Weekend Wrap Up: Our 6-Month Anniversary

So it turns out… I’m a horrible wife!  The worst part?  I don’t even care! 

Here’s why:  Andrew and I spent the whole weekend celebrating our 6-month anniversary.   We talked about all of our favorite parts of being married, how much we’ve grown, and those types of things!  During that conversation, we couldn’t believe it had gone by so quickly... so we did the math.  Feb - Mar (1); Mar - Apr (2) …. Welp… We got to September and realized… WE’VE BEEN MARRIED 7 MONTHS! 

So I’m a bad wife because I couldn’t even get the dates right, but I don’t care because I love being married so much that time is FLYING.  So I take it as a compliment! 

So now that you know we’ve been celebrating blindly, here’s what we were up to this weekend!

Friday, we headed to our favorite movie theater of all time:  Alamo Draft House.  Traveling by train, we chatted about how much we’ve seen of Denver.  We can’t believe we’ve almost been here 2 years now and wouldn’t trade our day-to-day for the world.  Once settled into our seats, we enjoyed a delicious chicken sandwich and a few cold brews, as we watch SULLY.  The movie was absolutely amazing… if you watched my snaps (@the_novice_native), you know that I had a rough start to my day Friday and a few good laughs/ a great movie was all it took to turn it around!  We laughed, we cried, and ultimately we both agreed it was a great film.

Saturday could be described as “The Perfect Day!”  We woke up early and cleaned the house together.  We both love when the whole house smells clean and everything is put away.  Then we headed to the grocery store and filled our basket with all kinds of goodies.  After all the chores were done, it was time to celebrate!  We grabbed to pup and headed out for an amazing hike. 

After our nature adventure, we headed home to shower and make a celebratory dinner!  After throwing on some music, we started the grill and prepped the salad, salmon, and quinoa.  While we were getting things ready, Andrew snuck outside and snagged a bottle of champagne he had hidden over ice!  He walked in holding a beautiful, cold bottle of MOET.  The same bottle of champagne we shared the first night of our honeymoon!  I was so excited and the gesture was so sweet.  (I’m such a lucky girl!)  

During dinner, our “First Dance” song came on and we thought it would be fun to see if we could still remember the steps.  To our surprise, we could!  We had a blast dancing in our living room floor and chatting about our wedding. 

After dinner, Andrew grabbed the knife and cut the cake.  We have heard horror stories about the cake not tasting good, so we were prepared for the worst.  To our surprise… THE CAKE WAS AMAZING!!  (I mean so good I’ve had a piece every day since.  Cake for breakfast is a real thing.)  We raved about how good it was and how much we wished we had done the whole cake in the “Cinnamon Roll” flavor with cream-cheese frosting!  So… this is a formal apology to our guests – you missed the best flavor and we are sorry!

Sunday, we spent the day relaxing and decorating my new blog office.  I CANNOT wait to share it with you all. 

All in all … I guess you could say we had a pretty spectacular 6(7) month anniversary weekend!  Cheers to having so much fun, you don’t know your anniversary! 


PS... All of the china, serving dishes, drinking glasses, champagne cooler.... they were all gifted to us by our amazing family and friends.  Thank you all so much!!  



The Barrilleaux's

10 Unique Date Night Ideas

Today’s post is all about date night ideas to get you “out of the box”… Literally. 

There’s no reason that every date night should consist of dinner and a movie.  Not to say there is anything wrong with the classic date night run down, but sometimes it’s fun to spice things up and try something new! 

While most of these little rendezvouses are based on Denver locations, the same ideas can be implemented in different cities… all you have to do is be creative and don’t worry, I’ll help!

I’ve also linked the most recent Date Night look I sported for you!!  You can shop it here, or visit Intrigue Boutique in Denver.  (I’m wearing a Medium, so it fits through the torso!)

Fasten your booties, the fun is just about to start!  Here’s 10 great date night ideas you’ll want to do this summer::

1) Fun in the Sun

Take a basket of food and a blanket to a pretty park!  Some call this a picnic, but we are going to take it one step further.  If you’ve known your partner for a while, I implore you grab a few 5 gallon buckets (12 to be exact), two toy basketballs (about 5” in diameter), and a 6 (or 12) pack of beer.  You’ll want to fill one of these buckets with water, because you, my dear, are going to be playing bucket pong!! 

2) Need for Speed

Another great date night idea is extreme go cart racing!   Unser racing is an awesome, out of the norm track located minutes from Downtown Denver.  The thrill of the track and the competitive environment is a blast.  The experience offers hours of laughs and memories!

3) A Day at the Track

Another great way to get the fun, competitive juices flowing is to hit the local horse races.  Although, instead of being on opposite sides, you’ll be cheering for the same team.  Take some cash and place a few bets!  You’ll have a blast watching all the horses cross the finish line.

4) Pamper Me at the Spa

Yes, I know... Spas are SO EXPENSIVE.  So instead of breaking the bank, I'm suggesting you bring the spa home.  Spend a few dollars and get the essentials of baby manicures, some bath salts, some fun face masks, a cucumber, and some scented lotion!  Before you start your day at home, plan out the flow to "treatments" and have robes ready.  Start by filling the bathtub with warm water, you can soak your feet and enjoy a nice glass of champagne while talking. Then, move to the kitchen table for baby manicures.  After your feeling relaxed, take turns giving each other hand and shoulder massages!  Finally, apply the face masks and cucumbers, while playing some relaxing music, sit back and enjoy :)  Head to the shower after for a clean fresh feeling!


If you’re looking to stay local, or want to stick closer to the “norm” the next three suggestions are for you!!

5) A Modern Day Dinner and a Movie

While the cliché of dinner and a movie can be uninviting, a new kind of theater has made its way to Denver!  The Alamo Drafthouse is a new take on an old idea… They offer a full service bar and restaurant, all served while you are watching your movie.  Not only is the food amazing, but the theaters are small and eclectic, making the entire experience a joy!

6) Tapas and Dessert

Have you been to a restaurant where everything looks so amazing, you can’t help but want to try everything?  It’s so hard not to order 6 things... Luckily, some genius came up with the idea of tapas.  One of Denver’s top-rated restaurant, Linger, is a tapas style eatery!  They offer an amazing selection of shared plates to be enjoyed by the whole table.  Trust me, the food is absolutely amazing and you’re guaranteed to leave happy—just make sure you leave room for the ice cream shop next door!  Little Man Ice Cream is hand down the best craft ice-cream place in Denver.  My personal favorite is the Salted Carmel!

7) A Different Kind of Adventure

Looking for something totally different?  One of the coolest dessert spots we’ve found around Denver is a little place called the Inventing Room, located in LoDo.  They hand create every dessert to order, specially crafted to smoke with liquid nitrogen.  Don’t let the idea scare you… the food is not only a work of art, it’s so tasty!  We had a blast mixing and matching our desert choices with some friends recently… most importantly, there wasn’t a single item I didn’t love!


Wanting to do something a bit more physical??

8) Go for a Nature Hike

Getting some fresh air is a sure fire way to enjoy your day!  Now bring someone you love along and make it all the more fun.  The Flatirons hike, located just outside of Boulder, is one of Andrew’s and mine favorite paths near Denver.  Boulder is a short drive from the city and offers a multitude of restaurants and shopping to visit after your workout!  If you are visiting for a date, stop by Cantina Laredo for a bite to eat!

9) Staying “In-the-Box”

Sometimes staying “in-the-box” is the most effective way to be creative… literally.  If you are looking for a totally different kind of date, you can always check out different athletic boxes!  Trying a new class, at a new place, is a great way to break out of the routine and do something healthy as bonding time!  Many boxes offer one time passes, for a small fee, to try out a group class or use the facilities!  If you fall in love with these types of dates, you can always check out Class Pass, a membership program that allows you to hop gyms and try all of their classes for a small price!


Lastly, this post just wouldn’t be as personal if I didn’t include our favorite date night!

10) Wine/Liquor Tasting

Often times, Andrew and I will venture out and find a new winery or distillery we haven’t tried.  We love trying different kinds of wine and spirits!  While the actually drinking is fun, probably one of my favorite parts is we act silly and pretend to be snobby/experts while we are tasting.  Sometimes we speak in accents or try to guess what foods would pair perfectly with our samples.  No matter where we are, it’s always a good time!




St. Thomas on My Mind :: Honeymoon Day 3

Sailing in... absolutely breathtaking. 

Sailing in... absolutely breathtaking. 

I cannot believe I was a day late publishing this post…. Mainly because it was my FAVORITE DAY of our entire honeymoon and I am beside myself with excitement to share it with you!

Day 3 of our honeymoon was spent in the most beautiful place in the entire Virgin Islands… St. Thomas. 

As our cruise ship sailed into harbor, we were welcomed by the prettiest views I’ve ever seen!  It was majestic to smoothly glide across the water, witnessing the scenery scape by us (reminding me of the south of France) while we enjoyed our coffee and breakfast on the balcony! 

After getting dressed, we went out on the balcony to try out our new selfie stick (hahahah – so embarrassing!!) that I insisted we get for this vacation!  We had a blast and I even got a cute shot of my swimsuit of the day – which has been linked below… 

20160513_HM day 3- 2.jpg

Then we left the boat to head to our first adventure of the cruise!  Coki Beach and Secret Harbor Beach are directly next to each other… making in easy to see both in the small time window we had on the island!  Having picked these two beautiful private beaches, grouped close together, to visit we loaded into a taxi.  Needless to say, the taxi ride was absolutely breathtaking, as we were able to see most of the island from the hilltop views.  The water was the perfect color of blue and the weather was everything you could hope for on a tropical vacation.

The view from the Taxi ride

The view from the Taxi ride

Once there, we were greeted by the friendly staff and were offered a variety of chairs and cabanas for rent, our choice where they would be placed!  Once we picked our spot, two men quickly appeared and began building us our perfect little spot for the day.  The view was amazing… and the personal bartender/waitress was an even better perk!

I look like a wet dog, but we had an incredible day!

I look like a wet dog, but we had an incredible day!

After relaxing for a bit, and applying sunscreen to my white, spray-tanned body, we headed just a few steps away to rent some paddle boards.  Stand up paddle boarding is one of my favorite things… it’s also one of the first things I ever set my mind on doing when I started this blog—I’m so appreciative of how everything comes full circle!  We had a blast blazing through the mellow water, exploring the views from different vantage points!  The coolest part was getting to paddle all the way across the cove to a little island all to ourselves.

The "Private Island" - discovered by the Barrilleaux's

The "Private Island" - discovered by the Barrilleaux's

We ordered lunch from a local restaurant and had it delivered to our little piece of heaven!  When they brought us our Jerk Chicken Platters, they surprised us with my new favorite tropical beverage… a BUSHWHACKER.  If you have never had one, they are a rum-chocolate-dream lovers every desire.  I had them the rest of our vacation (that’s probably why I gained 10 lbs…)!

After enjoying a perfect, relaxing afternoon, it was time to say goodbye.  We loaded back up in our “round trip taxi” and headed back to the ship.  We had dinner reservations for Formal Night and we were so excited to get dressed up for each other!

Pre-Dinner Drinks at the Champagne Bar

Pre-Dinner Drinks at the Champagne Bar

We enjoyed an amazing menu offered by the Royal Caribbean chef and had way too much fun trying all the wines… That night, I was so in love with my husband and in awe of how handsome he is, I wanted to capture that night just as I was feeling it.  So I took a picture of Andrew from across the table.  It made me so happy, that I kept doing it the rest of the trip.  The little collection ended up being amazing and makes me so happy that I am going to be sharing them with you as we go through the rest of our days…  So here’s to the first shot from the “Andrew Across Table Series!”

Andrew Across the Table - Still #1

Andrew Across the Table - Still #1


Rebecca B.

Loving Your Body is a Lifestyle

Truth::  Loving your body is a hard at every age.  I used to think it got better with age, but i was wrong... I do, however, believe that movements of "self love" and "self acceptance" are bringing to light how hard it is to be a woman.  I'll go further to say that they are calling attention to the horrifying fact that we are told, from the time we are little, that we are to be thin, healthy, happy, and have everything we deserve in life because it's what we were born for.  But what is happiness?  What things in life are important? And where is the line between wanting to be better and being obsessed when it comes to self improvement?  I get lost in thought trying to sort out my feelings on it, much less have a solid answer to any one of these questions!

Luckily, I very good friend of mine: MR. BRANDON HILL of @HowdyBrandon set out to help women identify these feelings and learn how to love their body despite what the world around tells them how they should feel.  His mission was created to support his beautiful wife, Ashley.  He wanted to create a space where she felt safe and secure in who she was and in doing so, he started a movement that sweeping Denver off their feet!  His awareness and presence in the Denver Fashion blogging community has been indescribable, as he is pushing all of us to grow outside of our comfort zones and opening our eyes to the struggles that we may (or may not) realize influence us.

In his movement #cleanandstrong, Brandon is promoting a well rounded lifestyle and an openness to "self love" that can only be taught!  His magazine is dedicated to the growth of women and short "lessons" if you will on how to find happiness in a balanced life!  You can't afford not to check it out.  Even if you love yourself, purchasing the magazine with continue to promote this movement of acceptance!

Just for being a follower, you will receive $10 OFF with the code "THENOVICENATIVE"

Get your lovable booties over there-- you may just see a familiar face!! #CLEANANDSTRONG 


I also have to say how much I love these two humans... In addition to the #cleanandstrong campaign, Ashley and Brandon have started a weekly YouTube episode documenting their lives and growth!  It's hilarious, funny, and I honestly think Bravo should cast them to have a reality show.  I've linked the episodes below because I watch for them every week!