Photos from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – January 2014

zbigsunsetIn January, Jim and I, along with our good friends Shellie and Jason, took a much-needed trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. After much deliberation on where we would go (Gulf side or Pacific side), we followed the advice of several of our friends and stayed at the Dreams Puerto Vallarta and were not disappointed.

The trip was the perfect combination of relaxation

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and fun. We spent as much time as possible in the water or on the beach; we strolled

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the Malecon and enjoyed the sculptures; we went deep sea fishing and whale watching; and we took in seven beautiful sunsets. Below are a few of my favorite pictures – enjoy. (more…)

The perfect {gray} storm

According to my Instagram account, it was 14 weeks ago that THIS happened.


After which I promptly booked an appointment with my colorist and darkened my hair well beyond my natural mousy-brown in an effort to hide all traces of aging. See below.


Fast forward a few weeks: Yesterday I had an eye appointment in which the doctor told me I had a condition that is “brought on by age.”

Today, I was greeted in the bathroom mirror by approximately five shiny white hairs on my head. And those bad boys are thick and wiry. While I only have about an inch of growth from my last coloring, these roots are totally white and glistening, and totally waving a big “eff you” at me. You better believe that I yanked those suckers out; I couldn’t handle them staring back at me.

I’ve been told that a gal’s thirties are supposed to be some of the best years of her life. However, it will be a challenge watching our bodies change. Things start to sag, hairs turn gray (or white in my case), skin gets spotty and wrinkled (what gives?!), eyesight goes, you develop weird “conditions” and yet we are supposed to enjoy these “best years” of our lives.

I have to say that I have high hopes for all the other stuff to come in this decade. It better make these white hairs worth it.

Update: 30 Things Before 30

Last year, shortly after I turned 29, I put together a list of 30 things I wanted to accomplish before I turned the big 3-0. I did make a conscious effort to cross a lot of these items off of my list, but there are still quite a few things I didn’t get to. I’ll be thinking about those pesky items I couldn’t cross off while I’m planning my adventures as a 30-year-old. Well, let’s see how I did!


  • Pay off my credit cards Took some effort and dedication, but I did it.
  • Buy a new car that will get me to the mountains Bought a Volvo XC60 with all-wheel drive. I still only made it to the mountains in the winter once or twice.
  • Road trip home to see my family  Done! Jim and I drove to Arkansas for July 4
  • Spend time on a beach
  • Run a 5K
  • Take a dance class with my boyfriend
  • Hike a 14er
  • Make my apartment look more adult – e.g. get rid of college furniture, put some actual thought into decorating
  • Don’t drink for 30 days As much as I love wine and craft beers, this one was a toughy, but I accomplished it.
  • Go on a spending fast
  • Go biking in Palisade, CO – Colorado’s wine country  Nothing better than biking to wineries. Completed on 7/28
  • Tailgate at a Broncos game
  • Relaunch my blog Done! What do you think?
  • Get back down to my pre-boyfriend weight
  • Host a girl’s night at my house with makeovers and Friday Night Beauty on QVC  This was one of the first things I did and we had an amazing night drinking wine, geeking out over beauty products and making friendship bracelets (yes, just like in the 90s).
  • Spend a night in Estes Park Check! A night at the Stanley Hotel in February.
  • Go horseback riding We did this while in Estes Park. It snowed on us and was absolutely beautiful.
  • Travel somewhere exotic with my boyfriend
  • Take Spanish classes
  • Take a yoga class
  • Learn to fly fish
  • Have $5,000 in savings Done!
  • Go vegetarian for a month and gluten free for a month – It was surprisingly easy for me to be vegetarian for a month. Gluten free, on the other hand, was a little harder to figure out.
  • Get back into making jewelry by making my friends each a piece of jewelry
  • Go out on a lake  Complete! A bunch of friends rented a pontoon boat and went out on Lake Dillon in Summit County, Colo. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate the whole time, we enjoyed it. Jim and I also took a paddle boat out on Lake Tahoe in September.
  • Visit five new breweries  Piece of cake! I live in Colorado, after all.
  • Invest in some professional, comfortable high heels I wouldn’t say I necessarily “invested,” but I did make a concerted effort to buy a few pairs of heels that are professional and work with nearly any office outfit.
  • Build a nightly skin care routine I still am not great at the “routine” of this, but I have tested several products, and I am making sure to keep my skin hydrated and to focus on the areas where I’m getting fine lines, like around the eyes.
  • Read the Hunger Games and find out what all the fuss is about
  • Get my wisdom teeth out

2012 was a great year

30 Things To Do Before 30

Shiny Happy Birthday Girl SmilingI was having a conversation with a friend recently about things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30. And then I realized… I have less than a year to make it happen.

My boyfriend at first thought it was silly; no one needs to check off a list of tasks in order to feel accomplished. And I don’t think that’s what this is. This is just a way to make the last year of my 20s memorable. After all, I’ll never get them back.

Without further ado, here are the things I’d like to accomplish before May 17, 2013 in no particular order:

  • Pay off my credit cards
  • Buy a new car that will get me to the mountains
  • Road trip home to see my family
  • Spend time on a beach
  • Run a 5K
  • Take a dance class with my boyfriend
  • Hike a 14er
  • Make my apartment look more adult – e.g. get rid of college furniture, put some actual thought into decorating
  • Don’t drink for 30 days
  • Go on a spending fast
  • Go biking in Palisade, CO – Colorado’s wine country
  • Tailgate at a Broncos game
  • Relaunch my blog
  • Get back down to my pre-boyfriend weight
  • Host a girl’s night at my house with makeovers and Friday Night Beauty on QVC
  • Spend a night in Estes Park
  • Go horseback riding
  • Travel somewhere exotic with my boyfriend
  • Take Spanish classes
  • Take a yoga class
  • Learn to fly fish
  • Have $5,000 in savings
  • Go vegetarian and gluten free for a month
  • Get back into making jewelry by making my friends each a piece of jewelry
  • Go out on a lake
  • Visit five new breweries
  • Invest in some professional, comfortable high heels
  • Build a nightly skin care routine
  • Read the Hunger Games and find out what all the fuss is about
  • Get my wisdom teeth out

I’ll try to post updates as I cross items off of my list. Looking forward to a fun year!

Current Music Obsession: Mayer Hawthorne

Nerdy (but awesome) glasses? Check. Amazing retro sound? Check. Great performer and fashion sense? Check. Fun and funny Twitter account? I’m sold. Heck, I may or may not even have a Mayer Hawthorne bobble head on my desk at work. Ahem. What all this is saying is that I’ve had this obsession for a while… I’ve just needed to get it out.


The first time I saw Mayer Hawthorne was last summer at the Mile High Music Festival – which I’ve since learned is not going to happen again this year… what gives? Anyway. I’ve had a thing for soul and Motown music for a while and am loving seeing it come back through newer acts like Adele, Raphael Saadiq, and more. Nothing makes you want to dance like this stuff.

Even more, I love how Mayer Hawthorne let’s his personality really shine through. He has a YouTube series called Mayer v. Food, a spin-off of the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food. Basically, Mayer visits infamous eating joints in cities where he’s touring and documents the entire experience. I love it.

My only complaint at this point is that I need more. I need a new album, Mayer!


I estimate I’ve been obsessed with Mayer Hawthorne since mid summer 2010. I liked his music before I saw him at the MHMF, but after seeing the whole thing in person, my level of adoration grew by leaps and bounds. I also saw Mayer again in November 2010 in Boulder, CO… oh, and I met him then and got an autograph. I’m such a fan girl.


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What’s YOUR current music obsession?

#Reverb10 – Day 3: Moment.

Prompt: Moment.

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

I think the default answer to this particular prompt would be something to the effect of “One glorious day this summer, I was hiking in the wilderness and stopped near a bubbling brook. The air was crisp, the grass was green and I breathed in the fresh mountain air. It made me feel so alive. Blah, blah, blah…”

Yeah, yeah. Mine is nothing like that. Hands down my moment this year was the moment I received the job offer for this new position I am in at this new company. (Notice the repetition of the word new. Further cements that “new” was my word for 2010.”

That moment made me feel so alive. It made me feel like I was valuable. That I had proven that I was worth more, and that I could do more. And that I had big things in store for my future. It gave me a big change that I had been needing for a while. Not that I was desperate to leave my job – I had a great job. I just needed something new in my life, a breath of fresh air, if you will, and this one moment gave me that outlet.

Funny thing about change is… when I was living back home in Arkansas, change was one of the things I feared the most. But the moment I decided to pack up and move to the mountains in Colorado for the winter, my life had changed. I became someone who embraced change – who needed change.

Yes, hands down, my moment this year was starting a new job – a new path in life. And many, many more years in Denver.

This post is a part of #reverb10. Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.

#Reverb10 – Day One: One Word.

I decided to participate in this year’s #Reverb10.

Last year, I heard many, many wonderful things about #best09 from Cali and because she is part of the crew putting on the #reverb10, I was even more anxious/excited to jump head on into this challenge.

What’s it all about, you ask?

Reverb 10 is a daily blogging challenge throughout the month of December. Each day, participants are given a prompt which will spark stories and reflections on the past year. It’s also designed to put you in a mindset to manifest ideas for how you would like to start off 2011. Sound cool? Join the challenge!

Prompt: One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

In thinking about the last year, the best word I can think of to describe it is simply new.

New job.

New relationship.

New friendships.

New music.

New blog.

New experiences.

New car.

New goals.

Visiting new places.

The last year was good to me. Sure, we had our ups and downs, 2010 and me, but I believe if you continue to look to the future and keep your chin up, you can get through nearly anything.

Now, for the word that I’d like to describe 2011… brave.

I want to be brave to build on the amazing things that have happened this year. Be brave enough to finish things I start. Don’t let my fears hold me back. Don’t let my procrastination hold me back. Don’t let anything get in the way of me accomplishing what I know I’m capable of — and more importantly, what I deserve.

Well, here’s to beginning this journey. I’m looking forward to tackling this challenge and meeting others through it. Cheers.

Current Music Obsession: One eskimO

I’ve come to the realization that my life is like a soundtrack. I listen to one artist or set of songs on repeat – incessantly – until eventually I stop. The change is usually brought about by small adjustments – a change in the seasons, change in life events, an upcoming or past trip, a good conversation or until I eventually grow tired of it (a rare occasion).

With this realization, I decided to start a new blog series: Current Music Obsession. Each time I realize that I’ve taken up a new music obsession, I’ll blog about it and share here on my site.


Back in August, I went to the Mile High Music Festival. Before going, I didn’t do much research at all – I just wanted to see a lot of bands that I’ve never heard before or seen play live. I did, however, learn from friends that I just had to check out One eskimO. My friend Raquel and I made sure we had a decent spot when they played their set, but I was even more excited to see them perform later in the day… basically just to me. Okay, me and like ten others.

Anyway, the festival had a small tent where smaller acts throughout the day played an acoustic set for about a half hour each. I was lucky to see several acts play in the tent including One eskimO, Amos Lee, The Constellations and Joe Purdy. It literally felt like my own personal concert.

During the small set, I learned these guys were from the UK, they were all super cute, and I realized I really like the band’s mellow, but soulful sound. Here are a few pictures I took at that acoustic session I was lucky enough to see.


This obsession has been hard-core the last two weeks. I literally can’t stop listening to this band. Since they only have one album, it may end sooner than later – just depends on if I wear it out too soon. Either way, I think these guys will be around for a while and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for them.


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What’s YOUR current music obsession?

Taking that next step.

Today is my last day at MGA Communications.

That’s right. I’m leaving the job I’ve known for the last 3.5 years and diving into the unknown – a land filled with no time sheets, a great corporate culture and about 33,989 more faces in the sea of employees.

I’ve accepted a position at DaVita – a Fortune 500 healthcare company specializing in kidney care. I’m joining their corporate communications department on Monday.

This change is scary and exciting at the same time, but I’m no stranger to setting out on new adventures. When I joined MGA, I had never written a press release and I sure as heck didn’t know one thing about oil and gas operations or NEPA processes or superfund cleanup sites. I was a recent marketing grad from Arkansas who had aspirations of fashion school, and while the opportunity to join MGA kind of fell into my lap, I am grateful for everything I learned and the fantastic (and smart!) people I had the pleasure of working with.

My experience at MGA, if anything, has been extremely diverse. I’m so happy to have been a part of fun office videos, big client wins, several awards, awesome events, employee volunteer days, and more.

I’m most thankful for the constant opportunities to do the kind of work I truly wanted to do. Along the way, I realized that I really had a passion for social media. MGA recognized that and let me jump in head first to continue learning everything I possibly could, train other MGAers on tools, build strategic social media plans, talk with numerous clients and potential clients about the importance and benefits of building their online presence – in a strategic way. Without that opportunity, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

All of my experience at MGA has prepared me for this next step. One of my main roles at DaVita will be to design and execute a strategic social media program. The company is really carving out its reputation by already doing cool things in the online space, and I’m looking forward to what we will build.

The company moved their corporate offices to Denver from Los Angeles last year, and I’m one of the first three communications employees to work out of their new Denver office (over half of the team is still in the LA office). I’ll still be working downtown and with my new schedule of 8-5 Monday – Friday, I am excited to actually make it to happy hour (at MGA, we get out at 6PM, but we have half-day Fridays).

Going from a small agency to a large corporation is bound to bring many changes, but I’m welcoming this new experience and all of the challenges it will bring. If you have advice to share for this kind of transition, please do!

Here’s to new beginnings.