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12.07.2015

TIS THE SEASON FOR SHARING


It's that time of year, you guys. I'm talking about Christmas time! While many of you are super prepared and have all of your Christmas shopping done, I've barely gotten started. I LOVE giving gifts. I try to be creative every year with gift giving, looking for new things, and finding new ways to give. Here's the thing, if I'm being honest. I love the gift giving, but I don't really love the gift wrapping. I have never been very good at the actual presentation of the gifts. I have friends who give the cutest brown paper packages tied up with string, and I'm all like, "I got this for you, and I threw it in a cute bag with some glittery paper." I'm basically one of the laziest gift wrappers in all the land.

This year I threw together a little gift basket full of good ol' Stanley gear that I knew all of my outdoor adventure loving friends could appreciate. I've already gone around the office and handed out some Stanley goodies to a few of my coworkers. Just doing my best to spread Christmas cheer all month long. ;)




WHAT'S IN THE BASKET | 
Classic Vacuum Pint 16oz. 
Adventure Happy Hour 2x 
SystemAdventure SS Flask 5oz.


What's your favorite way to present gifts? Do you go the gift basket route or pretty paper packages? Do you have any Stanely products? Which ones are your favorites to use on your adventures?

11.23.2015

WEEKEND UPDATE


RECAPS
1 | We had even more snow last week, and it was beautiful and magical until I realized I had to drive in it to get to work. Here's the thing, driving in the snow is not what scares me really. It's the other crazy people out on the roads that scares me. A friend offered to pick me up and take me to work, but then had me drive us in his truck so that I could get some snow driving experience. It was great, and we made it, and I am now slightly less fearful. Note: slightly.

2 | I shared my heart and my thoughts about the upcoming holiday season and being in a new home this year. Learning that new traditions aren't bad, and that it is okay to love them just as much as the old.

3 | My friends had a little boy in October, and the best friend and I got to spend some quality time with him on Saturday while his parents went out for a little date. He is just so cute and snugly and I love him!

4 | There's nothing quite like a Pikes Peak with snow on it. It's pretty majestic all year long, but so much prettier when covered in white.

FAVORITE FINDS
Flannels and boots for life.
Take me there.
Patagonia gets me every time.
I'm a HUGE fan of this.

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
Let's Go To The Mountains.
A Coffee Date | Vol. 6 + A Giveaway

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?

11.20.2015

A COFFEE DATE | VOL. 6 + A GIVEAWAY


I wave excitedly as you walk in the door and jump up to give you a warm hug. I've already grabbed the perfect table by the window so we can watch the snow fall while we talk and sip on our favorite drinks. It feels like forever since we sat down like this. Just us.

The holidays are literally around the corner. Seriously, Thanksgiving is next week! How did this happen? I'll talk about how this is my first time living away from home during the holidays, and I'm not sure yet how it will hit me. I've spent many Thanksgivings away from my family, so that doesn't bother me quite as much. It's Christmas I'm worried about. Not the day itself. I'll be going home for that. It's the weeks leading up to Christmas and all of the traditions I will be missing out on during those magical days.




I might get a little teary eyed when I start talking about all of the things I am going to miss during this season. My dad and I go pick out our tree every year together after Thanksgiving. It's something special just the two of us do together. He plans to Facetime me in while he and my mom are picking out the tree this year, which will be great, but not the same. I'll miss decorating the tree with the family, and I'll miss making the front porch beautiful with garland and strings of twinkly lights. White lights, of course, because we are a classy family. ;) I love that house at Christmas. It is so warm and inviting. If I were a stranger passing by, I would want to stop and stare and maybe ask if I could come in for a cup of hot cocoa...because that wouldn't be creepy at all. ;)

I'll tell you that I have been missing my core group like crazy, and I'm sad to miss our annual Christmas party this year. For the past few years, we gather at one of our homes, wear ugly Christmas sweaters, take hilarious pictures, watch Christmas movies, swap Secret Santa gifts, and play games (we don't play Pictionary anymore, though, because of that one year we all got upset at each other...haha!) Although this year isn't the same, I am so excited I get to see those girls when I go home. So much has happened with our little group this year. I moved away, one had a baby, one got engaged, and one is preggers with her first little one. And I get to see them all along with their men when I go home! I'll tell you I love how that group of college girls and their boyfriends/fiances/husbands turned into a little family for me over the past five years. We love each other well, and I don't think I've ever cried laughing as many times as I have with them.


And then there are the Christmas concerts. You know my family and I go to Nashville each year for Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb concert at the Ryman. It is one of my most favorite parts of the entire year. The evening is always so magical and full of friends and wonderful memories. My church back home does one of the best Christmas concerts east of the Mississippi. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and it makes my heart burst with joy. My favorite part is the end with all the lights turned off and glowing candles held in the hands of my family and friends as we sing Silent Night together. I'll get teary eyed just talking about it and remembering how beautiful that moment is.

I'll sigh and realize that I've terrified you into thinking I will go home at Christmas and not come back. We both know that's an underlying fear of yours, so I'll laugh and reassure you that is not the case. As sad as it is to have life move on back home without you, I'm learning it is okay. It's okay to cherish those traditions and to miss them, but it's also okay to start new ones and to love them just as much. You'll tell me I can come pick out a tree with you and decorate it after Thanksgiving. Remember when we did that two years ago and listened to the Frozen soundtrack on repeat all night? We'll go see the Broadmoor decked out in twinkly lights. It is truly a sight to see. We'll watch Christmas movies and listen to our favorite Christmas songs on repeat. We'll go to Christmas concerts and drive around to find the houses with the most impressive lights. You assure me it will be okay, and I'll believe you. I'm excited for this next season in my new home, and I'm glad you're here to walk through it with me.


The snow is still falling gently, covering the world in a blanket of white. How long have we been sitting here, and why does the sun have to set so early these days? We keep talking as we reluctantly get to our feet and head towards the door. Thank you so much for spending quality time with me. I've desperately needed it. We'll head our separate ways, and as I'm about to hop in the car, the faint sound of Silver Bells playing down the street stops me in my tracks, reminds me of years gone by and a friend I miss so much, and has me dreaming of a tender Tennessee Christmas.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today you have the chance to win this adorable mug from Lindsay Letters! Then grab a cup of your favorite warm drink and join SamanthaBeth, and me (the three besties who make up TriStyle & Co.) and share your own holiday thoughts with us! Where is home for you? Will you be with your family for the holidays? What are some of your favorite traditions during this season? Oh, and what is your very favorite mug that you always use? Tell me all the things! 

11.18.2015

LET'S GO TO THE MOUNTAINS


Can I tell you a secret? Last week was really hard for me. It just so happened that 99% of my Colorado people were out of town at the same time. I wasn't even halfway through last Wednesday night when I was done with introvert time and all like "Where my people at??" My best friend says it's because I'm actually an extrovert who only needs a little bit of alone time. I say it's because I'm an extremely social introvert. ;) Regardless, all of the alone time was a bit of a struggle, which is funny to me, because I think I do alone time quite well. That was not the case this time around.

I was going a little stir crazy on Sunday, so I hopped in the car, started driving, and ended up in the mountains. The fresh air, the hiking, and the time outdoors was just what I needed. I don't know exactly what it is about the great outdoors that makes my heart swell. It's probably a mixture of the smells and sights and sounds. It's having the time to just be. To be yourself with no one around to impress, and to take in the glory of it all. It's breathing deep and letting go of all the weight you are carrying, even if it's just for an afternoon. It's time to be still, to pray, and to wonder in awe at all the beautiful details of creation. It's my favorite.



Are you a lover of the outdoors? What do you like about it? Where do your outdoor adventures tend to take you? I want to know! Be sure to check Instagram tomorrow for a fun new project! :) 

11.16.2015

WEEKEND UPDATE


RECAPS
1 | It snowed last week, and I could not sleep because I was so excited. I got up early Wednesday morning and sat by the window watching the snow fall. Heart eyes for days.

2 | My new little Chaco boots have been coming in handy as Colorado's cold weather settles in for the winter. They are absolutely the coziest!

3 | I got to spend time with this little twice last week, and it brought me so much joy. She is full of wonder and excitement and says the most wonderfully unexpected things. We were eating dinner and she just looked at me and smiled. I said "What are you smiling for?" and she hugged my neck and said "I'm just smiling at you because I love you." Heart. Melted.

4 | If I'm being honest, I'd have to tell you this week was a little hard for me. I was going a little stir crazy on Sunday, so I hopped in the car, started driving, and ended up in the mountains. The fresh air and the times outdoors is just what I needed.

FAVORITE FINDS
Don't miss this Minted giveaway!
Love this winter scene.
I am loving the look of wooden watches these days!
Join in on this Advent photography challenge!
Free Disney prints? Okay!

WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR WEEKEND?

11.09.2015

WEEKEND UPDATE


Hi friends! So sorry I've been a smidge silent around these parts the last couple of weeks. Lately life has been so full. Full of new and exciting things, new seasons, new friends, and new experiences. I'm still learning how to navigate it all, how to divide my time between friends while saving some for myself. I am an introvert, after all. ;) I can't believe we are almost halfway through November and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I'll be spending Thanksgiving here in Colorado this year, but I'm so excited to be heading home for Christmas to spend some quality time with family and friends. More updates to come, but I wanted to give you a quick little snippet of life currently. :) So let's talk about last weekend...

RECAPS
1 | Friends and fire pits. They made up my Saturday night. Oh, and a some smores time. Confession: I really only like the marshmallow and the chocolate ingredients. :) My friends, John and Mere, just had a sweet baby boy that I held and snuggled for the longest time that night. I just love the little ones at that age...they just snuggle and sleep, and sometimes cry, but that's okay. ;)

2 | GUYS. Sorry I shouted, but we went to see The Lion King on Sunday in Denver and it was so beautiful! Rafiki was by far the best singer, the costumes and set design were incredible, and the whole thing warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes a couple of times. Ah! I love it all so much!

3 | I was looking through some photos from last fall back home and remembered how much I miss it and how beautiful my city is. Just 44 days until I am home for Christmas and can walk across my favorite Walnut Street bridge.

4 | If there's one thing I dislike about the time change, it's the fact that it gets dark by 5:30. The time for post-work outdoor adventures has ended for a while, but that's okay...it's kind of freezing outside. One of the things I DO love about the time change is getting to catch the sunset right as I'm leaving work. I love the way the light falls behind the mountains.

SO TELL ME, HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?

10.26.2015

WEEKEND UPDATE


RECAPS
1 | A few weeks later, and I am still daydreaming about Maroon Bells. It was magnificent and beautiful and rugged and majestic. It was all the things you'd want Colorado to be.

2 | Just because autumn in Colorado is drop dead gorgeous doesn't mean I don't still miss my beautiful Tennessee mountains. I think a part of me always will because it is my home. :)

3 | We had a few rainy days last week, and decided to take advantage of the moody skies for an opportunity to practice some photography skills.

4 | Yesterday morning, we woke up before the sun and headed to one of my favorite spots close to home. Beth had suggested we soak up the sunrise before church, and I am so glad we did. Sometimes you need some time in nature to stop and stare and wonder at the glory of it all.

FAVORITE FINDS
This mug, please.
Can I drive down a road like this?
Timing is everything.
Get your calendar for 2016!
This girl is rocking the costumes this year.

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
Maroon Bells

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?

10.21.2015

MAROON BELLS



Since moving to Coloardo, I have come to learn that just because people may be natives to the Rocky Mountain state doesn't mean they've been to some of the coolest and prettiest spots practically in their backyard. I guess that is true for people in any state, but as someone who wants to see all of the beautiful places as soon as possible, it blew my mind a little. I can't live in this state and NOT explore every chance I get.

A couple of weeks ago, hours before the sun would rise, I hopped in the car with some friends and headed up to Maroon Bells. We drove through towns I still have yet to see (it was dark, duh.), crossed over Independence Pass, and made our way to the final destination. I'd heard about this place and I had seen pictures, but nothing prepares you for seeing it in person. It was honestly one of the prettiest and most breathtaking sights I have ever seen. As if the place isn't pretty enough already, the yellow Aspens were also showing off, making the scene even more golden. See what I did there? ;)

After spending some time taking it all in, and capturing a ridiculous amount of pictures, we headed up the trail and through the Aspens to Crater Lake, which was a brand new kind of beautiful in itself. You know those moments when you ask yourself "Is this real life??" This day was full of them. I am constantly amazed by the beauty and majesty of the outdoors, and thankful for the Creator who designed it all for our enjoyment and his glory.

Fair warning: This post is basically an insane photo dump. Sorry not sorry. I honestly couldn't narrow them down because they ALL make me heart eyes for dayssss.

































































Are you a Colorado Native? Have you ever been to Maroon Bells? If not, go immediately. ;) What is a favorite spot you love to explore in your home state? Tell me all the things! Happy adventuring!