Fort Collins : Highlights - Part 2

23 June 2016

Okay guys - it's part 2 of the city guide! This half will be a little more family friendly - so if you aren't a beer drinker or hiker, don't worry - I've got you covered.
As a college student I didn't really pay close attention to the family friendliness of Fort Collins, but senior year I started working as a nanny and it was like a whole new world opened up. Not only are there 100 things to do with  your kids but the shopping is awesome and so are all of  the other quirky little attractions.


Sunday Supply Co. - Amazing clothes, housewares and gifts. This store has the coolest vibe. When you walk in, you immediately want everything and also never want to leave.
Kansas City Kitty - The cutest little shop with tons of locally made clothing and tee's. Stop in for a unique gift for your girlfriend or...a haircut! There is a salon called The Spot in the back that adds to the coolness of this shop.
Ragstock - This shop is fairly new to Fort Collins and Blake loves it. If you're looking for an 80's windbreaker, an ugly Christmas sweater or leggings of any kind. This is the spot. They also have a collection of newer clothing that is very wallet friendly and weird. I found a sweatshirt with a T-Rex drinking a beer once and if I had had my wallet it would be mine.
Antique Row - There are a few really good antique stores in Fort Collins. They are a little spread out but if you're close to one, its worth stopping in. Super fun, weird stuff.
Topo Designs - A really cool outdoor gear store. Their backpacks and bags are one of a kind and they have developed such a great reputation that they are now collaborating with Chacos, Tenkara and Giro.
The Cupboard - kitchen wares! In college  I would go walk around the Cupboard by myself sometimes if i needed a break - I know that's a weird thing to do - but this store is wonderful. Imported treats, cookware that I still can't afford, a loft full of cookbooks and gadgets galore.

// Kids//

The Farm at Lee Martinez Park - The cutest little interactive farm experience. Pet farm animals while learning about them, milk a cow, ride a pony and go on a hayride. Its just as fun for parents - or babysitters :)
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery - A really cool little Museum right in the middle of Old Town. Grab some lunch and then go check out the cool kid friendly exhibits. I spent many afternoons here!
Old Town Splash Pad - click the link! You guys know about Splash Pads - great for an hour while you enjoy your coffee mostly in peace.
Science Toy Magic - A super cool kid store in Old Town. So many toys!

//Quirky Fun Stuff//

Larimer Farmers Market -  Every Saturday in the summer from 8am to noon. Tons of local farmers, coffee roasters and artists. It's super fun and there is always a lot of  cool stuff to check out.
Mishawaka - A cool little venue up the canyon that always has live music and food trucks.
The French Nest Open Air Market - A little outdoor artisan fair. Lots of cool handmade stuff. Art, jewelry and tons of other cool stuff. They are only open once a month from May thru October but it's worth checking out.
Tour De Fat - A super fun yearly beer festival here in Fort Collins. Dress up in your stupidest costume and decorate your bike to join the parade! The whole day is a big party downtown hosted by New Belgium Brewery.

Here is the full events calendar for the rest of this summer! If you're from Fort Collins and I missed something you think you think i should have added please tell me in the comments! If you decide to come visit I hope you love it! It really is an awesome little getaway and lots of people that come to visit never leave - that says something!

Have a happy Thursday everyone! 

Summer Bucket List and Suits Under $100

21 June 2016

Happy official first week of SUMMER!!

I have loved it so far but I'll be honest and say that I have already complained about the heat many times, and I'm sure I'll keep it up. But! There are a lot of great things about summer so I thought I'd share a little summer bucket list and my fav swimwear for the season under $100. I feel like you just cant have too many swim suits - and I really love that one pieces are back in so I need to get my hands on a few. 

* images are linked *

//Summer Bucket List//

-- go to a drive in movie 
-- go paddle boarding with the dogs
-- go camping 
-- catch a fish 
-- hike 5+ 14ers 
--  run a half marathon 
-- go to the flea market - I looooove flea markets 
-- go to a Rockies game 
-- visit somewhere new 
-- go bungee jumping?? (i'm still thinking on this one - i'm exhilarated and terrified by it)

I'm sure I'll think of so many more things but that's all for now! 
What's on your  summer bucket list??

DIY Friday : Laser Cut Midi Skirt

17 June 2016

Happy Friday! I love a good midi skirt! They are so feminine and versatile. I have seen the most adorable skirts all over Instagram lately and when I saw this laser cut, scuba knit - it was like it was meant to be! We took these photos one morning when we went to Fort Collins to a farmers market and to walk around for a while. It was maybe a tad formal but I love this skirt and an off the shoulder tee... as you well know. These glasses are Karen Walker which I have been eyeing for over a year. I was a little afraid of how they would look on my face so I wasn't confident buying them - and then I heard about Ditto! Have you guys heard of this?? 

It's essentially a subscription service, which - i know, i know - everyone is sick of them but this one is different! You pay $25.00 a month and have unlimited access to their designer sunglasses collection. You can borrow one pair at a time and when you're ready to swap you just order the second pair and return the pair you have when the next ones arrive. It's free shipping both ways and it's amazing! You guys will love it. This isn't even sponsored :) I just really love this website! 

Anyway, back to the skirt. This skirt really is so simple and it very close to the pattern that I used to make this circle skirt but not as full. If you have enough fabric and prefer that shape on yourself then go ahead! Because its a laser cut you need a liner but other than that it's easy peasy.

* full directions and links below *
- - - - Materials - - - -
1.5 yards heavy weight knit fabric 
1 yard coordinating liner
matching thread

- - - - Instructions - - - -
Step 1. Measure your waist - now add .5 the length to get the correct width for the pleats. Measure how long you want your skirt. Cut accordingly. Do the same for your lining - I cut my liner about 6 inches shorter than my skirt because I was using laser cut fabric. Now cut your waistband pieces the length that your finished project will need to be - so the true measurement of your waist.   

Step 2. Hem your liner. Then match up the tops of your skirt and liner pieces - right side out. Using the above image as a guide - create your pleats. I folded in a half inch on both sides creating pleats that were two inches wide. This gave me 4 pleats on the front and back of my skirt. After pinning - iron and stitch across the very top to keep in place. 

Step 3. Stitch both of your skirt pieces together at the sides where your seams will be. Right sides together. On one side - stop six inches down to leave room for your zipper. If you aren't comfortable installing your zipper the way i do - you can leave this side completely open. 

Step 4. Lay out your waistband pieces and iron flat. Mark the center and stitch down the middle of your piece. This will keep your liner and fabric from separating during the next steps. Now fold along the stitch - fabric side out - and iron. Flip in inside out and fold the edges in toward the center - about half way up.  Keep in mind the overall width of your waistband. Now iron as you go. After the raw edges are in - re-iron the waistband with the right side out. 

Step 5. Pin your waistband to your skirt. Make sure the raw edge of the skirt is flush with the crease in the top of the waistband. Once pinned all the way around - stitch in place. 

Step 6. Insert zipper according to directions on package! Because my fabric was so thick and I used good scissors I did not hem my skirt. I like the way that it looks raw but you are certainly welcome to! 

Let me know if you guys have any questions! I would love to see yours if you make one - so tag me on Instagram or shoot me an email! 
You can shop similar skirts below as well as the one that was the inspiration for my skirt. I love the look of the laser cut but you just can't go wrong with a solid midi either! Happy sewing or happy shopping - either way I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Fort Collins : Highlights - Part 1

14 June 2016

I have mentioned a few times lately that I'm falling back in love with Fort Collins. It's crazy to me that we spent almost 5 years here and i didn't really take advantage of this city. The main thing is that there is SO much outdoorsy stuff to do here! There is a big, beautiful lake just 15 minutes from the city with hikes and beautiful mountain trails all around it. There is also a river with white water rafting, and fishing and the coolest camping spots. Just in town there are so many unique breweries and cute little shops as well as some of the best food I've ever eaten. I just love it here! The people are so friendly and the weather is gorgeous 9 out of 10 days. It's dog friendly and kid friendly and there are farmers markets and live music and the weirdest festivals that make no sense. 

It's a really fun place to visit and I know that it might not seem like your #1 summer destination but in case you find yourself here - I put together a little list of my favorite things to do and places to see!
Since there is so much information here i will be posting two parts - stay tuned for shopping & family activities!

First on the list may be the most obvious, but take yourself on a little brew tour! There are a few really big breweries that are good choices but I also enjoy some of the smaller hole in the walls. They are all pretty close to each other and it makes it easy to get from one to another. There is a complete list here - and also guided tours here - but I always show people around based on what they like to drink. These are my favorites:


New Belgium - There are so many different beers on tap in the tasting room. Its always busy and a fun place to be. The tours are worth it  but you need a reservations months in advance (especially in the summer) You can normally get in last minute if you put your name on the list but you might have to wait around for a lot of the day. 
O'dells - So fun! honestly their beers aren't my favorite but the atmosphere makes up for it. Food trucks, games and big courtyards perfect for events and large groups of people. 
Funkwerks - It's one of  the smaller ones and it has the cutest little courtyard and crab apple trees. There are brewery tours here all the time and there aren't ever lines, so its a fun one to look around at. 
Equinox - Another smaller one. No tours here but really good beer and a fun little outdoor patio area. 
Jessup Farms - This one is new, and really cute! It's an old converted farm house - I don't think I need to say much more :) 
There are a few cidery's that are great too - Cider really isn't for me but I always take people to Compass Cider and Scrumpy's if that's what they like!

Now - you might be wondering how you're going to get around and I would say that if you're mostly doing brew tours and hanging around Old Town that bike rental is the way to go! There are rental stations at most of the larger breweries and scattered throughout town and you just swipe your card and return it at the next station! It's wonderful!


There are so many wonderful restaurants here, I'll stick with my favorites. I'll try not to go too crazy here...
Snooze - Its always packed in the mornings but it's for a reason! Start with a beermosa and the OMG!French Toast. They have a cute little patio too!
Luciles - A Creole cafe. So, so good.
Pizza Casbah - Not fancy, but it's good! New York style pizza by the slice or by the full pizza thats bigger than your body. Blake failed their eating challenge once and his face will forever be on the wall of shame. Also... best drunk food.
Choice City - It's a butcher and a deli with the most amazing sandwiches you've ever tasted. Everything is so tasty and fresh.
JAX Fish House & Oyster Bar - A little pricey but what I would do to have their sweet potato gnocchi  everyday...
Rare Italian - It's new to town but it's really good, and the atmosphere is just as good as the food.
Lastly! Stop in for some Walrus IceCream. This place is packed in the summer but the ice cream is the best I've ever had.


Fort Collins has so many fun things to do outside!
Horsetooth Reservoir - Perfect for pontooning, tubing, peddling, fishing, paddle boarding and more! The Marina has rental options at reasonable prices and so do some of the smaller shops nearby.
Hike to Horsetooth Rock  - If you're here in the summer I recommend going early in the morning. You can't beat the sunrise from the top. Its about an hour long hike to the top and its worth every step. Here is a list of other hikes you can do in the area. A lot of these are also open to horses and mountain bikes, so whatever fits your fancy!
White Water Rafting - One of my friends worked for a rafting company in Fort Collins a few summers in a row and loved it! People are always floating and rafting down the canyon which is so pretty! There are a bunch of different trips you can do, including a two day overnight trip. Yay, camping!

So! I know that got long but there really is just so much to do. Check back tomorrow for the second part! I hope you're all having a great week!

Rough Week + Links

10 June 2016

Happy Friday! 

Hi Guys! I have been so MIA this week and I am pretty upset with myself over it. I had so much to say but I will just have to save it for next week. Huckleberry got sick this week - I don't know what happened. I think that little dingus ate something he wasn't supposed to. He's been so good about that lately but everyone has slip ups :) So it was a stressful and I was worried about my little boy.

 In other news I had to get back into chalkboard mode for the first time in a while. I did a first birthday chalkboard for a co-workers daughter a few years ago and she passed my name along! It was so sweet of her and this one was for a boy which pushed me a little more than usual. Girly chalkboards are so much easier for some reason. Calligraphy and florals are easy peasy  - trucks and construction signs are not. 

And now that wedding season is in full swing I have even more to do! So I  need to get my head together and practice some fonts this weekend. Apart from that we have a neighborhood garage sale - some much needed house purging and hopefully I can get a long run in. What are you guys all up to this weekend?

Since I don't have a DIY post for you I'm going to share some links! 

<to do / read>
+ this article about work/life balance from Create&Cultivate 
+ this post about scheduling blog posts and organization - i could use a lesson
+ this youtube channel by The Bucket List family - i think they're inspiring and the memories their children will have are so cool.
+ these Keto Amaretti cookies - I'm doing the keto diet with Blake right now and jello just isn't cutting it for my sweet tooth! But these look delicious. 
+ this amazing trailer makeover from Vintage Revivals - so much inspiration here! 

<to buy / wishlist>
+ this whole mid-century modern collection from Target - alllll the heart eyes  
+ this cute knot front t-shirt dress from Urban Outfitters - perfect for summer!
+ this super cute nighty. I get so hot at night in the summer so this comfy chemise is perfect!
+ i love this little portable charger. We will be spending a lot of time traveling soon so these are great to charge up and toss in your purse.
+ these Chloe look-a-likes - ill never own those Chloe's but these i can handle :) 

Have the best weekend everyone!

DIY FRIDAY : Cold Shoulder Fringe Top

03 June 2016

It's FriYAY! 
I thought that this week was going to fly by - but nope. I can not believe how long it took to get to Friday! But finally it's here and I'm thrilled! This weekend will be pretty relaxed. We might go for a little hike, swing by a farmers market and then a bbq with some of our really close friends and family.

I have been drooling over this top since I saw it one Instagram about two months ago. I was tempted to just buy it but I was really curious about the fringe so I decided to give it a go myself. It was definitely time consuming but it was worth it! I love how it turned out and I think its so cute. 

I might even wear it to the bbq this weekend so  be prepared for another instagram post ;) I hope you guys aren't sick of them! SO! Apart from the time consuming fringing - this top is so easy! It's very similar to this off the shoulder dress from a while ago if you want to take a look at that too. 
Anyway, we'll get to it but I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back Monday!

-- Materials -- 

1 Yard of lightweight denim 
Matching thread 
3/4 inch elastic 

-- Instructions --

Step 1. Measure yourself around where the tops elastic will sit. Take that measurement and make it longer by 1/4 of the length you want at the end. Now measure the length you want and mark those measurements on the reverse side of the denim. Cut out your two bodice pieces. Now measure your arms and do the same  thing. You want to sleeves to be bell shaped so exaggerate the bottom side of the sleeve pieces a little more. See the image above for guidance. 

Step 2. Sew you two bodice pieces together right sides together. 

Step 3. Sew your arm pieces into tubes. 

Step 4. fold the top inch of fabric over and stitch along the very bottom of the fold. Don't close the stitch and leave enough open to thread elastic through. Cut your elastic to fit comfortably around your body and thread it through using a safety pin. Close the stitch. 

Step 5. Repeat step 4 for the sleeves. 

Step 6. Flip everything right side out and line up your seams. Do a vertical stitch along the seams to attach your sleeves to the top. Back stitch a few times to keep  them in place. 

Step 7. This is the time consuming part! With denim there are vertical and horizontal pieces all woven together. To get this fringe look we have to remove the bottom inch and half or so of horizontal pieces. Using a seam ripper, slowly pull the horizontal pieces down until you can grab them and pull them completely out. You will end up with a huge pile of  thread and you will get really really tired of pulling all of them out. But! Its worth it because it turns out so cute! 

That's all! And if you don't want to spend a few hours making your own fringe I have linked the original top that this one is a copy of an a few other cute ones that I like! 

I hope you guys enjoy and I would love to see the ones that you guys make so tag me in your instas! 
Have the best weekend! 

Long Weekend

01 June 2016

Happy Wednesday! It feels like Monday to me but #fourdayweek - so I think we'll make it through. 
First of all - I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and thank you to all those who serve and have served and their families. My parents are both Military and I'm very proud of that and of them. So, Happy Memorial Day!

I had a pretty busy start to the weekend. One of my best friends graduated from Pharmacy School as a Dr! And she just became engaged to a Dr! So cheers to that! We did some much deserved celebrating and I wish we could throw her at least 10 more parties. The next day a had a Bachelorette/ Birthday party to attend in Fort Collins which was so fun. I LOVE that city and I feel so at home there. I'm working on a little guide but it's honestly the best place. There is so much to do and so much charm. I just walk around there feeling like I'm right at home! 

The second half of the weekend was pretty relaxing and Blake and I did some hiking and some exploring. I made the mistake of dragging  to Estes Park for the day expecting to go on a hike - only to discover that Estes Park is not very dog friendly. Most hikes in the area are not open to pets. Oops! So just a little tip - do your research before driving over an hour to climb a mountain. 
We got a do over on Monday though. We woke up at a ridiculous hour to make it to Horsetooth reservoir for a sunrise hike. It was so gorgeous and I think spending the day up there kind of helped us figure out what our next steps are going to be. Move me to the mountains!


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