I mean … G is barely even in this photo, but you get the gist — Colorado is amazing in the summer, and summer is right around the corner! I mean, it’s pretty amazing all of the time, but the summer is a great time to check out the mountains, lakes, hikes, breweries … and everything in between.
To help you out if you happen to be in the hood, here are a few of our fave hangouts when the weather gets warmer:
Well friends, somehow — and I’m really not sure how — this photo was taken on New Years Eve ONE YEAR AGO. 2018 is coming to a close, and since we leave for Australia the day after tomorrow, I figured I should put together my Year In Review post before we head out, and then just add Epic Australia, as I will from now on be calling it, once we’re back.
So without further adieu, here is a bit of what we got up to in the year that started with us expanding our little family ….
Happy Tuesday, friends! It’s been a hot sec since I’ve blogged, mostly because we’ve been super busy (in the best possible way) with a visit from Chris’ sister. Yes friends, Auntie Kate is here from Australia, and our girls could. not. be. happier. Our summer so far has consisted of birthday parties, breweries, new adventures (like yoga at Red Rocks!), and a brand spankin’ new deck. Kate is here through July 5, and Chris’ aunt, uncle, and their three kids are joining us for the week of July 4, as well. It’s just about the best way to kick off the summer that I can think of.
Hope everyone else is living their best life, as well 😉
^^ Aussie treats from Aunt Kate included all the Snakes Alive treats that were in Australia <3 Girl knows the way to my heart!
^^ We attended a joint birthday party for our little neighbors the first Saturday Kate was here. It was at The Craftsman & Apprentice in Denver, which meant the kids got to run around and create all kinds of arts and crafts.
^^ This little one has fallen head over heels in love with her Auntie Kate. I don’t know how we’re going to let her leave …
^^ Not only did Auntie Kate come with all the Aussie treats, but she also came with all the Aussie clothes. Here, Grace & Lotte are modeling their new Bonds pjs by rolling around on the ground together.
^^ We took Auntie Kate to the Denver Children’s Museum last Friday and Lotte had so much fun showing her all her favorite things – including this bubble room, which is always the biggest hit.
^^ Kate treated me to a session of Yoga on the Rocks at Red Rocks. I was nervous since the extent of my yoga experience was the class Steph’s friend taught for our Mom’s fundraiser back in April, but this was so much fun!
^^ Auntie Kate joined us for Lotte’s gym class last Saturday, too. She’s pretty much the best sport ever.
^^ We’re testing out some books for Parents magazine like we did last year, and this year is so much fun because Lotte is actually into books now. This picture has got to be one of my faves ever.
^^ And this one …
^^ And this one!
^^ This past Sunday would have been my mom’s birthday, so Kate & Chris took the girls to Chautauqua Park in Boulder so I could have some time to myself. They only got a short way into the hike before it started raining, unfortunately, but it still seems like they had a lot of fun.
^^ This past Sunday we christened our brand new deck with our first barbecue with my cousin and her husband and kids. It’s always fun hanging with that crew, but to host our first guests on our brand new back deck made it even more special.
And that has been our summer in a nutshell so far, my friends! We have the rest of our guests to look forward to in July (as well as Lotte’s 2nd birthday, which I can’t talk about …), and another trip back east in August. Other than that, you’ll find us on the back deck if you need us <3
Happy October, friends! My friend Lisa came for a visit last week and it was so splendid. We actually headed to Vail for a quick overnight getaway on Sunday, where we stayed at Antlers and ordered food and walked around the adorable town and chatted and basically had a blast. An early fall snowstorm coated the ground in snow, which made it all the more beautiful and festive, if not somewhat scary to drive home in :/ We made it, though, and the trip was definitely worth the trek!
^^ This photo is blurry, but I love it. Lisa & I have so much fun together, always. I seriously hope Lotte and new Baby C find friends like her in their own lives …
^^ The view from our balcony. I would highly recommend Antlers – it’s close to a bunch of shops and restaurants and has a free shuttle to take you into the other section of town. We had a huge kitchen and living area with a fireplace, plus a balcony with a grill. We didn’t use the pool or hot tub area, but it looked glorious, as well.
^^ Lisa took this shot on our porch – oh hello, third trimester! This pregnancy is seriously flying by, so I’m hoping to slow down a bit this season and savor the final few weeks of it (11, to be exact!) … as if that’s possible 😉
^^ While Lisa & I were livin’ it up in Vail, Lotte had a fun little day date with her dad on Monday. He took her to the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center, which I think may have actually been more of a trip for Chris than for Lotte 😉 (Chris’ obsession with tarantulas borders on the insane … ) Look at this fun lunch he packed for Lotte for their little outing, though – how cute?!
We spent the rest of the week at home, taking walks, making trips to the playground, cooking delicious foods (well, Lisa cooked, I ate), and Chris & I even snuck out to the Red Rocks Thursday night for a date to see The Shins, which was amazing.
^^ The Shins were amazing — such a good show! Thanks for letting us play hooky for a night, Lisa!
^^ Three (ice cream) cheers to besties and the amazing times we have with them. Please come back soon, Loo, we miss you!
Well friends, just like that our little Lotte is one. Chris & I cannot believe it. Just yesterday we were bringing home our six-pound ball of love, and today she’s standing, taking steps, saying words and basically charming us (and amazing us) every single minute. To celebrate our Little’s birthday, my dad, stepmom and stepdad flew out, and we loaded on the activities. We visited the Red Rocks, tried out the Arvada Splash Pad (an A+, by the way!), had lunch in Olde Town and ice cream at Scrumptious, followed at birthday cake (called a Strawberry Charlotte from the La Patisserie Francaise bakery … how could we resist!) and opened lots and lots of presents. On Friday we checked out the Garden of the Gods, and then Saturday was the MS Hike at Keystone. Although it rained the entire event, we still had an amazing time honoring my mom.
The grandparents were all gone by late Sunday morning, but I’m hoping we made memories for everyone that will never fade. I think Lotte had a fabulous week of birthday celebrations (including her birthday shindig in New York last Sunday). I know for my part I’ve loved celebrating this little one and the amazing little girl she’s becoming. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.
^^ Lotte’s an old hat at touring people around Red Rocks. In fact, this was the first-ever place she visited (besides the doctor) after she was born!
^^ One of Lotte’s favorite games while my Dad was here was pointing at him to get his attention, and it was kind of adorable.
^^ The group of us squired Lotte around the block in her Radio Flyer, a birthday gift from my aunt and uncle. How fun is that?!
^^ Facetiming with Aussie Nan & Papa (who couldn’t be here in person, for obvious reasons) on the morning of Lotte’s birthday to open her presents from them was also a highlight!
^^ This. Smiling. Face!!! Oh, and by the way, it’s true – I am pregnant again 😉 New Baby Connor will be making his or her arrival in mid-December … wahoo!
^^ Flying high as a one-year-old 😉
^^ How adorable is the Arvada Splash Pad?! We will absolutely be back here.
^^ As long as there is a television around to watch, Lotte is happy 😉
^^ This car from Mommom & Papa was a big hit, as was the play kitchen my sisters and parents chipped in to get her. Everyone hit it out of the park with gifts for this girl!
^^ My nickname for Lotte is pumpkin (“puntin,” actually, don’t ask me why!), and Chris calls her monkey, so we compromised for her birthday cake. Plus the candles (which we were never able to find a lighter to light … oops!) came all the way from Australia!
^^ It’s always fun to play with birthday noise makers 😉
^^ Lotte may have only had a few bites of her cake, but the adults couldn’t get enough. So good!
Lotte’s birthday was Thursday, and Friday we checked out Garden of the Gods, then on Saturday we headed into the mountains to do the MS Hike at Keystone.
^^ Lotte’s U.S. grandparents in full force 😉
^^ This busy bee has had quite the couple of weeks, so she snoozed on the way to the hike to Keystone.
^^ A little rain couldn’t keep us away!
^^ This little face. Boy I sure do love her.
I can’t stop thinking about how many people made Lotte’s first birthday so special. From everyone who made last weekend’s party possible to my dad & stepmom & stepdad for coming out this week, it just felt like such a special time for us, and I know Lotte felt so loved.
To be one … it’s a pretty special thing, isn’t it?
Welcome to Monday, friends! Do weekends seriously scream by, especially in the summer, or is it just me? This weekend was jam packed for us (as is most of our July, actually), but it was a lot of fun. Chris and I split parents’ nights out when he saw a concert at Red Rocks on Friday and I attended the same one Saturday. (Concerts at Red Rocks, by the way, are never bad, even when you have no idea what band you’re seeing, like we didn’t 😉 Luckily the band we saw — The Avett Brothers — turned out to be amazing!)
Saturday we also had a birthday party in Denver for our friends’ 2-year-old, and yesterday a friend flew into town from New York to stay with us for a couple days.
As I said … our weekend was for partying, friends 😉 Hope yours was great, too!
^^ This little girl certainly loved the birthday cake part of the birthday party!
^^ I could stare at Red Rocks views all day, every day. We headed over to the area a tad early so we could tailgate before the show started, which is always my recommendation.
^^ Love these ladies <3
^^ Not the best photo, and it’s really hard to capture the awesomeness of Red Rocks, but believe me when I say you’ll never look at another music venue the same after attending a concert here.
^^ Just making sure our guest Gavin is cool … he is!
The day after Christmas we all packed up and headed to Keystone to spend a couple days in the mountains. We rented a cabin in Gateway Mountain Lodge, which was super close to the slopes and the little shopping area, so everyone was happy.
And while my day at the mountain was cut painfully short when my lovely daughter refused to take a bottle from my sister and stepdad, who were babysitting (long story short, it was actually my fault … lesson learned), I still had a lot of fun, and I think everyone else did, too.
^^ Ready for her mountain adventure!
^^ Could the back of these pants be any cuter?
^^ Darkest photo ever of our pit stop at Red Rocks on the way to Keystone.
^^ This window in our cabin … can I have one in my house, please?
^^ Although I missed out on snowboarding last season since I was pregnant, this was the first time I got on my snowboard and really just felt it all click. So. Much. Fun!
^^ Somebody had a five month birthday celebration at the mountains, surrounded by family. Not a bad way to spend a birthday, my friends.
^^ My stepdad bought all of us these New York shirts for Christmas and we wore them to dinner on our last night. How cute are we?!
^^ So long mountains, see ya in a couple weeks when we head to Breckenridge with some friends!
And that was our little mountain getaway in a nutshell. It was only three days, but it felt longer for some reason, which was nice. We’re off Friday to Philly and then New York to celebrate second Christmas with my Philly fam and then to attend a wedding in Central Park on Tuesday. (Ummmm … how much do I love how much we’re getting back to NYC with Lotte lately? A LOT, let’s just say!)
Bis bald, friends! I’ll just go ahead and leave you with this video of me rockin’ out on my snowboard 😉
So I just dropped Lisa off at the airport. Gosh golly I hate good-byes! We had a ton of fun while she was here, though, and I’m eternally grateful for that. I actually ended up doing a whole bunch of new stuff while she was in town, as well, which I wasn’t expecting, and that was a nice little added bonus.
I figure I’ll break her visit up into two posts, since we did so much, and I’ll cover things that were new to me more in depth than those things I’ve already talked about here.
So buckle up, friends — you’re in for quite the ride.
Lisa arrived late on Thursday, so we basically chilled for most of the afternoon, and then headed to Rio for dinner that night. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — if you’re in Denver and you like Mexican, Rio is a must-hit.
Friday: On Friday we headed to Red Rocks in the morning (which is always an amazing time), and then drove the short distance from Red Rocks to Golden, a small, cute little Colorado town where the Coors Factory lives. They give free tours there during the day, but the wait was about an hour and we thought our time would be better used by exploring the town a bit via car, which turned out to be pretty stinkin’ cute. I’ll come back for ya, Coors tour! We ate lunch at the Old Capitol Grill, too, and the waitress assuaged our fears of the tornadoes that were touching down in towns all around both Golden and Denver. (They ended up heading out East, so both Golden and Denver were spared.)
We had Slice Works pizza and garlic knots for dinnerthat night, which is always a hit.
Saturday: Saturday turned out to be a day filled with new adventures. Lisa had discovered that one of her favorite brunch places from Louisville, Kentucky— Wild Eggs — also has a restaurant in Denver, so we hit that up for breakfast, and then while driving Lisa through the Capital Hill neighborhood and Cheesman Park, we drove right by the Botanic Gardens and decided to just stop on in. It was a gorgeous day, and Chris and I had never been to the Gardens before, but it turns out this little piece of heaven is quite the quiet sanctuary, and I think it’s safe to say I’ll be back.
^^ My Bennies Gone Wild with wild mushrooms and a side of biscuits. Yum.
^^ We celebrated combined missed birthdays with beer and birthday hats at Wynkoop. There’s nothing even remotely silly about this photo, right?
^^ Our paintings came out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself …
^^ For our cheese plate at The Truffle Table we ordered Avalanche Goat Cheddar from Basalt, Colorado; Brillat Savarin from Normandy France (a cow’s milk cheese); Tete du Moine from Switzerland (another cow’s milk cheese); Cana de Oveja from Spain (a sheep’s milk cheese); and Quatizo Gouda (a water buffalo and mixed milk cheese). Of course we had no idea what any of these cheese meant, but our waitress was fantastically knowledgeable and we were all extremely happy with what she thought we might like.
And that, my friends, is where I’m going to leave you regarding this visit, for now. I’ll be back later this week with our shenanigans for Monday and Tuesday, Lisa’s final days in Denver.
So we just bid adieu to my Mom and stepdad who were here visiting for the past couple of days. Despite weather that begged us to just stay inside and hibernate (and cancelled our baseball game — thanks freakin’ springtime snow!), we managed to fit in quite a bit of activity.
^^ When cold, rain and snow forced us to change our (outdoor) plans for Saturday, we headed to the Molly Brown House Museum first, and then …
^^ … to Rio Grande for some delish Mexican and marguerites, yo! ^^ Our baseball game was cancelled on Saturday night, so we decided to go see The Avengers at the United Artists Denver Pavillions Stadium 15, and holy crap guys, they have leather seats that electronically recline allllll the way back so you’re basically laying down in the comfort of a leather chair watching a movie. Amazing! Almost amazing enough to make up for the fact that the power blacked out 15 minutes before the movie ended and we had to wait 20 minutes for it to come back on. Oh well, you know what they say, when it rains it …
^^ Snows! Only in Denver could a freak snowstorm occur in the middle of May. Well okay, probably not only in Denver, but on Saturday night it sure felt that way!
^^ After the movie we hit up 5280 Burger Bar, which, I imagine, would be a meat-lovers dream come true … ^^ See what I mean? Blech! (This was Chris’s, by the way, obviously not mine!)
^^ The ice cream sundaes, however, I can definitely get on board with!
^^ Things were looking up on Sunday, which was Mother’s Day.
^^ That night we headed to the Green Russell for drinks before dinner at Osteria Marco in Larimer Square. This time we all chatted with the bar tender about our drink likes and dislikes, and had him custom-make some concoctions for us, which did not disappoint! ^^ Finally, finally, the sun came out on Monday! So we took advantage and hopped in the car and headed out to Red Rocks.
^^ I think it’s safe to say they liked it here 😉
^^ Monday afternoon I had booked us for the high tea service at The Brown Palace Hotel, which is the oldest (and by far the fanciest!) hotel in Denver. This was so much fun, friends. We got all dressed up and there was a live piano player. We each ordered one type of tea (mine Chai, of course), and were served in our own little pots. The service came with two types of scones (regular and chocolate chip) served with Devonshire butter and jam, as well as three different types of finger sandwiches and four different mini-desserts. I’ve never felt so fancy!
^^ How adorable are these desserts!?
^^ Even though our baseball game was cancelled I still got to walk my parents by the stadium, and Robert even went back and took a tour the day they left. It was $10 and he said it was definitely worth it. They walked the field, saw where the players get ready, sat in the dugout … seems like a dream for baseball fans!
^^ Me & Mom outside Union Station.
^^ On Tuesday we were back in the car and headed to South Pearl Street in Boulder to check out the shops.
And that was about it, my friends. They left on Wednesday after checking out Chris’s office and having lunch at Backcountry Deli. Not too shabby for a quick five-day trip, huh?
This weekend we’re heading to A-Basin for some springtime snowboarding, and then next weekend, my friends, we’re heading out to Moab, Utah, to go camping with our friends. This, my dear friends, is why I was so excited to move out here in the first place. Our first real road trip! Wish us luck …
Denver. Ah, Denver. Our third and final stop on our short little tour of Colorado.
You see, we’ve heard lots of amazing things about this city. We have a handful of friends and family members who live here, and they just seem to love, love, love, love, love it.
Like … really, they love it a lot.
So we had high expectations, to say the least.
We started our tour of Denver with a quick drive around the city to familiarize ourselves with it. We drove through Cheeseman Park (so cute!), and stopped off in the Capitol Hill area to take in a few of the more touristy aspects …
^^ Cheesy tourist photos — they’re kind of a must … am I right?!
After hanging around on our own for a while, we met up Thursday evening with my brother-in-law’s sister and her fiancee. (Did ya catch that?) Anyway, Rachel and Steve have lived in Denver for a bunch of years now, and they are two of those people I mentioned before who just love, love love it there 😉
They took us to the Vine Street Pub & Brewery for dinner, which was super chill and relaxed. We went outside with beers from the bar and watched people playing Cornhole while we waited for our table … it was that relaxed.
And that was about it for Thursday, since we didn’t get into Denver until around 1 anyway. Friday, however, we had quite the touristy day. We woke up early so that we could head out to the Red Rocks Amphitheater, which was simply stunning.
^^ We were shocked at how much exercising went on here!
Seriously, people everywhere running up and down the stairs,
jumping the rocks, running every single row … fascinating!
I guess if you have to work out, you can’t have a
better backdrop then at Red Rocks, right?
Red Rocks was about an hour outside of Denver, and we spent a couple hours there just taking it all in. So by the time we made it back into the city, we were starving!
Thank God for Mexican food when you’re starving … am I right?! And Rio Grande in the LoDo section did not disappoint.
We sat outside under umbrellas in the 70-degree weather (hello, summer!), eating our burritos and drinking our margaritas. [A word to the wise: Watch it on the margaritas here. A single drink contains 3.5 shots of tequila! That’s why they have a three drink maximum on the margs, particularly. We should know, we asked ;)]
After lunch I headed across the street to buy an outrageously expensive tee from Patagonia (I was desperate! I hadn’t read the weather beforehand and was wearing two long-sleeved shirts … and I was sweltering!), and then we caught the free 16th Street MallRide shuttle over to Commons Park, where we hopped on bikes from the Denver Bike Share program and rode over the South Platte River to the section of Denver known as The Highlands.
And oh my goodness did we love it here, my friends! And it wasn’t just because of Little Man Ice Cream (although that did help a lot ….)
This whole area had a very relaxed, young, happening atmosphere. It was very cool, to say the least.
So after scarfing down some ice cream (don’t ask me how I did that after eating a ton of Mexican for lunch … I have a superhuman stomach, this is for certain), we hopped back on our bikes and rode as fast as possible back to the LoDo section to meet up with Chris’s old boss for drinks at Freshcraft before heading off to the Washington Park section of Denver to meet up with our cousin and her husband and baby.
Sheesh we really crammed a lot into one full day, didn’t we!?
Anyway, Courtney and Charlie’s place was adorable, and they were so lovely to get a babysitter for the evening so that they could come back out with us for dinner at the Ale House and a couple of brewskies afterwards at Denver Beer Co. (Which, by the way, might have been my favorite brewery of all the ones we visited. It was late when we arrived — in fact we stayed until closing at midnight — but the big garage doors that make up the front of the place were thrown open from the warmer weather earlier in the day, and everyone was hanging out on picnic tables with their dogs. Very fun.)
And that, as they say, was that, my friends. It was a lot to do in one day, but I’m really glad that we got to fit in as much as we did on Friday. I wasn’t convinced that we had seen everything Denver had to offer on Thursday (I mean that’s a stupid thing to even write, because of course we didn’t. It’s impossible to see everything any city has to offer in one day), but Friday gave me a better look at the Denver that I had heard so much about.
And that I really, truly, look forward to going back to.