Thoughts on Blogging

I began blogging in 2008 as a way to document my time and travel abroad while living and studying in Madrid, Spain. After returning to the good ol’ USA and diving in to my senior year at SMU, I quickly became much more enthused with the world around me (and one certain guy…) than keeping up with cyberspace. That all changed with an abrupt move to Cleveland, Ohio after graduation where I knew no one and struggled finding a job—back to blogging I went. And I have been blogging first here, then here, and finally here ever since. I have loved this outlet and the way it acts as a record for all of the adventures, life changes, and little moments I have experienced throughout the last three years. It’s a scrapbook; a little bit of me.

But it is also a struggle. I am constantly re-evaluating why I blog. Why do I put my life on display not really knowing who is reading about it, on any given day? Why do I share incredibly meaningful and introspective thoughts on one post, and turn around and share my favorite fashion trend or recipe on the next? The truth is, I do not have an answer. I simply blog because I love to write. I process life best by writing it down, expressing my thoughts and emotions through words on a page (if you are wondering: why yes, I am that girl who has had a diary—ahem, journal—throughout her life).  I blog because I love looking back at old posts and seeing everything from God’s goodness and provision (getting me through a difficult time), to seeing my confidence in the kitchen grow as I challenge myself with new recipes. I suppose that, like my real life, my blog is multi-dimensional. I have lighthearted interests, but I also have deep and fundamental beliefs. I have a 9-5 Corporate America career, but I am also so captivated by adventure, new challenges and bucking routine. Bottom line: I love this outlet, I love the blog community, and I love the creativity that is cultivated through blogging.

So, thank you for stopping by. Thank you for reading about my life, and “listening” to my tangents every now and again. This blog, like myself, is fanciful yet fervent; reflective and also blithe. This blog is just me.

Tastes & Travel {Beaver Creek Resort}

This year, Brian and I “discovered” Beaver Creek Ski Resort. While this is arguably one of the best places to ski in Colorado, it was brand new to us as of a month ago. However, it has already topped our list of favorite places to ski–surpassing both Vail and Breckenridge, the other resorts we frequent. But what makes Beaver so great? Well for starters, look at that view! Beaver Creek is tucked in to the mountains allowing for a panoramic view that is nothing short of spectacular. It literally takes your breath away. Also, for someone like me (read: a beginner/intermediate skier desperately trying to improve), the steep grade of most runs at Beaver allows for a distinct challenge and limited options for taking the “easy way out”. In two days at Beaver Creek this season, I feel as though I have improved significantly more than two seasons at Breckenridge. Thirdly, because it is further West on I-70 than several other resorts, Beaver Creek tends to stay less busy, and the lift lines are noticeably shorter.

For a resort who’s self-proclaimed motto is “Not Exactly Roughing It“, this ski town is all that it is chalked up to be and more. We are looking forward to spending more days on the slopes here next season, as well as spending some time exploring the {luxurious} village. So long, ski season–and Beaver Creek–until next year!

photo cred: {100besteverything.com, beavercreek.com}

Farewell, Winter

There is something so invigorating about the change of seasons, and well, for me, change in general. I love switching it up, rejecting routine, and taking on the unknown ahead of me. And when it comes to a new season, I just love changing up my wardrobe. There is nothing better than a freshly organized and revived closet (ok, ok, there are actually a lot of better things, however for the sake of this post…). But before I delve in to Spring trends, bright patterns, and fun sandals, I would like to take the time to say a fashion farewell to Winter, and the trends we will not see again for ten months (I do live in the South, after all).

One // Two // Three

For me, Winter fashion consists of basics, worn over and over again. There is rarely a day you will not see me wearing boots during the colder months–often those with 3-4″ heels (I am so practical, after all). I also frequently sport outerwear (like the jacket above) that is fashionable enough to be considered a top in of itself–because even in Texas, I get too cold to shed the jacket I am wearing. Lastly, I am all about winter accessories, like an infinity scarf which serves both a fashionable and practical purpose, and undoubtedly adds dimension and a pop of color to any look.

Though I am excited to be storing my boots, and tucking away my coats and scarves, I will miss Winter with all its cozy charm, and come December, I will look forward to layering up with some of my favorite looks once again.

Onward to Spring!

photo cred: {24.media.tumblr.com, nordstrom.com}

Holy Guacamole

There are a few Texas staples that cannot be overlooked: the word “y’all”, which can be used in practically any and every sentence appropriately South of the Red River.  Cowboy boots–a fashion statement and a practical work boot, all in one. And, any and all things that have the addition of avocado; tacos, migas, and most common: guacamole. Now, I actually do not (at all) care for avocado, the texture and consistency is a little much for me….but guacamole is something I am coming around to (commence Texas-sized celebration). The addition of tomato and onion for texture and a generous dose of lime and cilantro for a kick of flavor makes avocados a much more appealing concept, while still remaining chalk-full of health benefits (hello, there, omega-3 fatty acids!). There is no recipe that we adhere to for guacamole, but we try to get as creative as possible for added texture and flavor. Basic ingredients include avocado, lime, tomato, onion, cilantro and salt to taste…you also cannot go wrong with garlic. Ever. For my gauc, I like to go heavy on lime and cilantro, and also add something with a little more spice (cayenne pepper, perhaps?). Add some tortilla chips and a Shiner and you have yourself a Texas-approved appetizer!

*Note: If you want the BEST (yes, high-claim) guacamole around, go ask my sister for her recipe. It’s unbeatable.

The Weekend {In Pictures}

The Heart of Life

1. Happy March! I know the official start of Spring is still weeks away, but not even a few more chilly days can contain my excitement for this impending season. I love Spring for it’s fresh starts, new beginnings, and beautiful transfomations (could I be any more vague?). But seriously. The entirety of Spring just seems like that moment: that moment when you first get out of bed in the morning, stretch from your toes to your fingertips, and exhale contentedly. Time for a fresh start. Ok, ok, tangent over.

2. But one last thing about March. In what has become in annual challenge to ourselves, Brian and I have decided that each year we are claiming March as our “No Shopping” month. Why? Um, frankly, because it’s good for us to practice self-control. Also, we are in money-saving mode. And lastly, we don’t lack for anything (so thankful!!), and it helps us really determine the hard and fast line between need and want. For instance, we obviously still grocery shop in March, and there are several birthdays we will be celebrating, too. No shopping/buying just applies to our personal wants. Sooooo, here we go.

3. And speaking of birthdays….shout out to my dear friend, Marmie, who is celebrating the big 2-5 today! Happy Birthday Sweet Friend!! (I love this picture of Marmie, myself, Whitney and Natalie. We were roommates while studying abroad in Spain and I can honestly say, some of the best months and memories of my life were spent with these girls). I am also looking forward to celebrating my mother-in-law’s upcoming birthday, and Abbie’s, too! Basically, birthdays are my favorite holiday.

4. Yesterday I worked all day in the Denver airport. So, yeah, there was a LOT of people-watching going on. Does that make me a creeper? I just find people in airports so facinating; I feel people’s true colors come out when they have the burden and stress of travel on thier shoulders. I guess that’s what I get for spending four years of my life pouring over anthropology case studies.

5. Check out my new favorite blog for inspiration. I particulary love the “What to Wear Wednesday” series because I need the help, and seeing an outfit put together always makes it seem much more feasable to my very non-visonary brain.

6. And speaking of not being a visionary (which I so wish I were…) my pratical, yet stylish mother (who has a tremendous eye, especially when it comes to home decor) gave me some very helpful tips regarding my bedroom-redo this week. I am sure Brian would approve of them because her main tip was to keep most of the bedroom the way it is and start small when it comes to changing up the style. So, I took her advice, and bought these curtains to introduce lighter colors that I want in our bedroom. I think they will brighten the whole room and add a fresh and airy look. Plus they were on sale! Win-win.

7. We are spending one last snow-filled weekend in the Mountains with our Colorado Crew. So excited for these last few days on the slopes, and time with some of my favorite people. And ok…maybe a little pumped for this, too.

8. Happy Weekending! Cheers to Friday! xo

photo cred: {clothandkind.blogspot.com, archtivity.com}

Tastes & Travel {Smoke}

In Dallas, weekend brunch is a way of life. Many Dallasites create their entire weekend agendas around this experience. And then, there are bottomless mimosas. Yes, they are, in fact, as dangerous as they sound. As brunch spots go, in my humble opinion (shared by my husband), there is no where better to experience this Dallas phenomenon than at Smoke.

This restaurant is iconic Texas with all the flavors, scents, and surroundings that all of you out-of-staters could imagine in a down-home Texas barbeque joint. It’s comfortable, welcoming, and even has family portraits on the wall (channeling, in my opinion, awkward family photos). Take a chance on The Full Monte while sipping a Bloody Mary (both pictured above). Or maybe delight your senses with the taste and texture of the Heavy Handed Blueberry & House Made Ricotta Cheese Pancakes (my personal favorite!!). And you definitely can not lose with the Smoked Brisket Cornbread Hash.  So sit back, sip a mimosa, and take a taste of Texas at this popular brunch spot!

photo cred: {smokerestaurant.com, 10best.com}