With all the shipping and inventory delays this holiday season I wanted to be sure to get holiday gift guides out to you early. I never want anyone to feel pressure to shop or gift give during the season, but if you are on a mission to find the perfect gift for a special person in your life, I’m here to make that process simple!
I will also be doing a small business gift guide and an experience gift guide in the following days.. be sure to check back for those!
** As always I appreciate you shopping our guides and supporting our family. When you shop via these gift guides I receive a very SMALL commission from the retailer. This cost you nothing, but I always want to be transparent about this. **
I’m not sure if brown is the new black, but I do know it is everywhere this season! I love the richness and versatility of the color. If you are looking for an easy way to add this in your wardrobe this season.. I’ve gathered up several staple pieces to explore. Monochromatic in head to toe brown hues is a great way to go as well!
The biker short trend is one I can totally get on board with. They are comfortable and super easy to wear. They have a bit of a more modest length, which is perfect when you are active or to be able to wear them day to night.
So many biker shorts have been selling out because they are such a hot item, but I’m rounding up some favorites that are currently available and sharing a few different ways to style them.
** Click on any image to shop. **
This is great for working out and then adding some quick accessories to run errands. This cami tank is a great staple piece. It’s super comfortable and a great length to show a tiny bit of midriff or you could size up if you’d prefer a no show look. There is also a great less expensive option that comes in tons of colors for $20 HERE.
Everyday casual. The key to this look is a shirt that is a bit oversized. You can roll up the sleeves if you’d like it to be a bit more polished.
A more dressed approach to the biker short trend. I just added a linen blazer over a graphic tee and popped on a pump. It’s simple, but comfortable and perfect for a summer night out.
** You can check out several other summer staple items on this roundup post, HERE. **
We refer to Vail as our “happy place.” You just can’t beat breathing in the fresh mountain air, the stunning views, hot tubbing with snow falling around you, the freeing feeling of skiing down the mountain…I could go on and on.
Strolling through the village feels as if you are walking through an Austrian village without having to cross the ocean. The Bavarian culture is evident in the food and architecture.
Each year we take a trip in either the summer or fall and then a ski trip in the winter season. You can check out our guide for summer months HERE.
This year was extra special because we brought the boys along to try their hand at skiing for the first time!
My husband had a brief stint where he lived out here and was a ski instructor for young ones. It just made it all the more special to be able to watch them with our own little guys.
HOW TO GET THERE
There is a local airport, Eagle County Regional Airport. However, there are limited flight options. We fly into Denver International Airport and rent a car. It’s a very scenic drive.
This time we stopped at the Ice Castles in Dillon along the way. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. It’s a bucket list type of experience and the kids absolutely loved it!
You can also take the Colorado Mountain Express ride shuttle.
Once you arrive in Vail everything is easily walkable. They also offer a free bus transportation service which can take you between Lionshead and Vail Village.
If you are staying at the Four Seasons (where we always chose to stay) they will give you rides anywhere throughout Vail, at your request. You can even take out one of their Mercedes Benz to cruise around Vail in style.
WHERE TO STAY
Hands down the best place to stay in Vail is the Four Seasons Vail The location is walkable to the gondola, bars, restaurants, streams, etc. We have tried out everywhere, but this is simply the best. The staff is so friendly and they make every possible accommodation for you. They greeted our boys with a bag of goodies and set them up a tent in the room. The bar, pool, Flame restaurant, etc. are impeccable. One of our favorite things to do is get the “haute chocolate.” They slow pour the most decadent hot chocolate over a chocolate grid on top of an oversized mug. It melts in and is then topped with a homemade marshmallow. Drooling thinking about it. If you are not a guest of the hotel… still go get that hot chocolate!
If you are choosing to ski the hotel makes it as convenient as possible to do so. You can rent your skis through Gorsuch located inside the hotel. It’s easy to get fitted right there at the hotel. They then send the correct skis, poles, helmets down to the ski concierge at the base of the mountain. Ski concierge will help you get your ski boots on and walk your skis right to the mountain for you. It truly couldn’t be a more stress free experience.
WHAT TO DO
Ski– The skiing in Vail is insanely good! The views are amazing and there are plenty of options of green trails up to double black diamonds depending on your skill set. There is simply nothing more freeing than being at the top of a mountain.
Vail mountain offers Ski School for children 3 years+ (and potty trained.) We highly recommend taking this route. They make skiing fun for kids, but more importantly they teach them proper technique, how to carry skis, how to put their skis on, etc. They take lots of breaks and play games, etc. Kids are never outside too long to get too cold.
Adventure Ridge-– At the top of the mountain they offer snow tubing, a coaster and other fun winter activities.
Shop- There are tons of local boutiques, art, jewelry shops and more. Everything is so walkable that you can pop in and out of each one. The boys loved the toy store and the candy shop. (Shocking, I know. HA!)
Spa- The Four Seasons Five-Star Spa can’t be beat.
Ride The Scenic Gondola- If you aren’t wanting to ski riding the gondola is a great way to explore the mountain and check out the views from the top!
WHERE TO EAT
It’s always fun to ride the gondola up the mountain and have lunch at the top. You just can’t beat the view! (It’s very casual.) There is also the 10th Restaurant at the top of the mountain. It’s a fun experience because you can take your ski boots of and wear slippers while you dine. We love to get fries and champagne for lunch as a fun little break.
The Remedy Bar- Located Inside the Four Seasons. Think really upscale “bar food.” They just hired a new chef and the food did NOT disappoint.
Garfinkles- You can sit outside and have a great view of the gondola and mountain.
Mountain Standard- The Colorado River Trout is insanely good. A local favorite.
La Nonna- A locals favorite!
Sweet Basil- We first found this gem during Taste of Vail. It’s a farm to table place with really fresh ingredients. Ask to sit out on the patio.
Almresi- The owners started this in Germany and it’s very authentic and unique. There are authentic Austrian dishes on the menu and it truly makes you feel like you are in another country.
Matsuhisa- This place is incredible! It’s a great sushi spot, but the 72 hour marinated miso cod is where it’s at!! It’s owned by Chef Nobu so you know it’s top knotch.
Flame- Located inside the Four Seasons. SO. DANG. GOOD. The food is excellent, but they were still extremely accommodating to the kids. The new chef created some table side experiences that are next level. The “CACIO & PEPE” table side was one of the highlights of the trip for us! They bring a parmesan wheel to the table and rotate in fresh pasta. They then top it with freshly shaved truffle. It is just divine!
WHERE TO DRINK
Vail Brewing Co.- It’s always fun to find a local brewery and this one has a laid back casual vibe.
The George- Fun fact… Trey worked here 20 years ago checking ID’s. HA! It’s the local hang out.
Bully’s Ranch- We have made it a tradition to grab a mudslide at the bar here. It’s got the true mountain decor and is always festive.
Root & Flower- They offer over 50 by the glass pours of wine, an extensive bottle selection, and lots of fun craft cocktails.
WHAT TO PACK
I’ve rounded up a very detailed list of everything to pack for skiing, winter clothes for walking around the town, travel gear and winter beauty essentials. You can check all of that out HERE!
Earlier this year, a dear friend told me when referring to friendships and relationships, to think about a dinner table. Who shows up when you invite them? No matter if you are having a feast or only crumbs to offer. Who pours you water from their cup when you are out, and you will happily pour back into theirs? Nurture those friendships and feed them. She encouraged me to stop squeezing a chair in at tables you don’t belong, and be present at the one that you are at.
This year, I’ve really worked at that concept and I felt blessed beyond belief to sit at a beautiful dinner party with a table full of women who I am so proud to call friends. Women who care, show up, build each other up and offer nothing but love and support.
If you haven’t found your table yet, keep looking and focusing on those who come to dinner no matter what!
With that being said, I feel beyond grateful for my sweet friend Chelsea for throwing this beautiful boho garden party. She was able to do so on a budget and I’m going to pass on her tricks! P.S. She took all these pictures as well and you can find more of her work HERE. She’s incredible!
She found the perfect location at Natchez Glen House. It’s a lovely garden that you can have events in or go and pick your own flowers! (Hello most perfect date night….) I’m convinced someone needs to get engaged in the middle of this garden. Chelsea and I would love to help plan it! You can check out all Natchez Glen has to offer HERE.
The cake was by Copper & Whisk Cakes. Confession… I was never a big cake lover until I tried their cakes. It’s so much better than any other cake I’ve ever tasted. This one was salted caramel and so amazing!!!
This tablescape looked so elaborate and beautiful, but it can totally be done on a budget! Most of these items were found on Amazon and Target. The whole table can be re-created for around $100!
Here is Everything You Need For A Boho Garden Party Tablescape:
It’s that time of year again… the most wonderful sale of the year. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is unique because instead of items that are going out of season, it is the current season on sale up to 40% off BEFORE they go to full price for fall and winter. It’s so much fun to shop, but can be overwhelming as there are over 10,000 items on the sale this year and things sell out fast! I’ve gone through all 10,000 and picked the best of the best!
**You can click on any of the items in the collage to shop that item.**
Still In Stock & Worth Shopping
Best Of Women’s Clothing
These faux leather commando leggings are the best! I have them and got a TON of use out of them last year. Under my Instagram highlights there is a Spanx faux leather leggings vs Commando Faux Leather leggigs and (Spoiler Alert!) these WIN! If you are in between sizes, Size up. They are on the sale for $65 and normally run $100.
Faux Leather Snakeskin Moto Jacket by BLANKNYC is one of the best finds of the entire sale! I can’t believe it’s on sale for $65. It looks much more high end than that!! Every year they have a few jackets on the sale and they are the first to sell. Make sure you get yours fast! They have a suede jacket that is incredible too. It comes in grey and tan. You can shop that one HERE.
This lace trim satin cami is the perfect layering piece and comes in lots of colors and patterns. This polka dot version reminds me so much of the Anine Bing designer version. At $25 it’s the perfect piece to stock up on.
Digging all the animal print this season. You can’t go wrong with this affordable leopard print slip dress. You can dress it up or wear a t-shirt underneath with sneakers and make it casual.
The Slip Pillowcases are amazing for your hair and skin. I love them! If you aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger on the real deal, there is also an awesome Amazon dupe of them HERE.
This Supergoop hand cream trio set sold out in 2.2 seconds last anniversary sale. It’s SO good. I read this article on how you can really see your age in your hands. So many people don’t apply sunscreen their. It’s such a great way to protect them from the sun. Their sunscreen is great as well and they have a set with three mist on the sale. You can shop the sunscreen HERE.
Recently I’ve been using this NuBodyand loving it. It’s on mega sale and helps to firm and tone your skin! (Perfect for summer season…)
I have and love my T3 curling iron and blow dryer and use them daily. ( I have shared them lots on my IG because they are so great!) They are part of the sale in the grey color and the perfect time to snatch them up if you have been thinking about making the investment.
Best of Shoes & Accessories
One of my most worn buys from last year were these nude Vince Mules. They are back with just a tiny change and also available in a snakeskin, black and nude. The leather is super soft and they go with everything.
Loving this chain necklace for everyday wear and to layer with other pieces.
So many great sunglasses on the sale last year. These affordable cat eye sunglasses are a must have. There are two pairs of Givenchy sunglasses this year. SO. DANG. GOOD. You can shop the aviator pair HERE and these fun thick exaggerated cat eye ones HERE.
Typically the bags don’t impress me, but this Rag & Bone Bag is made of the softest leather and it’s SO roomy. (Perfect for mamas to carry ALLLLL the things. This AllSaints crossbody bag is the perfect size, a great price point and comes in several color options.
Some great hats on the sale this year as well. Brixton always fit so well and look more high end. There’s a classic black one this year that you can shop https://rstyle.me/n/dpixdkbz57x and a camel version HERE. They look JUST LIKE the Lack Of Color ones that are more than double the price. Also loving this tan one with a snakeskin band.
Best of Home
First and foremost…. BAREFOOT DREAMS! If you haven’t been converted yet, it’s your time to try. I’ve never felt anything this cozy and soft. The boys LOVE them too. I’ve never seen them go on sale this great in the prints. I snagged this neutral camo one. They also have the leopard ones and ribbed throws. Can’t recommend these enough! The leopard is one of my favorite things I own. They sell out every time they become available at full price so these are sure to sell out super fast!
There is this new influx of mamas who are choosing to stay at home with their children, but also have a side hustle or a full on business they are running as well.
I call it “Mama 2.0”. Let’s be real, ALL MOMS ARE WORKING MOMS. Whether it’s going to an office everyday or staying home full time, we are all working our booties off and doing our best.
However, I have noticed so many of us wanting to have the best of both worlds. Let me tell you first hand, YOU CAN! BUT… it is not easy. It’s a ton of work. It takes a ton of organization and sacrifice. It’s also incredibly rewarding and it feels pretty badass to run a business with a baby on each hip.
I’ve had my ups and downs struggling with balancing this, but there are certain things I’ve learned that can completely make it more “doable.”
Tips For The Working Stay At Home Mom
Wake Up Earlier. Ok, I know this is not the easiest to put into action. It makes the biggest difference. Truthfully, lots of days I just don’t feel up to it. When I don’t, I struggle the rest of the day to make it all work.
Bonus points: Go for a run or workout right in the morning. Spend some time with a gratitude journal. Take a few minutes to yourself to best suit up for your day. It helps to start on a positive note, and you will notice a difference with your patience throughout the day.
Stick To A Strict Nap Schedule . We typically live a loose schedule type of lifestyle. We travel a lot, and want our kids to be very “go with the flow.” However, on days when I’m working for home I’m a stickler to the nap schedule. They know when it’s nap time, and I put them both down at the same time for a set amount of time. When you become a mama you instantly become 10x more productive. You can get SO MUCH DONE in a two hour nap period.
Prepare what you plan to accomplish during nap time ahead of time. The night before I’ll jot a quick list of my phone of what I need to do during nap time.
Give Up Your Night TV Time At least 3 Days A Week. Once the kids go to bed, I get to work. This is the part where sacrifice comes in. It becomes part of your daily habit to get to work after the kids go to bed. So many people can’t believe that this is an option, but it actually feels great! We have a few shows we watch each week, but don’t spend time just flipping channels. That’s prime work time.
When You Are With Your Kids, Be Present With Them. This is a hard one, but important to remember. It’s not beneficial to your children to stay home with them if you are not being present with them. It’s frustrating for both you and them to try to be sending off contracts or emails while playing dinosaurs. It’s not fair to anyone involved.
Use a Block Timer. These are a lifesaver for productivity. Set the timer for say, 15 minutes. Then for that set time only do one task. Don’t pick up your phone or try any other tasks within that set time. It’s a total game changer! You can shop this one from Amazon HERE.
This past weekend, I hosted ten of my sister’s besties to our home for the ultimate Nashville Bachelorette Party! We had a blast and I wanted to share some of what we did. There is so much more to Nashville than the pedal tavern!
If you are the type of group to get an early start, then you are in luck! Nashville is home to so many amazing coffee shops. I’ve rounded up my favorites around town in a previous post that you can find HERE.
Restoration Hardware (Green Hills) – So picturesque! The perfect girls brunch spot too. It’s absolutely beautiful and the food is so good! The bellinis are delicious and we also got really good coffees to bring us back to life after a long night out. My go to order is the lobster roll.
Bar Taco (12th South)- You just can’t beat fresh made margaritas and tacos! It’s located in a very walkable area to shops and other things to do.
Geist (East Nashville)- We couldn’t recommend this place anymore! They have a Champagne Garden, and since it was so nice out we sat outside. The food is absolutely amazing! BONUS: You can saber a champagne bottle! This really sets the tone for the evening and is such a fun touch. It comes out with sparklers and was just so much. (Note, you have to purchase the Moet bottle price point or higher to do this. Totally worth it, we were all able to split the bottle and have a toast to start the weekend.)
Sunda (Gulch) – Sushi is always a good idea! There is a private room you can rent and even do sake tastings. They have sushi rolling classes and lots of other festive options. It’s fun to order apps and sushi tapas style and have everyone share. This way you get to try a variety from the menu. Also, their noodle dishes are incredible if there are girls in the group who don’t eat sushi!
My sister’s number one request was to karaoke, so that we did!
Ms. Kelli’s Karaoke Bar (Printer’s Alley)- This isn’t anything fancy, but it was fun! It’s right off Broadway, but it’s always fun to sing some “Any Man Of Mine” on a bachelorette party!
Broadway… ok so I’ll be up front. It’s not always my favorite place to go. It’s typically very crowded, and can become a tourist trap. BUT it is a Nashville must on a trip for at least a honky tonk or two. Singing some live country music can be super fun! Tootsies is a classic and I also like Robert’s Western World.
Bobby Hotel (Downtown)- If a giant bus on top of a building doesn’t scream party spot I just don’t know what does. HA! But really, it’s such a unique and fun spot to bring a girl group.
LA Jackson (Gulch)- It’s on top of the Thompson hotel. Always a fun time and makes for great pictures on the top. We walked here after going to Winky Lux and Kittenish and before dinner at Sunda.
Rare Bird (Downtown)- It’s on top of the Noelle hotel and so pretty!
No girls trip is complete without a little retail therapy!
Kittenish (Gulch)- There is an adorable mural inside with heart shaped balloons and it reads, “Nashville Stole My Heart.” The perfect picture opportunity for a commemorative shot. It’s affordable and has really cute stuff!
H. Audrey (Green Hills)- My go to shopping destination. A higher price point, but they really embody “Nashville fashion” and their selection is so perfectly curated.
White’s Mercantile (12th South)- An old time general store vibe with a little bit of everything.
ABLE (Nations)- I did a full post on why I love this so much that you can read HERE.
Our favorite and most memorable part of the trip was at Winky Lux. Winky Lux is a luxury make up line at an affordable price point. (Plus it’s all cruelty free!) The front of the store is a make up store where you can purchase all kinds of goodies and the back is an experiential set of rooms. AKA an Instagram dream for the cutest pics ever! It’s kind of like a mullet store. Business in the front and party in the back. You can rent out the back rooms to have a private time with your party. (This is the route we took!) They even offer floral crowns, braid bars, and they partner with The BarBees for speciality cocktails as well. It’s such a unique experience as was by far the highlight of the bachelorette weekend! I couldn’t recommend this more. It’s something so different and will truly make your trip stand out.
Another fun thing to do in Nashville with a girl group is take some pictures with a few of the famous murals throughout the city. I have an entire post dedicated to all of those HERE.
Silk Pillowcase– So I’ve purchased the “Silk” brand of this from Nordstrom previously, and these feel identical. (At 1/10) of the price!) These are great for your hair and skin. (Helps with fine lines!)
Tinkle Razors- If you aren’t shaving your face yet, jump on the bandwagon! Not only will your makeup go on smoother, but it helps to exfoliate your skin regularly. That in turn, helps with fine lines and wrinkles. The old wives tale that it will grow back thicker and darker is simply not true.
Glass Containers Food Storage Set– We love these! They keep everything really fresh and you don’t have to worry about them being plastic. (For all the obvious reasons of plastics…)