely waffled. Leaving three kids with any number of adults is bound to be a lot, and flights and accommodation during the holidays are astronomical. After going back and forth on it, we finally decided to JUST GO FOR IT, and we settled on spending our three-night getaway in Queenstown.
I’m so glad we did.
With so much to celebrate on this trip, we decided to just really go for it. All of that is to say — we splurged in a way we don’t normally … and I don’t feel badly about it one little bit 😉
The largest expenses by far were the flights ($2,515) and the lodging ($2,243).
We stayed at the QT Queenstown and would highly recommend it! Besides the fact that they treated us royally (with the sweetest welcome/happy anniversary package of champagne, chocolate, bath bombs and free drink tickets at their hotel bar), the (absolutely spectacular) breakfast was complimentary and in a gorgeous dining room, the location was perfect, and the views were out of this world.
We also went all-out with our meals (besides breakfast, which was always free and always at our amazing hotel). Because hey, you only have a 10-year-anniversary and you only turn 40 once!
Day One: Arriving
Here’s a little pro tip from me to you — when you’re an American traveling from Australia to New Zealand (ie. me), you do need a travel Visa, and it’s best to get this sorted before you head to the airport. Also, Quantas and Jetstar both have weight limits for carry-ons (not sure about other airlines, but these are the two that we traveled). Both of these are fun things we learned the hard way.
After our initial hiccups, we landed in gorgeous Queenstown, checked into our hotel, then set out to take in the town at twilight and have dinner at The Bunker, a romantic hidden gem offering a prefix menu and wine pairing situation that we were all too happy to enjoy.