Wednesday, December 13, 2017

15 TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR VISITING COLORADO IN THE WINTER...




Liam- SHIRT: Janie & Jack // SWEATER: Janie & Jack // COAT: Janie & Jack // PANTS: Janie & Jack // SHOES: Hunter // Me- COAT: Topshop // SWEATER: Express // BOTTOMS: Zella // SHOES: Hunter 

With Christmas around the corner I thought it would be the perfect time to give everyone some very helpful tips for traveling to Colorado. Colorado is a hot spot for winter vacations. I mean, it's a winter wonderland, who wouldn't want to see Colorado. There are so many activities to do and it's personally my favorite place to be in the winter. One of my blogger babes in Houston, Dawn asked me what she should pack for her son for their Colorado trip and I knew it was a great opportunity to take the time to share my essentials and tips.  

Winter in Colorado is also a magical time for children. Liam absolutely loves the snow. He will run around kicking all the fresh snow and it's the most adorable thing. Keeping him warm is something I definitely prioritize. If your child is walking, keeping their little feet warm is very important. I layer wool socks on Liam because his boots are insulated and that usually does the trick. 
Layers and weatherproof shoes are key to keeping him warm. I buy a lot of Liam's winter clothes from Janie and Jack because the style and quality are up to my expectations. They always have the cutest festive sweaters and button ups. I got this Moose print sweater because Liam is really into animals right now. He has this spin animal toy that he always mimics. This is also Liam's first coat from Janie and Jack and I'm so so in love with it. I've been looking for a toggle coat for him and the lining and thickness has kept him warm this season. 

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with a boy, I was creating tons of outfits for my son. Don't be fooled when people say you can't dress up boys. You can definitely dress them up! I gravitate towards a preppy and clean style when looking for clothes for Liam. Every time I walk into a Janie and Jack store, I'm tempted to buy everything. They have clothes that are perfect for any occasion. I've bought everything from wedding guest outfits to everyday outfits. I also love that I can get all of Liam's winter essentials in one store. We're expecting some snow this Saturday and it's just in time for our family Christmas on Sunday. Liam has so many presents under the tree and I know he's going to be so happy unwrapping them. 

 I attached a "Winter Essential Checklist" below it applies to the entire family. These tips are mostly for when you're traveling to the mountains. Denver doesn't tend to get as much snow but majority of these tips still apply. So, before yall head to Colorado here are 15 things that you need to know...

Winter Essential Checklist

1) It's not that cold! Colorado is really dry. 30 degrees sometimes feels like 65 because the sun is extremely close. The cold here is chilly but it isn't windy and miserable (most of the time). 

2) You NEED weatherproof shoes. I never felt the need to buy snow boots because I move back to Texas every other year. Liam and I wear our hunter boots throughout the entire winter. We manage to keep our feet warm by wearing 2/3 pairs of wool socks. You need wool socks to keep your shoes insulated...cotton ankle socks will not do the trick. Hunter also makes this insulated sock that is perfect for the snow. 

3) Earmuffs, beanies, and gloves are much needed. You'd be surprised how cold your ears and hands get when it's 35 degrees and the sun is down. Don't go anywhere without them. 

4) Buy yourself and your family some cute long plaid pjs. Even though you're inside and the fire is going, the cold will manage to get to you. Tile and wood floors are still cold and long pjs are just more comfortable. 

5) You will need a thick coat. If you have a parka, that's perfect. Make sure to wear a few layers to keep your chest warm. I usually wear a sweater, cardigan, and coat when I'm out in the mountains. 

6) Unless you plan on skiing or snowboarding, you do not need to buy the 3 layers of shells and coats that google tells you to buy. I can get away with a sweater and lined North Face for the upper part of my body and then leggings under jeans for the bottom part of my body (or two pairs of leggings) most of the time. 

7) Drive slow in the mountains! Read the signs when driving up the mountains. You're constantly going up and down the mountains. It's very easy to speed up to 80+ MPH and it's not advised when you're on slippery roads

8) If you're new to driving in the snow, you're more likely to get stuck in it. I've gotten stuck 3 times and have felt so helpless. Rock sock or kitty litter will help with traction and is a life saver.

9) There are only a few street lights. If you get stuck or need to pull over a flashlight comes in handy and get help signal other people when you're in need to help. 

10) Drink tons of water! I go through 3-5 water bottles a day and it's still not enough. The air is completely dry here and the altitude will hit you hard if you're not use to it. Make sure you're hydrating every chance that you get. Also, keep your lips moisturized as well! They will crack until they bleed. 

11) Take advantage of being in the snow. Use the day to go ice skating, build a snowman, or tubing. At night, drive around looking at the beautiful lights and then end your night with hot chocolate by the fire with family and friends. It all sounds basic but it'll be the coziest and memorable time in your life. 

12) Ditch the booties and put on the boots. Booties tend to not have any traction and is almost impossible to walk in snow. I'm wearing my hunter boots & UGGS 99% of the time. 

13) Take tons of pictures! Especially if snow isn't custom to you. I'm from Texas and seeing huge piles of snow makes my heart so happy. 

14) Use the shuttles. You don't have to stress about directions, parking, or getting into an accident. If you're staying in a resort or hotel, majority of them offer shuttles that go around the entire town. 

15) Experience everything on your bucket list or Pinterest pins. One thing I always wish I did was go to the hot springs. The mountains are beautiful so you have to see and do it all. 

Thank you so much for reading!

xo,
Annie 
*Thank you Janie and Jack for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

A WINTER WADROBE STAPLE: CAMEL COAT...




COAT: Topshop (similar here) // TOP: Express // BOTTOMS: AG // SHOES: Christian Louboutin (love these) // BAG: Gucci //  SUNGLASSES: Karen Walker

One thing I highly suggest investing in this winter is a camel coat. By invest, I mean buying a coat that is great quality, timeless, and something that will last you years. In my previous years, it was difficult for me to buy coats for more than $100. There were tons of coats out there that were well under $50 and that's what I gravitated towards. I quickly learned that those coats wouldn't last, they thread easily, they weren't keeping me warm, and they tend to be donated the following year. (I'm not saying you can't find a great coat for $50, but yall get what I'm trying to say). 

A camel coat is an essential staple for Fall and Winter. It can be worn casually to grab coffee, or worn elevated for a cold date night. There isn't a color that your camel coat doesn't compliment. Seriously, it can be worn with all the neutral colors, red, navy, burgundy, etc. I found my coat at Nordstrom and knew that it was a steal. It's under $150 and the quality is top of the line. There's also a fur collar that is detachable. I paired itwith an all white outfit so the camel color would pop. 


Thank you so much for reading!
xo,
Annie

*Photos by Jenna Sparks


Friday, December 8, 2017

WAYS TO STYLE A TUINC...



TUNIC: Caslon (wearing a small) // SHOES: Sam Edelman (similar here) // BAG: Tory Burch // SUNGLASSES: Karen Walker

Tunics in my opinion are considered both a top and a dress. I've been wearing tunics as dresses since I was in college and have never stopped. 100% of the tunics that I own are flouncy and comfortable. Free People is known for making beautiful tunics and that's why I tend to shop there often. Lately, Caslon has been on point with your tunics. Caslon runs very very big so it's really easy to find tunics/tops and wear them as dresses. I actually started to buy tunics when I was pregnant because dresses made me look like an elephant and my tops didn't cover my entire 9 month belly. Today, I'll be giving yall tips on how to style them as a dress and a tunic. 

TIPS ON STYLING A TUNIC AS A DRESS: 
 Wearing knee high boots or over knee boots with tunics is probably my favorite way to style it. Tunics tend to be shorter than dresses so you have to make up for the length (from your knee to the end of your top). It's also a much more flattering way to wear your OTK boots because my dresses tend to fall past my boots. (short people problems). 9 out 10 times, I size up so the tunic is a little longer. 

It's very rare that I wear a tunic with short shoes because a little too much ends up being exposed. If you have to question whether or not it's too short to wear with ankle booties, then DON'T. Nothing is worse than looking like you walked out of your house and forgot your pants. If you throw on a pair of tights or leggings under your tunic then it opens up the option to pair your outfit with booties. 

TIPS ON STYLING A TUNIC AS A TOP: 
You can easily throw your tunic over a pair of denim jeans and add your favorite pair of for the finishing touch. I do a half tuck so the tunic doesn't consume my body. It took me awhile to master the half tuck. You basically grab a little pinch on the front side and tuck it in your bottoms about 2/3 inches in. For the winter, it's super cozy and thrown on your OTK boots to keep you warmer and more chic. 

Thank you so much for reading! 
xo,
Annie 

*Photos by Jenna Sparks 


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

OUR CHRISTMAS FAMILY TRADITIONS...




Happy Holiday! First off, I would like to express how grateful and excited I am to be a guest blogger for Papyrus's 31 Days of Cheer campaign. I've held a special place in my heart for Christmas ever since I was a child. Not because of the presents and decorations. But because it's the one time of the year my entire family comes together. Everyone in my family lives within an hour of each other, so our house is jammed packed on Christmas Eve. My family members are the most hardworking people I've ever known. They don't take weekends or holidays off and work 10+ hours everyday. To have everyone together for one whole day exchanging gifts, eating, and playing games is a day I look forward to every year.

Now that I have a family of my own, all I want is for us to be close. This will be Liam's third Christmas and every year that passes, my husband and I tell ourselves that this will be the year that Liam will understand what's happening. Liam is already shaking his presents under the tree and sipping on hot chocolate every night. He's really in the holiday spirit. Every year, we fly down to Houston for Christmas Day because that's where our families live. We want a more intimate Christmas with just the three of us so we have our annual mini Christmas here in Colorado. Our entire day is spent at home, we don't leave the house at all. Winter in Colorado is snowy and cold. It's almost impossible to drive in the snow sometimes. Our mini Christmas is usually a white Christmas. The exact opposite of how it is in Texas. I got this Denver musical box for sentimental purposes. Our very first Christmas was here in Colorado and we want to keep that memory forever. Liam has a fascination for trains right now and the moving train is his favorite.

We have a few family traditions as of now. We try to add a new one on every year. Tommy's favorite tradition is where we basically create a hot chocolate bar. I'm pretty sure we drink at least 3 cups of hot cocoa. Tommy and Liam overflow their mugs with colored marshmallows! Our traditions are easy and fun. We wouldn't have it any other way. 

One of our newest family traditions are baking cookies from scratch. This is the one time of the year where I will go out of my way to bake something that didn't come from the bakery aisle at the grocery store. Liam is the best helper; he loves helping me mix the batter. He usually ends up getting flour all over himself, but I don't care because his giggles are the sweetest. One of my cheer suggestions this year is to "bring joy to a stranger by giving them a gift". This year we are going to be baking cookies for our neighbors and sending them Christmas cards. We aren't close with all of our neighbors, but we want to wish them a happy holiday in a thoughtful way. I chose these Christmas tree pop up card from Papyrus because I think there's a lot of charisma to it. Most of our neighbors have children that are Liam's age. I know that the pop up tree is something that they will appreciate and enjoy. Liam is obsessed with the tree! He thinks it's magical. I mean, I even think it's awesome how much the tree and presents go into detail.  Liam has been helping me sign the cards and you'd be surprised how perfect his scribbles are. Tommy has been helping me write wishful letters on these pretty red car cards to our distant family members. Tommy's family is huge but they live all over the country. We thought it would be kind to send them some cheerful cards to remind them that they are in our thought and prayers during the holidays.

 Cards are really one of the simplest things you can buy, but they make a very thoughtful impact. I have a whole box of cards that I've received from families, friends, and strangers over the past 10 years. Some of those cards are from graduations, birthdays, celebrations, and anniversaries. Our focus this year is to bring positivity and joy to not only our family and friends but to that person walking in the grocery store that seems like their having a bad day. Papyrus is helping me with my goal this year. Which is to write and give out 25 Christmas cards to someone that isn't our family or friends. This may be the happiest time of the year for most people but it's important to remember that it can also be stressful and difficult for some. Even if that card brings them 5 seconds of happiness, it'll be worth it. I hope that everyone can take at least one cheer suggestion from Papyrus's 31 Days of Cheery and put it go good use this holiday season. 

Thank you so much for reading! 

xo,
Annie 

*Photos by Jenna Sparks 

*Thank you Papyrus for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

ORANGE AND NAVY...


DRESS: Free People (love this one) // SHOES: Steve Madden // SHOES: Gucci

This post has been long overdue. I see this dress everyday in my closet and find every single excuse to wear it. The colors and embroidery detail are just so so pretty. I know I say this often, but I'm insanely obsessed with this dress. I snagged it up as soon as I saw it in the store and never looked back.  I've worn this dress with a pair of neutral OTK boots and it dresses it down enough to be worn out casually. There's only a few sizes left in this color but there's also a pretty black version too. Its been restocked several times so be on the lookout if your size isn't available. 

Thank you so much for stopping by!

xo,
Annie 

*Photos by Banavenue 


 

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