Fashion Friday: Thrifted Pleated Skirt

Throwback to when there were still leaves on the trees and the weather was warm enough to wear sandals! I wore this outfit to a wedding in September and immediately knew I wanted to share it on here. It took me a couple of months to get through school and enjoy the Christmas season but now my brain cells are back to their normal level of function and I actually share it! It’s the perfect combination of comfy enough for dancing the night away, warm enough for chilly autumn evenings in the mountains, and dressy enough for most occasions.



These shoes were a thrilling thrift store find last summer. They had no tags and I don’t know where they were originally purchased but they had zero signs of wear and they fit (!) which when you have feet as small as mine is an impressive feat in the women’s shoe section.

Top: Madewell via Poshmark, Skirt: A local Arc, Shoes: A local Goodwill

All of the photos, as well as the photos from this post were taken by the amazing Caitlin Verette. She is seriously the sweetest and I am in love with these photos, I can’t recommend her work enough.


I hope you have a blessed start to 2019, until next time!


2018 in Photos

2018 was quite a year! It was incredibly hard in many ways but it was also a year that I grew in my understanding of who God is and what it means to be a Christ follower. The past 12 months have been full of people I love, new experiences and wonderful opportunities. I think the best way to share the highlights of this year is in my favorite photos from each month.



I rang in the new year surrounded by friends at a decades themed party hosted by me and my friend. It was an absolute blast and so worth how tired I was the next day!


In January I also had the opportunity to visit Aspen, CO for a fun girls weekend. None of us are very avid skiiers or snowboarders so it wasn’t until we got up there that we realized we were visiting the weekend of the X Games. We had an amazing time watching the games, exploring the town, and were totally refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of the semester when we returned.



February was one of the less eventful months out of 2018 but I still managed to dig myself out of homework long enough to explore Manitou Springs and experiment with photography in some unusual settings.



The month of March can be split into three sections, waiting for spring break, spring break, and recovering from spring break. This year, I went to Steamboat Springs, CO with my mom and one of my sisters. We ate good food, watched the snow fall around us while enjoying the hot springs, and visited the last major National Park in Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument.




In April, I helped a friend plan a surprise 80th birthday party for her Grandma. We baked a cake, brought spray-in hair color, and had so much fun celebrating such a sweet lady!



In May I completed my first year as a full-time college student. UCCS was my second-choice school, and I ultimately chose it because my goal is to graduate from college debt-free. I now wholeheartedly love the school primarily because of the people that I have met and the community I found there. I ended up visiting a student ministry called Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ) and it has been such a blessing.


In May I also traveled to Dallas, TX to visit my best friend. We got to know each other the summer before my freshman and her sophomore year of highschool and have been pretty much like sisters ever since. She moved from CO to TX after she graduated high school and I hadn’t seen her in a year so it was so good to get to visit her.



In June, I kayaked for the first time. It is much more of an upper body work out than I’m used to but it was so fun and I can’t wait to go again next summer! We tried to get across Twin Lakes to visit a ghost town that can only be reached by boat or hiking trail but a storm blew in while we were halfway across and we had to turn around so that is my first goal for kayaking once it gets warm enough!



In July, I turned 19, finally passed College Algebra, and (the most exciting thing) got to visit El Salvador and meet my sponsored child!


Meeting Nuria was the best part of my entire year and made me even more passionate about sponsoring through Compassion. If you want to read more about my trip, I wrote blog posts about Day 1, an overview, and Child Visit Day


August started with a camping trip on the western slope and finally hiking to Crystal, CO before I started my sophomore year of college!


The Crystal Mill is one of the most photographed locations in Colorado and it is located in a ghost town near Marble, CO which can only be reached by jeep or hiking. Most of the property in the town was recently purchased by a woman who planned to develop it into a resort. I was worried that the town would be commercialized and the historical and natural beauty would be lost but actually, the result was quite lovely. All of the original cabins were still there and while I wasn’t able to see inside of any of them it looks like the structure has been repaired so that they are safe to inhabit without significantly altering the appearance. Some descendants of the original residents of the town still live there and I was able to speak to one of them and he was very optimistic about the changes.

I also jumped into a new school year and while this one definitely kicked my butt I learned and grew a ton as a result.


In September I went to Kansas for my cousin’s bridal shower, learned to dirt bike and went to my other cousin’s wedding! It was a wild month but so great!



October was a month full of community. I went to my second RMGA which is the fall retreat for Cru in CO. The first night of the retreat always ends with a dance competition and after 2 years of coming in second to UNC, UCCS finally won! That led into an amazing weekend where everyone grew and we enjoyed time away from school and with God.



I also started working at Trader Joe’s in October! I am so glad to be doing something different from lifeguarding


November can be split into three categories: stress about school, Thanksgiving break, stress about finals. As you can see, most of the month was rough but the week of Thanksgiving was wonderful. My friend’s birthday was right before Thanksgiving so we pretty much spent the whole week celebrating.




In December my cousin got married! She and her husband are an awesome couple and I was thrilled to see them start their life together and gain a cousin!


December also marked the second New Years party that my friend and I threw. We ran out of time to plan much so we opted for a low-key game night to ring in 2019.

2018 was a wild ride. While it came with so many amazing moments I am more than happy to see what 2019 has in store now!

Fashion Friday: What to Wear to a Record Shop

Happy Friday!

While I posted for Black Friday and Giving Tuesday, it’s been a while since I’ve really written anything. This semester has been unusually difficult both academically and in my personal life but I’m excited to be approaching break and to celebrate the holidays with my family.

Last month I had the opportunity to shoot with Caitlin Verette. She was a blast to shoot with and I loved getting to chat with her about life and running a small business. Caitlin is based in Colorado Springs and also does wedding photography so if you are looking for a photographer, I can’t recommend her work enough!


The first half of our shoot took place at the cutest local record shop. It was so fun to browse the music in between taking photos. I found some original DC Talk CDs and now I’m kind of regretting not getting them…but not really because I have no way to play CDs.



My bag is from Wilder Bag, the most amazing vintage shop owned by another awesome female entrepreneur, Stephanie Yu. She has collections at Pikes Peak Market and Eclectic Company which are both in Downtown Colorado Springs.

Sweater: Local thrift shop, Skirt: *ThredUp, Purse Wilder Bag


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Giving Tuesday: 4 Great Places to Give if you Live in Colorado (Or Anywhere)

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to kicking off the holiday season by giving. You’ve probably seen various organizations’ campaigns asking for donations or heard that Facebook is matching donations up to 7 million (which they hit by 7am this morning). Everyone has causes that are near to their heart and today I’m sharing mine.  If you connect with any of them feel free to give or share the causes you are giving to today in the comments!

The Exodus Road I have had the privilege of interning for The Exodus Road for the past year. They work to find and free slaves in SE Asia, Latin America, and the USA. Today they are trying to raise $165,000 and all gifts given today will be TRIPLED. Another great way to give to TER is through their store which is full of beautiful fair trade products that not only help their mission but also provided dignified employment to either survivors or individuals at risk of trafficking.

Unite Ministries is a new ministry dedicated to uniting churches across Colorado Springs. They host quarterly worship nights (the next one is on November 30 at the World Prayer Center). I am so excited about how God will use this ministry and the young people who founded it in my city.

Life Network provides support, resources, and education to young parents, counseling to parents who are grieving after an abortion, and education on healthy relationships and safe sex to highschool students in the Pikes Peak region. I love their holistic approach to being pro-life and that they fight for the health of the whole family and whole community.

Dressember is a month-long advocacy and fundraising challenge that officially kicks off on December 1. 2018 is the second year that I will be wearing a dress every day of December and I can’t wait. All of the money donated to Dressember will be given in grants to their partners. This year they are partnering with IJM, A21, McMahon-Ryan, Restore, Pathfinders, Best, Youth Spark, Cast, and Olive Crest, Thorn, Love146, and Saving Innocence.

Are you giving today? What organizations are you passionate about? Tell me in the comments!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Colorado Travel Guide: How to Spend a Weekend in Colorado Springs

I’ve written quite a few Colorado travel guides over the past couple of years. I started with Estes Park part 1 and part 2 and the most recent was Steamboat Springs but I’ve never posted about my hometown: Colorado Springs! This post was actually really difficult to write because I had a terrible time deciding which local businesses I wanted to recommend and which ones I wanted to keep to myself. Part of me wants everyone to love my favorite coffee shop but I also don’t really want my favorite table to be available even less often. I’ve managed to push down (most of) the selfishness and I’m doing a slightly different format for this post: a three-ish day schedule instead of just a list of my favorite places. I’m also not keeping you inside the city for the whole time. This is really designed for someone who either lives outside of Colorado, or is new to the area and has a few days free so if that sounds like you, or if you just want some new recommendations of things to do in the Springs, read on!

Day 1

Roll into town sometime early in the afternoon and head to Cheyenne Canyon for a hike. Seven Bridges is one of my favorites and if you have extra time you can keep going past the seventh bridge and hike into Allen’s Park. When you finish the hike head to Trader Joes. Get the ingredients to make dinner tonight, and a picnic lunch and trail mix for tomorrow.


Day 2

Get up early and watch the sunrise from Garden of the Gods (balancing rock is a great spot for this!). Grab breakfast burritos from the La Casita on Cimmaron and coffee from Intertia Coffee and head west on highway 24 to explore the mountains. Mueller State Park has some great hikes and the aspens are beautiful in the fall. If you want something more strenuous, head to Pancake Rocks for an amazing view of Cripple Creek (you can read more about Pancake Rocks here). On your way back into town make sure you stop at the Donut Mill in Woodland Park!


Eat a late lunch/early dinner at the Skirted Heifer in downtown CO Springs. They make some of the best burgers in town but don’t get there too late because the line gets crazy long! Spend the rest of the afternoon/evening shopping and exploring the downtown area. Some of my favorite shops are Rocky Mountain Soap Market, and Wilder Bag and Weighstead in Pikes Peak Market. When you’re in Pikes Peak Market, make sure to get some gelato from Legit Gelato, the orange chocolate is my favorite.


Day 3


Have brunch at Ivywild Kitchen. Ivywild Elementary School was built in 1916 and closed in 2009. It is now owned by Bristol Brewery and is home to Bristol Brewery, Ivywild Kitchen, a cute brunch place/coffee shop, a bar called The Principal’s Office, and fairtrade shop Yobel Market as well as a few other local businesses. When you’re done, explore the Broadmoor, a historic resort built by Spencer Penrose before heading back home or out of town.

Honorable mentions: I have visited some but not all of these businesses, they have all been recommended by friends who love them.

The Pop – a coffee/specialty soda drive-through in north CO Springs

Who Gives a Scrap – a second-hand craft supply store in Old Colorado City (I haven’t visited but this place looks really cool and I’m going to visit the next time I’m in the area!)

Roscos Coffee – a local coffee shop and roaster in downtown CO Springs

Switchback Roasters – another local coffee roaster/shop in downtown

Special Grounds Coffee – a local coffee shop in north/east CO Springs

What is your favorite thing to do in or near Colorado Springs? Tell me in the comments!


What to Wear After the Long Weekend

Y’all Labor Day is quite possibly my least favorite holiday of the year. Just when I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that school is in fact here and I’m going to have to deal with class schedules and homework for the next 9 months a four day weekend rolls around and throws me right back into summer mode. This year I’m a little more excited for the long weekend though because I get to take a mini road trip to attend my cousin’s bridal shower and I wouldn’t have been able to attend if I didn’t have the extra time off of school. If the day after the Labor Day weekend is as much of a struggle for you as it is for me I’m sharing the coziest outfit that will keep you looking put together when you just want to go back to bed. It’s also what I wear pretty much nonstop in the Autumn so hopefully it will help you get into the fall spirit too!


Is socks and birkenstocks just a Colorado thing? It’s so comy!


This tshirt is from a company called Z Supply, they’re fast fashion unfortunately, but they are donating 100% of the profits from this shirt to the anti-trafficking organization The Exodus Road and if you post a photo with #everydayeveryone they’ll donate $5 to The Exodus Road. It’s also soo comfy and I’ve been living in it a lot lately.

What are you doing for the long weekend? Tell me in the comments!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.



My Favorite Clothes to Hike In

Hello friends!

Last month I shared my four favorite day hikes in Colorado so today I thought I’d share what I wear when I hike. How you dress is a huge part of staying comfortable and safe while hiking. In general, I like to make sure that my base layer is something that will be comfortable if it gets wet and dry quickly. No matter how long your hike is or where you are going you will also want to pack a jacket or sweater for warmth and a waterproof layer. Currently, I use this rain jacket, but I also always have a rain poncho with me which you can get for a couple of dollars and can be reused if you are careful. For my warmth layer, I use a quarter zip pullover from Nike that I received as a gift for years, when it wears out I will probably replace it with something like this Smartwool baselayer (sized up so I can wear it as a sweater) or this Patagonia sweater.



This look is pretty similar to what I usually wear for day hikes especially when the weather is warm. United by Blue makes the cutest organic cotton graphic tees and these shorts are so comfortable.


I’ve had these Merrell hiking shoes for about two years and they are amazing. I have hiked 10+ miles in these with no blisters and in way less pain than when I was hiking in just tennis shoes.

Tshirt United by Blue, Shorts Under Armour layered over these shorts, Sports Bra Under Armour (similar), Shoes Merrell, Socks Smartwool

Do you like to hike? What are your go-to clothing pieces to stay safe and comfortable on the trail? Tell me in the comments!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Colorado Summer Bucket List

June is here which means summer is coming fast! Most summers feel like they fly by and when the school year hits I feel like I didn’t fit in everything I want. To help keep that from happening I put together a summer bucket list. Some of this list is of activities that I want to do this summer and some of it is of activities that anyone should definitely do at least once if they are in Colorado during the summer time.

(1) Visit Rock Ledge Ranch

Rock Ledge Ranch is a living history site located right by the main entrance of Garden of the Gods. While visiting you can experience life in the Pikes Peak region with the Ute Indians, on a homestead, on a working ranch, and on the country estate of General William J. Palmer’s sister in law. The 4th of July is a really fun time to visit but going on a weekday will give you more time to explore the houses. The park is open Wednesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm and admission is $8 for adults.

(2) Visit the Denver Art Museum

I visited the Denver Art Museum a few years ago and they had a really cool textile exhibit that was under construction at the time. I’d love to go back and check it out. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 with a student id

(3) Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanic Gardens has multiple locations but the York street gardens in Denver have a succulent garden and a rose garden that I love to visit. Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $9 with a student id.

(4) Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park

I don’t stop talking about Rocky Mountain National Park so I’ll just link to two of the posts about my favorite hikes there. 4 of my Favorite Day Hikes in Colorado, Colorado Travel Guide: Rocky Mountain National Park. A day pass is $20 for a car.

(5) Hike a fourteener

Colorado has over 40 14,000 ft mountains! Read these two posts before you go and if you don’t feel ready to hike one, you can still visit the summit of Pikes Peak by driving up the Pikes Peak HighwayHiking Pikes Peak: My First Fourteener!, Five Things to Know Before You Go Hiking To drive the highway it is $15 for adults or $50 with a car of 5 or more people.

(6) Go camping

You can camp in Rocky Mountain National Park which makes number 4 more convenient. I also love camping near Glenwood Springs or in Eleven mile canyon.

(7) Go hammocking

Swinging in a hammock is one of the most relaxing things ever. I have this ENO and you will probably want straps as well.

(8) Cycle Glenwood canyon

The River trail goes through Glenwood Canyon along the Colorado River but make sure you go in July or later because the river floods the trail during spring run-off season. The Rio Grande trail goes between Glenwood Springs and Aspen.

(9) Go tubing in the South Platte River

This is another thing you should probably do later in the summer because the rivers in Colorado are COLD early in the season but if you pick a warm day tubing down the river is a blast!

(10) Hike the incline

One mile of old railroad ties that start in Manitou Springs, CO and climb almost 2000 feet in elevation. Olympic athletes and amateurs alike love this hike. I’ve done it once and once was enough.

Have you done any of these things? What would you add to this list?

Also, did y’all know that I have an email list? That’s right! If you want access to exclusive content (including my weekly favorites starting next Wednesday!) plus a free pdf version of this list sign up here!


4 of my Favorite Day Hikes in Colorado

The trees are starting to leaf out, crocuses and daffodils are blooming, and the weather is alternating between freezing temperatures and 65 and sunny which can only mean that spring has arrived in Colorado. With the changing seasons comes a desire to get into the mountains and go hiking. To help me stay patient and focused on class, I’ve compiled a list of 4 awesome day hikes in Colorado that I love to do and will definitely be on my docket this summer. These hikes are spread out over Colorado and are a great way to spend a few hours.

1 Finch Lake


Located in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National park, this is a gorgeous hike through pine forest and the occasional grove of aspens ending with beautiful views of finch lake. The trail is 4.2 miles one way and another 2 miles takes you pear lake. This hike is moderate to difficult with the hardest section being a steep hill close to the trailhead.

2 Wild Basin


Wild Basin is a 6.3-mile one-way out and back trail punctuated by beautiful waterfalls and ending at a lake. Wild Basin is my all-time favorite area to hike. The area is interlaced with dozens of rivers and all of the moisture causes it to explode with lush greenery and wildflowers. This trail is moderate to difficult but the waterfalls are spaced out really well for hikers to take breaks

3 Pancake Rocks and Horsethief Falls


Pancake rocks is an approximately 6 mile out and back trail that starts between Divide and Cripple Creek on Highway 67. Horsethief falls is approximately two miles. Both trails are gorgeous hikes through Pike National Forest but pancake rocks is a much more difficult trail that ends with beautiful views of Cripple Creek surrounded by the most incredible rock formations that look exactly like stacked pancakes! Horsethief falls is a gentler hike that ends at a waterfall.

4 Wheeler National Recreation Trail


Quandary Peak from the Wheeler trailhead


The wheeler trail is a through hiking trail that starts near the Quandary Peak trailhead. The first two miles you climb to the top of a bluff, hike along it, and then climb back down. The top of the bluff burned in a wildfire at some point and has recovered enough that it has beautiful grass and wildflowers and young spruce and pine trees. The wheeler trial is also an alternate route to get to the Mohawk Lakes trail if you don’t have a vehicle that can handle the road to Mohawk Lakes.

Planning a hiking trip this summer? You might want to check out my post Five Things to Know Before You Go Hiking it’s full of useful tips to make your hiking trip safer and more enjoyable!

Have you hiked any of these trails? Tell me about it in the comments!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.



Colorado Travel Guide: Steamboat Springs


Hello and welcome back to the Colorado Travel Guide. This is a series I’ve done fairly frequently in the past but it hasn’t appeared in a while. There is no particular order to these posts, it’s just a place for me to walk you through all of the shops, restaurants, hikes, and sights that I love in my favorite state.

For spring break this year my family decided that we were finally going to make the drive up to the northwest corner of the state and visit Steamboat Springs and Dinosaur National Monument. I’m a pretty big national park fan and I realized on this trip that Dinosaur was the last major national park/monument for me to visit in Colorado. There are a couple of smaller sites left but I was pretty excited when I realized that.

The main visitor center of Dinosaur National Monument is two hours west of Steamboat Springs in Jensen, Utah. There is also an entrance in Dinosaur, Colorado. If it’s your first time visiting I recommend going to the Jensen entrance but I would like to eventually go back and get more hiking in on the Colorado side of the park. Hands down the coolest part of the park was the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall. You get to touch real fossils that are still embedded in the actual rock. My niece adores dinosaurs and wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up and I kept wishing that she was there the whole time because she would have loved it.

The most common reason for people to visit Steamboat is the skiing, the second most common reason is the hot springs. Old Town Hot Springs is right on the edge of downtown. It was so cool sitting in the warm water and watch the snowfall. The only problem was that I forgot to pack my contacts on the trip and the steam made it so I couldn’t see through my glasses.


Steamboat Springs had a really cool art culture. There were galleries everywhere. The art museum is free to the public and had beautiful oil paintings and sculptures by artists from Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. The Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts looked really cool but when we got there they were packing up the most recent display. There was a really cute dog running around though.


I didn’t get any pictures but the first night we were there we ate dinner at Vaqueros, a Mexican restaurant. The food wasn’t exceptional but the atmosphere reminded me of a Robert Louis Stevenson book. Kind of dark with lots of wood and brick, like the characters of Treasure Island were probably somewhere in the back. Aaaand that’s how you know I was homeschooled. LOL.

The food I DID really enjoy was from Steamboat Smokehouse. I love barbeque and the ice cream shop on the other side of the building had amazing pomegranate sorbet.


I always have to visit the bookstore in any new town and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore was amazing. I love bookstores in old houses; it’s so fun to find little corners and just get lost in a book. I found a practically brand-new autographed copy of Everyone Brave is Forgiven in the used books section for half-off and I’m still a little giddy.

The bookstore was also a coffee shop and the latte names were either book titles or literary characters and it was super adorable.

Some of the other cute shops we visited were All That, which had a cool vintage vinyl selection, and Ohana which had a surprisingly surfer vibe for a Colorado town.


Have you visited Steamboat Springs? What were your favorite places? Tell me in the comments!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.