Fjallraven Rucksack No. 21

One of the great things about working from home is that you have the ability to work from where ever you want, whenever you want! (Beach included!)… The not-so-great thing about working from home is that most of your days are spent working in the same space you go to relax and unwind (ie, my kitchen, bed, living room).

Because of this, I’ve found it’s so important to mix up your work space at least once a week. I like to head to my favorite working coffee shop in Boulder: Ozo Coffee on west Pearl St. The coffee is strong, the music is always pumping, and the shop is always filled with other remote-workers. (Did you know that 20% of Boulder works from home/coffee shops?)

Working remotely means always having the supplies you need on hand (planner, pens, chargers, laptop and iPad, etc.) and in an organized way. That’s where my latest fave accessory comes in!

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My new fjallraven No. 21 backpack is my current obsession! Their second American store just opened up down the road from me on Pearl Street about a year ago, and I’ve spent many an afternoon lusting over their website and walking past the outdoorsy, rustic shop. I’ve considered becoming more outdoorsy just so I can justify a full Fjallraven wardrobe!

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But until then, I will just pack my laptop, books, lunch, and chargers away neatly into they super cool and hipstery rucksack of mine.

Thanks tyty for the awesome Christmas gift and being my personal photog this morning!

Fjallraven Rucksack No. 21

Valentine Dinner: Linger, Denver CO

This weekend, we went to an exceptional dinner in Denver. Linger (in Lohi) is definitely one of the most talked about restaurants and happy hours in D-town and it certainly lives up to the hype!

This old mortuary turned Eatuary ;) makes some of the best Asian and Middle Eastern-inspired comfort food in town!

We were lucky to get reservations for this prix fixe menu on Saturday.

When we arrived, the restaurant was bustling and we were escorted upstairs to the bar which was completely dark except for the bar top, which was lit by hundreds of Lite Brites! I was too enamored by it (and my company!) that I forgot to snap a photo, so here is one I took from Google!

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After ordering a drink, we were brought back down to our table and presented with our 4 course menu. Tyty decided to go a more seafood inspired route (mussels and lobster) and I opted for the turf selections (pork and short rib)… but I’ll get to the foodie glory in a minute!

Each course was presented with a wine to compliment your dish. First off we were offered the amuse bouche: a single red beet ravioli with sweet red bean and pistachios and the most fantastic rosé I’ve ever had! Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Almost immediately, our plates were whisked away and swapped with our first course. For me: Moroccan roasted butternut squash, feta, and a mint pesto.

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For Tyty: Sweet and sour wonton soup that was apparently a little too much broth.

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Second course more than made up for any points first course missed! My plate was quite simply, heaven on Earth. Like OH MY GOD: Foie Gras Tochon Bao Bun with honey, marmalade and house mustard. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything so delicious in my life. The union of my two favorite things (foie gras and a bao bun) are pure foodie bliss for me.

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Tyty’s plate was also a thing of beauty: Valencia Paella (saffron) Arancini, over duck sausage and mussels cooked in an amazing smoked tomato sauce. Exquisite is all I can say about it. I need to recreate it!

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By now, I admit I was already really full (2 courses + an hors d’ouvre and 3 glasses of vino and a complimentary spicy cucumber shot!), but our 3rd and main course was on it’s way!

For me: Braised Short Rib Bibimbab (A Korean dish similar to ramen, but without the noodles or the broth). The short rib was cooked perfectly with a fried egg, truffles, and a fried sushi rice cake, along side a series of pickled veggies and kimchi. It was so fantastic I insisted on eating the entire thing despite how full I was.

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Tyty’s was an amazing Indian inspired lobster tail, served with a coconut marsala, creme fraiche, and a lobster samosa. So decadent and delicious I (almost!) wished I had ordered it.

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While we washed everything down with our 4th glass of wine (mine was a great red that I wish I remembered the name of!) our dessert wines and dish arrived!

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We were presented with a giant plate of sweets and treats to share including: coconut macaroon with passionfruit dipping sauce, rose and violet cotton candy, sesame salted caramel sticks, and chocolate and matcha truffles topped with passionfruit boba.

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My favorite was definitely the cotton candy (I would have loved to try a champagne flavored cotton candy!) because it was perfectly light and sweet.

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The entire meal was paced perfectly and every single thing we ate was delicious. I was so full afterwards though, I thought I would roll all the way home. I (obviously) didn’t want to leave anything on my plate, but I wish they would have served slightly smaller portions of everything ;)

Linger is the perfect mix of unique flavors and combinations of your favorite ethnic foods. I would HIGHLY recommend a visit for dinner or happy hour next time you’re in Denver. I’ll definitely be visiting for brunch in a few weeks!

A fantastic meal for a fantastic Valentine’s Day! xo

Valentine Dinner: Linger, Denver CO

Fashioned In America: Phoenix Art Museum

This weekend I was in Phoenix visiting my grandparents and my Grandma mentioned a fashion exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum…. and if you know me, you know I love a good exhibit, especially a fashion one!

So on Sunday, we headed over to have a peak…

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The PAM is a fantastic museum, right in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Much smaller than the LACMA of course, but dynamic with plenty of variety and impressive pieces!

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They were also showing a selection of Leonardo Da Vinci’s scientific writings and conclusions, which was very interesting! Did you know that although 2 of his paintings are among the most famous in the world, only 20 of his pieces are considered noteworthy by art critics? He was a much more prolific and accomplished scientist (and journal keeper, as it would have it!).

Pics of the da Vinci exhibit were not allowed. We moved on to the fashion exhibit (the PAM always has some kind of fashion exhibit going on, which I think is brilliant!)

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This particular exhibit was “Fashioned In America”, highlighting the resurgence of modern American Fashion and it’s roots in the early 20th century. The exhibit housed a collection of beautiful outfits designed by American designers like Oscar de la Renta, Anna Sui, J.Mendel, and Juan Carlos Orbando.

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This skirt and coat combo was my favorite! The fur detailing paired with a graphic silk scarf and graphic pants is so luxurious. Plus, you know I love to pair contrasting textures like knit and leather or silk and wool.

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In this picture, I’m rockin on of my fave outfits: wide legged pants with a simple crop top.^^^

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Afterwards, we wandered around looking at contemporary modern art by Alexander Calder, Frida Kahlo, Diego Riveria, and Pablo Picasso. This painting reminded me of something Kanye West would paint a la Dark Twisted Fantasy!

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Finally, we peaked into the small Kinetic Art room, which I absolutely loved! I think kinetic art is so fascinating, like how your perception of the piece changes based on your placement or movement. The multi-dimension of kinetic pieces make it feel like you’re viewing multiple pieces at once.

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If you’re in Phoenix, I HIGHLY recommend a trip! A great way to spend the afternoon with a little bit of culture! I can’t wait to get back and finish exploring.

Fashioned In America: Phoenix Art Museum

Icelantic Winter On the Rocks

Last weekend, I won tickets to Icelantic Ski’s Winter on The Rocks, the single winter show at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Each year, the ski company hosts an epic show (snow or shine!) in one of the most epic music venues in the world! (Seriously though, it might be beyond epic!) This year, Damien Marley and Major Lazer performed one hell of a party!

I was lucky enough to win VIP access to the show, complete with a VIP room, open bar, some swag, a photobooth, and assigned seats.

Here’s a peak into some pics from the show!

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It was an AWESOME show with tons of energy and good vibes from the crowd. I’ve been a long time fan of Damien Marley but never thought to go to a show or even thought I would see him live. To watch him perform Could You Be Loved by his father, the great Bob Marley, was truly spectacular and if I hadn’t been so pumped for the show, I might have cried! Major Lazor is an electronic dance group (led by the famous Diplo) who mix heavy dance hall/afro-caribbean beats with electronic dubstep and trap. Basically, it’s my kinda party jams! VERY high energy and upbeat and even if you hate dancing, you’ll find yourself jumping to their beats. I think everyone at Red Rocks had a huge grin on their face. Really, an unforgettable night.

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Thanks to Arta Tequila (whom I won the tickets from!) and Icelantic Skis for an incredible, dancing night!

Icelantic Winter On the Rocks

#CosmopolitanChic in Las Vegas

With the weather hinting towards signs of spring, and I’ve been dreaming of a quick weekend getaway! Just in time for a quick style collab with the Cosmopolitan Hotel! I’ve been there once during my last trip to Vegas for cocktails and it was a glittery and glamourous, modern tower among the bright, neon lights of the Vegas strip.

For this collab, I’ve coordinated three outfits for a day spent at the hotel that match the sexy, modern sophistication of the hotel while also embracing the classic look of Las Vegas!

Vegas during the day is hot. Very hot. For brunch, I would beat the heat with a pair of breezy high waist, wide-legged pants and a chic crop top. Chunky heels hidden under the trousers will elongate your legs and keep the outfit from looking too baggy. A bold color makes a statement while keeping the look bright and fresh, accented with white and blush tones to show off your new Vegas tan. Of course, a wide brimmed hat is essential for any brunch look!

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After brunch and some quality time by the pool and salon, one must always take advantage of Vegas’ great shopping! When shopping, I need something chic yet effortless. I love this shift dress paired with statement boots like Yves St. Laurant’s glitter chelsea boots (can’t forget a touch of glitz while in Vegas!). They’re just the right amount of Vegas, while being practical enough to walk around town in. A diamond pendant necklace helps elevate the look and take it from a day of shopping to happy hour drinks and dinner at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill or Comme Ça.

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After a fantastic dinner and cocktails (and maybe even a quick nap!) it’s time to get ready for a night out at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas! There are bars and lounges for anyone as well as the famed Marquee Night Club, social club Rose.Rabbit.Lie. and even a meditation club experience that I’m dying to see for myself! For a night on the town it’s time to get glam! A white mini dress (again: you have to show off that tan! By Balmain) with a plunging neck and poncho sleeves is sexy yet unexpected. I love the slightly larger top to create the illusion of a small waist.

Accent the plunging neck with a simple chain pendant. Chunky heels (Prada) in a rich, jewel tone are a must for dancing all night, as well as a graphic clutch to keep all your essentials in! Toss your hair in a sexy high pony for a sophisticated, minimalist look.

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Big thanks to Vegas.com for inviting me to participate in the #CosmopolitanChic challenge! I had so much fun coordinating a day’s worth of outfits!

#CosmopolitanChic in Las Vegas

Colombia Cabalgata 4

The next morning was our last day on the ride. We planned to ride all morning, a short distance to my family’s farm in Suesca where other friends and family would meet us for a big birthday celebration for my grandpa.

But first: Breakfast!

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Many people think of tamales as the “Mexican Christmas” tradition: sweet corn meal and meat wrapped in corn husks and steamed. In Colombia and Venezuela, they’re a bit different: corn meal filled with meat and veggies, wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled. They’re very common in the Capital/Cundinamarca district.

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I ordered one with a mug of hot cocoa (yes, I secretly wished it was almond milk, but I didn’t want to be, you know, annoying). In Colombia, it is very common to get a piece of mild cheese to dip into your cocoa.

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Another perk of breakfast in Colombia is the abundance of healthy, fresh juices from exotic fruits! On this particular morning we woke up to fresh papaya juice. Isn’t the color beautiful? I think I want a room in my next house to be that color.

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After everyone finished and we said gracias to the cooks, my uncle and I walked down the rode to the farm where our horses waited.

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We were surrounded by beautiful rolling green hills, bright blue skies, cows, and children on motorbikes. It kind of reminded me of the Shire (not the kids on bikes part, of course!)

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Making sure 20 horses and riders were properly saddled, prepared, and happy is a lot of work so while the ranchers tended to the horses, we mingled around the property, glasses of wine in hand and some snacks to occupy us.

My grandpa and his horse Principe:

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My cousin Noe is so full of love for everyone he sees!

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Before 11 am, we took off in a line waving goodbye to those driving behind us and embarked on the last beautiful leg of this journey. The ride was calm and sunny. Valleys rolled into small mountains and over the peaks, turned back into rolling, green hills.

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It was quite possibly the most peaceful I have ever felt. Riding alone at times along the empty country or galloping amongst the other horses. I felt like I was in a western… or maybe it was a British period piece taking place in the English countryside. Whatever it was, I liked it. And I could have been there forever. So picturesque.

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When we finally arrived at the farm in Suesca, a band was playing lively music and guests (family members and friends alike) mingled around the grounds. Little cousins took turns riding horses, people danced, drank wine, talked about the ride.

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After a delicious lunch (which I was too hungry to snap photos of) we sang happy birthday and danced a little more before clouds rolled in and we all headed back to the city!

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It was an extraordinary and beautiful time spent with family and loved ones, doing something that brings my grandpa so much happiness! What a way to ring in your 70th birthday!

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Colombia Cabalgata 3

WARNING! This post is long! It was also my favorite day of the whole trip so I recommend continuing to read, especially if you like foodie pics!! 

The next morning I woke up early (Like 4 am early!) and watched the sun rise over the mountain. The quiet, green landscape filled with light and for about 3 minutes, you felt completely alone in the world.

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Slowly we all started to file out of our rooms and into the shower rooms. By the time the sun was high in the sky, I had discovered the posada’s small ceramic shop. This region of Colombia is famous for its traditional pottery and ceramics, and much of it is made at the inn.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThere were little spoons, cream pots, and piggy banks, wind chimes and salt shakers, salsa dishes, shot glasses, and mugs! Everything you could think of for incredibly cheap so I picked up a few trinkets for loved ones and friends.

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After that I sat down for a feast of a breakfast (again): soup, potatoes, hot chocolate, arepa con queso (think of a corn patty filled with cheese), eggs, and fruit. It may have been too much to eat, but it was beautiful! The colors were bright, the food was rich, and there’s something to be said about how simple it was.

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Once again it was time to hit the trail. My grandpa’s friend was quite the cowboy, looking like he was a part of John Wayne’s group.

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Off we road winding up and around the mountain. This was planned to be our longest day of riding (40 kilometers) but the terrain was fairly easy.

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The day was beautiful and sunny, so we pulled over for a drink and to let the horses drink some water.

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After this, I switched horses with my aunt and moved to a gorgeous Andalusian horse named Consentida (an endearing word for Spoiled) who was quite possibly the most comfortable ride in all the land! Her saddle is a special Portuguese saddle and her trot is extremely smooth and easy paced. I loved it after 2 days of bouncing around with Arquetta.

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Shortly after that, we pulled over again for another break. Having ridden all morning long, it was time to break out the wine! Our luggage and food wasn’t too far behind, so we pulled out some Argentine empanadas and crystal glasses for everyone to sip their vino from.

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Talk about style!! My grandpa never fails to make everything an elegant and chic experience!

When we finally moved on, some clouds began to cover over head and my sunburn was relieved once again. We rode for a few more hours until we reached a quiet creek with an open space. Here we parked and began unloading the trucks for lunch.

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Tina prepared the most beautiful and gourmet picnic any of us had every seen! There were baskets of fruit and trays of nuts. Cheeses brought from Spain and France, fresh baked bread (made by my aunt), jamon iberico, pernil (roasted pork), marinated garlic eggplant, sun dried tomatoes, wine and beer, homemade cookies and crackers. The spread was endless and we all feasted until our bellies were full and we were warm from so much wine.

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It was truly beautiful and leave it to Tina to plan the most romantic, well-styled lunch of the entire event!

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The cookies I loved the most because they were made with so much love. My aunt’s farm is as organic-farm to table as possible! The butter used in the shortbread was made from her own cows and the strawberry jam filling was made by her from the berries in her yard. Isn’t my cousin the sweetest thing, helping her fill them?

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As we wrapped up our lunch, we saw the clouds darken and heard thunder roll overhead. We immediately saddled up and headed 2km down the road to our final destination, but not before we were stopped by the most torrential downpour anyone had ever seen.

There was no escaping this rain. It literally filled my boots ankle deep with water and our clothes were entirely soaked through. Somehow, we made it to the last stop, dismounted and piled into a van waiting to take us to the hotel for the last night of our trip.

After showering and warming up, we spent the night drinking wine, chatting, and enjoying a classic Colombian dinner. The town we stayed in was called Lenguazaque, a very small city a few hours from Bogota. The town is rather rural, so dinner consisted of: sobrebarriga (Colombian-style flank steak), gallina (“hen”…not sure what us gringos are eating hear in the states… I always thought “chicken” = “hen” but apparently there is a difference).

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S omething also very common in this region is called “huevera”…  to put it bluntly, it is the uterus of the hen with half produced eggs cooked inside. It sounds horrific, but I like to consider myself a foodie. A culinary adventurer, willing to try anything once. So I that’s what I did.

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I think Tony Bourdain would be proud. It wasn’t that bad. They tasted like hard boiled egg yolks with some weird crispy membrane around them.

I washed it down with a couple more glasses of vino and then hit the sack, exhausted but no longer sore and ready for our final day of the ride.

Stay tuned for the last installment of our cabalgata soon!

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