Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Wow, I'm doing two posts in a month!  Now that's pretty uncommon during summer...  Well, the hubby is off on a wilderness EMT certification course for a week and I have absolutely zero contact with him!  We have always been able to communicate in one form or another, even when I went to Switzerland and we only emailed.  But this is completely different and I’m trying my best to be an independent wife for the week.  So here goes my adventure time (I’ll spare you the super random stuff and share only the really amazing and fun stuff)!
So let’s see…Oh, right!  I’ve been being a beekeeper’s apprentice (I think I’m going to patent that term as my own).  A friend of mine just got married to a local beekeeper and I am quickly becoming friends with him as well.  I mean who can say they know a beekeeper and even if you can, you probably agree with me that they have the coolest (not temperature wise) job in the world!
What have I been doing you may ask? Well, I started off helping him label his leftover honey from last year.  The crop for this year isn’t quite ready yet and if most of you didn’t know, bees generally don’t make honey year round.  We therefore sell last year’s crop until this year’s comes in.

Honey comes in many colors and many flavors.  Both are dictated by the primary floral source a bee is collecting nectar from.  In the photo above, the primary source is knapweed-a noxious weed originally brought to the US because the nectar makes amazing honey.

Once I got labeling down to an art form, I started helping sell the honey jars at the market since beekeepers in summer are busy bees (you see what I did there) and are constantly working to make sure their hives are healthy and successful in addition to collecting frames full of honey and processing the product for sales.  

Honey sales at the local farmer's market with my friend, the beekeeper's wife.

Okay, so after a few weeks of honey sales at our local farmer’s market, the first honey harvest was upon us and I was invited to help my friend “rob” the bees.  This entails removing the top box generally full of honey comb (there are usually 3-4 boxes per hive) and taking all the tops back to a warehouse where the wax caps are removed with a heated knife and the honey is then free to flow out of the comb into a vat. It can then be heated and filtered for bulk sales (think honey bears in your supermarket) or left alone as raw natural goodness that is what this particular beekeeper believes in.
Now, I’m going to go off on a tangent about how honey in supermarkets is most likely not one hundred percent honey and usually has fillers such as corn syrup, etc.  The best kind of honey is unheated and unfiltered, because then all the natural enzymes, vitamins, etc. are all left in the honey and can/have been used for centuries as a natural medicinal product.  Okay, so moral of the story is to buy honey from your local beekeeper and make sure it is RAW!
Fun Fact: Honey is the ONLY food product that will not spoil over time.  Archaeologists actually found intact honey in an ancient Egyptian tomb. How cool is that?!
So back to keeping bzzzy ;)… I went out today with the “master beekeeper” (what I’ve taken to calling him) and we collected all of the top boxes that contained honey.  There was quite a technique required that involved a natural concentrated almond scent  that the bees don’t like (placed in a tray on top of the hive), along with a bee smoker and of course beekeeping attire.  There’s obviously more to it than that, but I won’t bore you with little details (too late, right?!).

The "master."

The "apprentice" aka ME!

Anyways, I was absolutely enthralled by the sound of a healthy hive upon removal of the lid.  The buzzing becomes a deep thrum you can feel in your throat and since the bees are “tamed” with the almond scent and smoker, they don’t all swarm out at you like I may have imagined in my head a thousand times before opening the first box.  It was an experience I will never forget and I hope to continue to help this friend.  Maybe someday I’ll potentially keep some of my own bees, but I highly doubt I’ll ever be as ambitious as his 200 hives and his father’s 1200 hives. One or two would definitely be manageable! 

So, that’s about all I have to bore you with today! Bees are absolutely fascinating creatures and I’m still learning something new every day.  I highly suggest studying up on this magnificent insect, because without them, much of our agriculture would not exist and without agriculture, how would we eat? The honey bee is important in so many ways and so many variables affect them, so borrow a book and learn something new!  Until my next adventure…

Friday, July 18, 2014

Spontaneity, kind of...

Phewy!  It sure has been a while since the last post, but I’m determined to keep this blog going until at least the end of the year!
                Okay, so the last time I wrote about plans to leave the donut shop, a bike trip with a friend, and as much summer fun as I could possibly handle.  Well, I have completed them all.  I left the donut shop at the end of June and went on an amazing bike trip in the end of June as well.
                Obviously there isn’t much to say about the end of something such as the donut shop.  I was tired and thought it was time to move on.  And what better way than to do something completely insane (in my book) and take a spur of the moment bike trip with my friend Izzy.  When she originally mentioned the trip I was completely jealous and hoped with all the powers in the universe that I would be able to go with her.  Well, the new owners of the shop didn’t need me during any of the time that the trip was taking place, so I was completely free to go.  And then I got panicky.  Why you might ask? Well, for one, I own a beach cruiser.  Yes, they are cute and super vintage, but it’s not fun to ride that baby up and down hills with only 6 speeds.  And two, before the first leg of the trip, the most I had ever rode on a bike in one ride was 10 miles.  To put this second point into perspective; on the first leg of the actual trip we did 15 miles and that was the shortest day. Luckily (for me), Izzy’s mom hurt her ACL and therefore couldn’t ride her mountain bike while she was recovering.  That meant that I got to borrow it for a few days before the trip and during. 
                So enough about logistics, let’s talk picturesque views!  If you aren’t familiar with Montana, you’re going to have to either look up these towns/places/areas or just live through my pictures.  We started right outside of the little reservation town of Ronan.  From there we began our first leg heading North into an excruciatingly strong headwind.  Not cool (at least exertion of energy wise)!  It took us way longer than it ever should to bike that first 15 miles which took us to the outskirts of Polson (on Flathead Lake) and then slightly around the East side of the lake, near the Finley Point turn off.  We stayed with Izzy’s family friends on all our nights of the trip. 
The two of us at our starting location.

Proof  in motion.

The Polson Hill.

Panorama of where we were heading.

Fun Fact:  Flathead Lake is the largest fresh water lake West of the Mississippi River.  Hopefully I didn’t totally make that up and it isn’t actually West of the Missouri River.  If it was the later, I feel like that’s a pathetic thing to be proud of Montanans!

                And back on track, so we spent the night near Finley Point on Flathead Lake and continued our “misadventure,” as we named it, North all the way to Lake Blaine.  This was the longest day by far and double the mileage we did on any of the other days.  The total was something over forty miles.  Luckily we started early and beat most of the morning traffic around the lake as there is not a large shoulder for most of that ride.  After stopping in Big Fork for a second breakfast and making a bunch of Lord of the Rings hobbit references, we continued on to the second home we were staying at and arrived around noon.  We had their beautiful home to ourselves and quickly became acquainted with the hot tub.  The rest of the day and most of the next morning we spent watching HGTV as it was pouring!

Day 2: We loved going downhill!

That's me being silly with early morning delirium.

Going uphill is equivalent to hell, or as I'd imagine it.

The lovely home on Lake Blaine.

And the view from the hot tub ;).

                Eventually the rain gave in and we started our third day to outside of Whitefish in order to stay with the final family.  This day was pretty uneventful and a mere twenty-something miles compared to the previous day.
                Day four was definitely the hardest for me.  I surprisingly wasn’t sore, but instead the rain continued to pour and we had no choice but to bike in it to arrive at our destination.  We were instantly soaked and although we only biked in the twenty mile range that day, the terrain was rolling hills all the way to West Glacier where we met Izzy’s mom. 

SOOOOO close!

We had to stop for a celebratory fist pump!

And the next day in Glacier National Park.

Lake McDonald, where we stayed the night with Izzy's mother and grandmother.

Walk of the cedars? I think that's what they called this area...

I might add that the going to the sun road was not open when this was taken and still is not open in the park.  They had some avalanches that set them back on clearing the route.

                I can honestly say that I would do the entire trip over again without even thinking twice.  I had the most amazing time with my friend, her family’s friends, and the scenery was breathtaking.  Life’s adventures are truly what you make of them and I choose to not dwell on the pouring rain and the constant struggle up hills, but the fact that we biked over a hundred miles (104 to be exact) in four days.  It may not be Tour de France speed (AT ALL), but not many people can claim the same accomplishment so I guess I feel exactly that, accomplished!
                In other news, I have indeed started training on AutoCAD with my dad to help out in his business and make a grownups amount of money.  I actually enjoy the work I have been doing for him and I think it helps that I have been supplementing my “job” with other work along the side.  I’ve dog sat, and baby sat, and I am even calling myself a beekeeper’s apprentice.  Basically I’m following a friend around and observing all he does in his career of beekeeping.  It’s an absolutely fascinating field and I love learning all about the different types of bees, honey, and even methods of keeping. 
                I’ll hopefully have more stories soon!  There’s a bunch of camping happening in August and floating season has officially begun!  We will have to wait for some of the smoke that is currently engulfing Missoula to clear.  I don’t know about anywhere else, but I feel like I’m wrapped in a shroud of smoke whenever I go outside. 

                Well, enough complaining and until next time…

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Change is in the Air

Oh me, oh my!

Well, it's been a crazy couple of weeks and I am ready to experience summer in it's full capacity.  Tons of things have been happening in my life and I'll quickly spell them all out for you (although there may be errors).

So, in somewhat big news, I got a tattoo!  It's a humpback whale on my right inner ankle and it's in a brown ink and I LOVE IT!  I never ever ever thought I would get a tat, but when I found something I loved and wouldn't mind looking at for the rest of my life, I jumped on the bandwagon.  And of course it has meaning to me what will my love of humpbacks and my roots on Maui and all that jazz.  I'll post a picture someday soon hopefully!

Next up, is that I officially told the donut shop that I will be leaving in the end of June which means a huge leap of faith in myself being productive at home by drafting for my dad.  I know I can do it and we will still need both the hubby's and my income, so it's not really an option to not work.  On top of that, we have tons of awesome plans for the summer and holding down a stationary job just wasn't gonna cut it for me.

Which brings me to some of my more exciting news!

I decided two days ago to join a friend on a 100 mile bike trip (done over 3 days) that starts in Ronan, MT and will end in Whitefish, MT (and possibly Glacier National Park).  She mentioned the trip and that she was going alone and then I just happened to have most of the time off, so it seems like it was meant to be.  I am borrowing her mom's bike that fits me pretty well, and we are preparing all of our gear including gloves, bike shorts, bike lights, snacks, etc.  Some of it is borrowed as I really haven't biked more than a few miles at a time here and there.  Just yesterday I got fit on the bike and had to learn the shifting, so my friend and I went on a 6.8 round trip ride.  Oh boy is my booty bruised!  Luckily the bike shorts are super padded and it dulls the pain, but I am definitely going to be sore as I am not conditioned at all!  I'll be sure to take pics and share my big adventure (which is HUGE for me)!

Keeping with the travel, the hubby and I also finalized the dates we will be taking a longish road trip to the New England area in the mid part of fall.  His grandma is paying for the whole family to go on an East coast cruise, but that's in the middle of our projected five week trip!  We plan on seeing a bunch of friends, camping, hiking, eating lots of lobster, and of course sight-seeing until our eyeballs explode (ewww that may have been a little too graphic)!  I will hopefully post all about the trip along with suggestions of good ideas and bad ones (cause we all know we will have those).

And other than those things set in stone, I of course want to bike more, go camping a lot...which just reminded me that we are also going camping up in Banff, Canada in late August with a group of friends and also reserved our campground.  It's going to amazing to see the group together and to also witness such an amazing area.  I plan on eating s'mores until I explode (what's with the explosion scenario I keep gravitating to today?!)

Well, I guess that's all my super exciting and active news!  I want to do so much and I'm going to make it all happen this summer.  It's going to be amazing and I hope to share every great story and adventure with you all!

Until we meet again...probably while I am too sore to move after this bike trip and bored laying on our couch ;)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What a Whirlwind...

Well holy smokes, it feels like forever since my last post and I have been meaning to update y'all for ages!  I guess I'm not quite cut out to be a full time blogger, but then again I do work a forty hour week, go dancing, workout, and now that it's absolutely gorgeous in Missoula go on hikes every other day!  I had never seen lilacs in person before moving to Montana and me-oh-my are they stunning!  This year must be particularly perfect for their growing patterns as I am noticing them EVERYWHERE!

Well, enough about my random ranting, I promise I have been doing things and I have proof!  The last post was before my mum (no, I'm not British...I just like calling her that) came for a visit I believe, so here are some of the things I have been accomplishing since then:

First off is my lovely dining room farm table.

The Before: I fell in love with this piece at a garage sale and bought it for $40!  I've had multiple offers to take it off my hands as it was,  but now it's even more amazing (which isn't hard to believe with this picture that shows the bad staining and glue residue).
The After: I used Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint (MMSMP) as a stain on the top and as a paint on the legs/base.  The process follows!

Here she is outside after a bit of microdermabrasion (not sure on that spelling, but that's my term for sanding for those of you with clear skin).

This is what the surface looked like after hours (no exaggeration) of vigorous sanding to remove the glue residue.

Here is where I added the stain after vacuuming and wiping off all of the dust particles. It was quite frightening as this was my very first project using MMSMP, but sometimes you just have to dive head first and hope there aren't any rocks (okay that was a bad comparison as I always check for rocks, and so should you!).

And here she is after having her complete makeover. 

This is generally what milk paint is supposed to do as long as the piece isn't raw wood.  It creates an antiqued "chippy" look that I adore!  This particular photo is pre-light sanding  which removes the loose chips prior to the top coat of finishing wax or hemp oil.

And here is what MMSMP will look like on raw wood with more parts water than powder to create a stained effect.  The color on top is a custom mix, but it was mostly the color called Curio.

Here's the view after a light sanding on the base (forgive the shadows).

and there she is ready for her finishing touches...aka wax on the base and hemp oil on the top (to make the color more rich and have a luster instead of chalky appearance).

Although the lighting is poor in this one, you can tell how big of a difference the sanding and refinishing made (or at least I can!).  

The color brushed on really dark at first, but after a couple minutes, the wood soaked it up and I was able to see the grain again.  Unfortunately in some areas where the glue was stubborn, I should have kept sanding even after it was gone. Those spots are still slightly visible as a wee bit darker stain.  Not the end of the world, but definitely a lesson for next time!
I am completely satisfied with the piece and didn't know I could love it any more than I already had!  Now, below is another piece that I loved the character of, but it really needed a makeover!  Remember this photo from my last post (a long time ago)?!

This is the before of the dresser I purchased on our Denver trip and while I was painting the table I decided to do all of my projects at once (which I might add was not the best idea as I was SOOOO sore for a few days after)!

Unfortunately I don't have any in process shots, but here is the finished project! Aren't the lilacs beautiful?!
Here's a close shot of the wonderful texture added to the piece with the milk paint.  I didn't sand the piece before applying the paint and the paint was therefore super "chippy" which might not have happened if I had given the surface some "tooth" as Miss Mustard Seed suggests.  At first I was afraid it would all come off in the light sanding, but in the end, I ended up loving the extreme distressed look achieved.

I did a few other projects before mom's arrival including a bulletin board that I covered in burlap to make slightly less ugly and a chair.  Unfortunately I don't have pictures, but you're not missing much ;).  I did include some nasty projects that have been way overdue (like since we moved in overdue)!  Disclaimer: The photos that follow are not an example of my poor house keeping, but years of neglected build up of filth.  We even got discounted rent the first month we moved in because the previous tenant did such a horrible job of cleaning...and sadly I just got around to both projects a couple of weeks ago (after almost a year of living in this apartment - yikes).  Now they are finally done and I can relax knowing that they have been deep cleaned.  So here they are:

This photo just shows how disgusting the oven was, but I didn't take an after photo.  In case you're wondering, Krud Kutter is the most amazing product for cleaning out there!  It claims to be biodegradable on the bottle, however I suggest you follow the instructions and warnings on the label as this is some heavy duty stuff!  Believe me, I tried many things before I got my hands on this magical serum and I am so thankful to have found it!
 Now the next project has been eating at me for a year, but I just couldn't get the blades clean while they were still attached to the main body.  Check out the pictures and you'll understand!

GROSS!!!! And that's the part that doesn't show (luckily). EWWWW!  How do people live like this?! 

Oh, and in case you didn't realize yet, yes those are blades of a ceiling fan.  After finally getting fed up with the dust balls hanging off that couldn't be removed with cloth and cleaner, I decided to get ye old multi-tool out and remove the blades in order to give them a deep clean.  This was also after I discovered the wonders of Krud Kutter.

Check it! I had been trying to rub the dirt off of these babies for months with no success.  Then I sprayed some Krud Kutter on and the grease-dust combo basically dripped right off!  That scrub brush wasn't even necessary!

Check out the difference! AMAZING!!
Well, now you know some of what I've been up to lately. I did come to the realization that my Facebook hiatus is actually wonderful!  I haven't actually thought about going on or what I'm missing for weeks.  My friends and I have more to talk about when we chat on the phone or skype or even in person and it's because they aren't reading about everything I do via Facebook.  Yes, it's a great resource when used to keep in contact with people from the past, but that's the reason I didn't delete it.  My page is there if I ever want to return, but until then I'm enjoying life without false socializing.  I go out dancing at least once a week and have met a handful of new people in that community.  I have also been playing handball, attending gym classes, hiking and just enjoying the weather.  For those of you still under the influence of Facebook, all I can say is that I have so much more time to do things that will matter someday as opposed to wasting thirty minutes here and there checking on updates.  I want to live a life without regret and I have a feeling that spending a bunch of time on Facebook is going to be a huge one, so I choose to go without.  

And on that note, at this point I don't have any interest in being a full time blogger.  I do like sharing great projects or trips, but the same idea applies and that is that I would rather be doing something worth while.  I'll definitely keep all ten (and that might be a stretch lol) of my readers in the loop , but don't expect a post every day or even every week.  Let's get out there and live a wonder-full life! 

Until our next big adventure...which could be camping at Lake Alva or Banff or even our trip to the Northeast. Who knows what the world may choose to send our way, but I'm certainly not going to be sitting on my bum when it makes up it's mind!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Island Fever

No, I'm not dreaming of Maui with it's lovely beaches and warm weather (although that does sound nice). I'm talking about an island for the kitchen.  

So here's my latest project...

I purchased a raw wood mini island from Ikea on our Denver trip (which I'm sure I already mentioned) and the reasoning for unfinished wood was so that I could make it unique.  Well, I've been so inspired by the stained surface and painted legs of so many blog posts of Miss Mustard Seed, that I decided to try the style out for myself.  Also, if I haven't already said so (sorry if I'm super repetitive, but I'm running on a few hours of sleep for the past couple of days), my mom is also planning on purchasing the same island!  And we didn't even know about our similar interests until I got mine.  Anyways, Ikea is a dangerous place and it's probably a good thing that there isn't one even remotely close! 

Ok, so I started by staining to top portion of the island.  I might mention that I have never stained anything...EVER! It was a bit nerve racking, but I read the instructions (multiple times) and re-read some blog posts and just dove right in.  There were some Youtube videos I might have referred to that mention different types of wood, and I'm no wood expert, but it's definitely not hard wood (which is more difficult to stain according to the video).  The top soaked up the stain like a boss and I only applied one coat! The picture below is after I applied the stain and the piece had time to dry.  I might add that I used the suggested pre-stain conditioner which claims to "soak in to the grain to provide uniform acceptance."  Well, that sure doesn't look uniform to me, but I LOVE IT!  And I'm pretty sure the uniform part would be if the top was all from one piece of wood.  Anyways...

In the picture below you can partially see my utter catastrophe of a guest room that is currently home to all of my projects (in various stages).  That's going to have to change really soon as mom is coming for a visit this next weekend.  The pictures shows the pieces that came with the set and the color "pre" stain.

And below is the finished beauty.  I was experimenting with natural light and attempting to make the photos look fancy.  Fail! Learning photographic skills is definitely on my bucket list! But it at least gives you a good idea of the final product...right?!

I just love blue and white china!  And below is a closer view of the finished top after waxing (a protective coat). So all the steps for the top piece were to pre-stain/condition it, stain it, apply hemp oil (probably unnecessary), and then apply Annie Sloan's Soft Wax (which apparently is toxic in comparison to Miss Mustard Seed's whose I believe is non-toxic). Yes, I definitely applied the wax indoors and luckily was wearing a mask, otherwise I would have gotten high off the fumes.  I had to have the window open and fan on to clear out the chemical smell. And I know that most times this stuff is toxic, but I was thinking it was MMSMP wax and that is odorless and totally safe to use inside. Oh well, live and learn!

The next two pictures show the mediums used on the piece.  The stain is Walnut and the chalk paint is Old White.  I ordered some of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in the color "Curio" and will be attempting a stain with that on our dining room table.  Her milk paint blog has a bunch of helpful tips for this procedure and it's so much less toxic than the method I chose.  I'll definitely post my opinion when I finish that project!

Either wax or hemp oil are used to finish and protect milk paint. However, I used chalk paint for the base, so I used the companion wax. 
I hope I have inspired you to jump right in!  I am starting to get excited about all the projects I have been putting off, because I "didn't know how."  Well, I'm learning as I go and everyone has to do it at some point.

Here's a glimpse of another upcoming project:

This baby was half off at an antique shop in Denver as they were closing.  I absolutely love the style and it came with a vanity mirror that attaches to the back.  I can't wait to slap some milk paint on her!

Oh, and I borrowed a staple gun from a friend's dad's tool repertoire.  That project involves a bulletin board, paint, and maybe some burlap. 

Until next time...

Friday, April 18, 2014

San Fran

Well, it sure has been a while (or it seems that way).  I'm typing this post from the lovely mid-seventies weather of Concord, CA. I'm on a surprise super secret mission to see my mom and although it turned out to not be a surprise, I just love hanging out with my mum.  I especially love hanging out in her adorable house that has so much inspiration for DIY projects.  She is an amazing woman and I can feel the creative energy flowing throughout her home!

Just a quick shot of the formal dining room (the only place my suitcase hasn't exploded all over)!
On another note, I know I've been slacking on the entry front, but I have been busy, so that's a good thing right?!  One of my friends just moved to Canada and between attending his farewell outings, working, going to the gym, attending dance class, training on AutoCAD, working on craft projects, spring cleaning, planting, and just enjoying the lovely Missoula sunshine, I've been completely exhausted!

But the good news is that I should have some great projects coming up in the next week or two.  I don't remember if I mentioned, but I purchased a mini raw wood island from Ikea on our Denver trip.  I decided to stain the top a Walnut tone and paint the legs/shelves an offwhite/cream color (Annie Sloan chalk paint).  Since I didn't use a lacquer or sealant on the stain (other than hemp oil), my mom suggested using wax to seal it from the harmful effects of water damage, etc.  This would be my VERY FIRST time using wax, so I think I'll wait until mom is visiting in a couple weeks to complete the project.  

I also decided to try out a harlequin pattern on a TV tray I have had since my dorm days.  It's a simple light wood, but it would be the perfect piece to practice such a design.  As usual, I was inspired by my mother's "breakfast nook" table that she painted a few years ago.  She is beyond talented and hopefully when she's in Mizoo, we will be able to complete that project as well. 

Here's the harlequin pattern in case you had a "what the heck does that mean" moment!

 And the reason I say there should be a bunch of projects coming up is that I always have to get my home in tip-top shape before mom arrives.  I know you all do it too!  Luckily I just purchased a carpet steam cleaner (the fancy professional-grade-kind that was on super sale on Amazon about a month ago) and just finished doing our bedroom (which was DISGUSTING)! I never realized how much dirt you track through the home until you suck it all up with water and see it hanging out in the dirty tank. And I can tell you that our water was black! EEEEEWWW!  But now it's pretty clean, so I can take a breath and enjoy my fresh smelling carpets!  

Next on the list is organizing and painting!  I just got finished with the kitchen and changed out the rugs.  I purchased a natural jute-like rug from Ikea (I love that place!) and it truly gives the kitchen a completely new feel.  The funny thing is that my mom purchased the same island and rugs as I did and I didn’t even know she had!
I also decided that I was over the chair covers that were too white and had a slight floral pattern to them.  Although my dining chairs were free, I kind of like the look they have going on at the moment, so I left them to be naked again and we shall see what happens next!

The bedroom and guestroom are thorns in my side, but the first step I will need to take for our bedroom will be lighter curtains because the walls are pretty dark brown.  Hopefully painting all the dressers a lighter white/cream will really make the atmosphere better.  Eventually, I hope to put up a starched fabric wall to break up all the brown and add a little something extra!  

Of course these are all just ideas floating around my head waiting to be fished out when I'm in an exceptionally crafty and get-stuff-done mood (yes, I forgot the word that would fit there).  Anyways, I'll post pictures when we get home!  I completely went over my data charges this month by taking pictures with my phone and then emailing them.  Yikes!  

Until the next inspired day...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Say Cheese

I wanted to share a few of the outfits from our Denver trip in action and I have uploaded them below.  The key I want to also share is to be comfortable.  For some reason, on almost every trip, I decide I need to take some dress or shirt that I haven't worn in months, because there will be the perfect occasion to wear it.  Well, as you may have guessed, the occasion rarely comes into existence and I end up with an unnecessary garment. The same goes with shoes.  I ALWAYS want to take a pair of heels, and yet even when we attend a show or go to a nice restaurant I wear a simpler pair of shoes.  Moral of the story: take clothes you wear often and you will not only be comfortable, but you will also know how they work with everything else in your suitcase from experience.

This is a repeat from the Capital building downtown, but I wanted to show the black pea-coat I took with me.  A great piece that in my opinion helps with the "blend in" aspect of travel.

I LOVE the green dress I'm wearing in this picture.  I purchased it on Modcloth a while back (a dangerous website for me) and it has a risque open back.  I never would have bought it if I had actually looked at all of the pictures and had seen the open back, but now that I have it, I love how unique it is!  The only problem is that I'm trying to get to the body I want to wear the open back without a sweater over it.  I'm getting close!

Sorry about the blurry-ness!  Kyle must be magical, because he got the elephant to smile too!  Or maybe she likes my pumpkin colored jeans.  I also love this article of clothing and wear them all the time!   

Until the next adventure...