shopping

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Ok, so I know this is REALLY late… Like really late.  Christmas has come and gone, and Valentine’s Day is already on the way! So even though these were my favorite gifts for the holiday season, they would make great Valentine’s Day gifts for someone special.

 

JEWELRY

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Let’s start with everyone’s favorite gift - jewelry!  It’s about the only cliche gift I can’t get enough of.  I can live without flowers and chocolate, but jewelry has a special place in my heart.  One of my favorite gifts this Christmas was my earring/necklace set from Bloom Jewelry!  The black diamonds are just unique enough to attract a ton of compliments!  Denver-based Jewelry by Bloom, owned by jewelry designer Lindsay Bloom, has a unique feel, beautiful craftsmanship, and comes at an awesome price point!  I’m wearing her  Pave Diamond Bar Studs. They are beautifully hand-made with Black Diamonds, set in 14k gold studs. They are versatile because the sparkle is beautiful and classy, but the style is snappy-casual! If you are searching for an accessory that is special and understated, the Pave Diamond Football Necklace is perfect. It features a oxidized silver/black diamonds in the shape of a football - sorry, I have the super bowl on my mind!  The shape is a unique piece that catches the eye, yet the small size is dainty and right up my alley.

See more looks from Bloom over on http://thecashmeregypsy.com/my-favorite-things/ , where my best girlfriend’s and I had a little fun in their collection!

 

MAKEUP + SKINCARE

 

My next favorite gift was actually a stocking stuffer!!  Biossance’s Makeup Removing Cloths were absolutely a perfect gift for me.  I am (most of the time) too lazy to wash my face at night… so I often turn to cleansing cloths.  After forgetting my pack when I traveled home for the holidays, I was so excited to open these little gems Christmas morning!  If you are in need of a gentle makeup remover that is easy on your skin- these you need to give these little guys a chance! The Refresher cloths, as Biossance calls the little pack, are a great solution as they moisturize beautifully but do not leave you with a greasy feeling afterwards. It’s also a great option for those of you who want a natural alternative to makeup removers! The key ingredients are squalane, which is plant-derived and protects skin from losing moisture, an antioxidant blend of rosemary, rice bran, and sunflower extract, along with vitamin E. These protectants keep your skin glowing after you have used the cloths. Finally, hemisqualane, derived from sugarcane, helps gently cleanse. These would be a wonderful gift for the cosmetics guru in your life!  

 

ACCESSORIES 

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The last gift that I wanted to highlight today is my new favorite mountain accessory!  Perfect for chilly Colorado days and nights, this Royal Scout and Co Faux Fur Neck Wrap (in Wolf) is classy and so warm. I was so excited to receive a chic accessory to layer warmth effortlessly!!  If you are on the hunt for a perfect “Apres Ski” fashion statement...this one fits the bill. It easily adds a luxurious element to anything (even ski gear - trust me!). Being a smaller size than a scarf, it works so well for travel. I couldn’t take this off while on a recent trip up in the mountains! Whether worn with my favorite LBD or over a sweater, I’ve found it is functional, fashionable, and would make a great V-day gift for a girl who loves “woodland chic.”  

 

I hope you all love these gifts, as much as I did!!  

XOXO, Rebecca

Dress: Banana Republic

Coat: W by Worth

Jewelry: Bloom (links above)

Location: Cherry Creek Shopping Mall

Photography by: Miranda Sober (www.mirandalsober.com)

 

Friday Faves: A Full Makeover

Today’s “Friday Faves” post is a little longer than the last, mainly because it’s combining two weeks of favorites in to one! 

A little back story as to why:: Last week, I took some much needed time for R&R with Andrew (after having a really rough week – particularly Friday!) and decided to let myself off the hook for my scheduled post.  Through my blogging journey, I’ve discovered that my path to success is driven by listening to my own needs and allowing myself space to “let myself down” or not meet my self-induced, super-high expectations.  It’s been such a great chance to get to know myself and develop a healthy relationship with stress and my body! 

So now that you know you have a bunch to look forward to and why, let’s get the party started! 

I’ve had such a great time the past few weeks shopping for the new season, updating my tech equipment, and pushing myself to get fit that there’s a huge variety in my favorites this time around.

THE NEW AND IMPROVED IPHONE

Let’s start with the device that makes all of my blogging dreams come true – The iPhone!  Not many of you know (because I couldn’t snap, call, or text), but I was in Dallas two weeks ago for a wedding.  While there, I dropped my phone and the screen died. Like immediately. Into a million little pieces.  I wasn’t upset though… Why?  Because I was still sporting the iPhone 6 16G in white and I seriously deserved an upgrade after that trauma.  I could only have 100 photos, NO music, and 3 videos on my phone at any given time.

CONVENTIENTLY!!! The new iPhone 7 was released the day after I got back to Denver!  Of course I decided to go with the rose gold one with 220-something GB of data.  I don’t even know what to do with all the extra memory space, but I love it!  The phone is definitely my favorite version yet.  The button isn’t as bad as people are making it seem; it still feels like a button when you push it and the sensitivity makes it so much easier to handle!   

A few other things I really like about the phone?  The camera – IT’S AMAZING!  I don’t even carry my DSLR camera anymore.  I also really like the Bluetooth headphone capability and haven’t missed the headphone jack.  The last thing I love about my new phone is MY CASE.  A huge shout out to Kate Spade for the party case – the new phone really is worth celebrating!  Shop my case here.

FALL SUNNIES!!

I was so excited for mail day this past Tuesday that when the package came I almost hugged the mailman!  These new Tory Burch sunglasses are absolutely going to be a fall favorite this season.  The yellow ear pieces are the perfect color of mustard and the turtle shell frames are everything.  I love that big lenses with pointed frames are coming back (along with chokers and wide-legged pants!).  I feel like I am reliving 3 different generations middle school experiences! 

The best part, I got them from a wonderful store in Dallas, Carlens Luxury Optical.  They always have the best prices.  If you are on the market for some new shades, give them a call or stop by their store – They are offering 20% OFF to anyone who mentions The Novice Native sent them… in case you didn’t realize, that’s a lot off a pair of sunnies!  They are located in Dallas off of HW75 (Central Expressway) & Park Ln or you can visit their website here.

FASHION FINDS

This week’s fashion find is a two-for-one special!    

I had such a wonderful response to my date night outfit this past week, mainly the jeans, that I decided to feature them today.  They are SO comfy and definitely a FAVE in my closet.  To be honest, I’ve had them for 2 years and still wear them every chance I get…. So where do the magic jeans come from?  Express!  They aren’t selling this color anymore, but I found a darker version of them HERE !

My second obsession this week is this Blanket Scarf.  I have completely jumped on the scarf train.  They are so soft and definitely big enough to keep your neck warm.  I would have to say that my favorite part about this particular scarf is its ability to act like a blanket when I’m really cold; I can take it off my neck, unfold it, and wrap it around my shoulders like a blanket… Needless to say, it’s been properly named. 

(photos by Alex_Takes_Photos IG:: @alex_takes_photos)

THE MUSCLE RELIEF

Last on today’s list, but certainly not least, is my new tool in battling the effects of my car accident.  I had so many questions about my accident after posting about getting Botox that I decided to share another tool I’ve used to help with the muscle tension and spasms related to whiplash. 

This series of tools is a product of RAD ROLLER.  They are a Denver-based company who create rollers and massage tools that tailor to smaller areas.  If you need an example, the photo above shows me rolling a very small area of my neck without hurting other areas or pulling my hair!  I was introduced to them at a Lululemon event a few months ago and fell in love with their products. (p.s. that's where my leggings are from)

The tiny rollers and balls have been life savers, significantly reducing the number of massages I’ve received since beginning to use them.  I “roll out” my tension spots on a daily basis and use the balls on pressure points I was trained help with overall well-being.  My hands are the primary place I use them, as I spend a lot of time writing and typing.  They provide a ton of relief when I’m starting to feel fatigued.  You can check them out here, and feel free to ask me any questions!! 

My full set of tools HERE

Friday Faves: Polish, Clutches, and Corners!

The week, my list of favorites will make you want a makeover in every way!  From wardrobe to home decor, I can't wait to show you what I've gotten into this week. 

The Polish!

Earlier this month, I stopped in my favorite day spa, Glosshouz in Centennial, for a quick manicure!  While perusing colors, I found a new line of polish and quickly became obsessed with their product.  Not only were the bottles GORGEOUS, the color selection was so diverse and well chosen for each season, I struggled to find a new fall color from their recent releases.  I finally settled on, Doe My Dear, a beautiful grey -- perfect for the upcoming season!  The polish stayed on over a week and the color turned out beautiful.  Needless to say, I snagged one for myself - obviously I needed it to display on my vanity!

The Clutches!

If you read my recent post on "White After Labor Day", than you fully understand the importance of accessorizing your outfit to polish off your look.  Clutches, handbags, and wallets can add just the right amount of color or add a texture you were missing to complete your ensemble.  This week, I put together a list of my current favorites for you!  Each of these pieces has a unique feel, color, and tone, but could be mixed and matched with the same outfit!  They are perfect additions for your fall wardrobe and the quality is amazing.  Varying in price, you may want to check them out HERE, or stop by Intrigue Boutique in the Highlands to shop them.  If your from Colorado and love to SHOP LOCAL... this is your golden hour!

The Corners!

This week, I'm opening our doors and sharing one of my favorite corners!  The sleek, modern look has a clean feel in all the right ways.  I love how the legs on this chair pull from my sense of style, but the low profile and neutral color pallet compliment Andrew's taste!  Adding a fun patterned pillow kept the feel of the room colorful and inviting.  The cow hide rug and the rustic flower pot toned down the coolness of the room, rounding off the look!  

Understanding Affiliate Programs:: What You Need to Know About LIKEtoKNOW.it and ShopStyle

“What in the world are all those crazy links I see on people’s Instagram posts?”

As a blogger, I get this question all the time!  The short version of the answer to that question is: “It’s an embedded hyperlink that allows you to shop a blogger’s look directly from your email!”  However, the short answer is sometimes just as confusing as the idea itself!  Ugh!  So, I thought I would take some time and explain what exactly they mean, and how you (as everyday fashionistas with real lives) can benefit from them!

Let’s start with the big picture.  The only thing those weird, shortened links mean is that the blogger or individual you follow has an “affiliate account” with one of two companies!  ShopStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it are the two brand accounts that professionals often work with! 

But what is an affiliate account?  It is an online hub with several retailers participating (including Nordstrom, Free People, and Sam Edleman) that bloggers become a member of.  It’s a way for bloggers to monetize their looks and helps generate an income from people shopping their looks.  If you’ve ever wondered how bloggers make a living, this is it!  Still not sure what it is?  Here’s a breakdown:

Basically, bloggers post pictures in their clothes, snaps of decorations in their house, or create “wish lists” of their fashionable wants and they post them on social media for you to see and share!  They make money (a small commission) from you purchasing the same items they are wearing.  It’s a way for them to be a social influencer, in a sense! 

But how do you (the lover of those adorable shoes) shop the look or items?  It’s easy!  You sign up for a consumer account.  Don’t freak- you don’t have to sign your life away and all of your personal information is kept in your wallet when you enroll!  All you do is give them your Instagram handle (example: mine would be @the_novice_native) and your email address… They do the rest! 

Once signed up, when you “like” or “<3” a photo on Instagram that has an affiliate link, you are sent an email with all of the products you see in the image.  You aren’t obligated to buy them… It just makes it easy for you to keep track of items you’ve loved in one place where you can find them again, in case you wanted to wait until payday! 

If you ever wanted to see all of the items you’ve liked, all you have to do is sign into your account on their website.  Your profile would have all of the items you’ve liked in one place, making it easy to shop those looks at any time after liking them!

Another place you can see affiliate links is in a blog post… Like this one!  :) Often times, a blogger will add photos or links of the items in the post directly to the content.  They look like ads/photos, but they are actually linked to their individual accounts to keep track of referrals! 

So now that you’ve got a full understanding of the whole “affiliate world,” I know you are dying to sign up!  You have nothing to lose (and you know it’s not scary anymore)..  so let’s get started:: 

*NOTE* You will want to sign up with both sites, as bloggers often use one or the other--  Nobody likes to miss out!

All photos beautifully captured (and left unedited) by Alex Martinez of @Alex_Takes_Photos 

Planning a Full Day in Denver!!

Planning a Denver wedding and need something for your guest to do while in Town?  Simply visiting Denver as a tourist?  In town staying with family? Or on your way to the mountains?  Whatever your circumstance... Denver has so much to offer!  From delicious, artistic restaurants to adorable streets filled with local shops... It offers a perfect vacation for all types.  Even if you live in Denver, seeing the city from another's perspective can help you call in love with this amazing city all over again! 

So... What to do in Denver?!  I've planned a full day of food, shopping, and fun for anyone trying to explore the amazing city of Denver!!  Be sure to wear your comfy shoes, Denver's walk-able layout makes it easy to add miles without even realizing it :)

 

First things first:: Parking!!  

Today's activities will be easier and more enjoyable if you are walking/bike riding.  So I've found the best parking downtown for your mile-high adventure!  The Tremont Garage, located on the corner of 15th and Tremont, offers a full day of parking for only $12.  There is no in-and-out privileges, so be sure that you won't need your vehicle for the rest of the day before parking here.   Address : 400 15th Street, Denver CO 80202

8:00 am--  

Your journey begins at Denver's best coffee shop, NOVO Coffee.  This quaint little shop is located in heart of Downtown Denver.  Offering plenty of seating and free wi-fi, it's a great spot for someone wanting to check out the area!

Address: 1600 Glenarm Pl, Denver, CO 80202

8:30 am--  

Take a walk up 16th Street Mall.  This unique downtown experience is a must see for anyone visiting Denver.  Coming from NOVO (headed Northwest), you'll be able to see the Denver Pavilions, a shopping center in the heart of Downtown.  You'll also be able to slip in and our of several gift shops, if that's something on your list!  At any point along the 16th Street Mall you are tired of walking, you are free to jump on the Free Mall Ride.  The Mall Ride stops every block and and free to all patrons of the mall!

9:15 am--

After experiencing the vitality of the 16th Street Mall, I'm sure your starved!  Head over to Union Station for a delicious breakfast at Denver's very own Snooze Eatery!  It's a favorite of the locals and definitely worth the wait.  If there is a line, there's a Tattered Cover Bookstore in Union Station for your browsing pleasure!

Address: 1701 Wynkoop St #150, Denver, CO 80202

12:00 pm--  

The next part of your day is more of a personal choice, so I'm providing two great options for all types of adventurers!  (Both will require a bike rental to continue on your tour..)

A short walk from Union Station, the first option is a tour of Coors Field, home of Denver's MLB team - the Colorado Rockies.  While they aren't the best team in the league, the facility is one of the coolest places in the city.  With a rooftop bar and mountain views, it's definite must see for any sports fan!  The days tours are available vary by season, so be sure to check out the dates before you plan to attend.  All the details are available here.  After your tour, you'll want to rent a B-Cycle bike to continue to the next location... LUNCH :) You can snag one at the nearest location found at 2200 Market Street, Denver CO 80205.

The second option is a quick bike ride away to the home of REI's flagship store just across the river!  One of Denver's mobility options is B-Cycle, a bike rental program that allows you to rent a bike from a variety of locations and drop them off at others for just $9 a day.  There is a station located just outside Union Station, making your rental fast and easy.  You'll want to make your way to the REI bike drop located at 1416 Platte Street, Denver CO 80202.  REI offers a variety of sporting goods and a visit is an experience in itself!

1:30 pm--

Lunch is a relative term when you arrive at Denver's hip{est} restaurant: Linger.  Offering tapas style plates, you wont have to worry about spoiling dinner!  Linger has a unique history, artistic and delicious food, and an atmosphere you can't find anywhere else!  Be sure to ask your server the history of the building and mosey up to the rooftop patio for a scenic view of the city!  Note: B-Cycle parking is located at 1615 Boulder Street, Denver CO 80211 and a short walk up the hill, you will find Linger on your left hand side (behind Little Man Ice Cream).

3:00 pm--

After a full morning of sightseeing, I'm sure everyone in the party could use a break for a little R&R.  What better way to spend some time relaxing than a little shopping on a quaint Denver street!?  Denver's Highlands District hosts a unique vibe when it comes to boutiques.  From high end fronts carrying well known labels, to small locally owned shops with popular looks, you'll find them all.  Intrigue Boutique has quickly become my favorite boutique, as it offers the best of both worlds!  The clothes are absolutely adorable, they carry lines that fit true to size, and they are locally owned by two of the sweetest ladies this city has ever seen... What could be better?  The prices!!  They are so affordable that no one in Denver has an excuse not to look fabulous... it's 100% guilt free shopping!  

So grab your bike and head over to 2436 W 44th Ave, Denver CO 80211 for a little "you" time!  PS ::  The outfit I'm sporting in this post is from their shop.  Adorbs, huh?

4:30 pm--

Let's continue your relaxing afternoon and head to Avanti Food and Beverage for some hand-shaken drinks and a rooftop patio perfect for lounging!  There's a B-Cycle deposit right outside of the venue (3200 Pecos Street, Denver CO 80211) - whoop.  One of the coolest aspects of Denver is there are several "hubs" (as I like to call them), as in a building that houses multiple business in one place, sort of like a mini mall.  This location is so neat because it is home to several local restaurants and breweries!  It's a must see for any Denver newbie.

6:30 pm--

Dinner!!  We are headed back downtown as we finish off our eventful day of sightseeing like locals.  Take a short bike ride back to the Denver Pavilions where you will find, yet another, B-Cycle station, conveniently located just outside of 5280 Burger Bar (it's what's for dinner!).  It happens to be my favorite restaurant in all of Denver.  The wings are absolutely to die for and the burgers are individually craft made!  Featuring comical names, this place will be an exciting end to your day.  If your up for it, delight in one of their adult martinis!! NOM.  My favorite is the S'mores, while Andrew would kill for the Mint Chocolate Chip!  

Address: 500 16th Street, Denver CO 80202

After dinner, you're just a short walk away from your car!  How about that for a day of exercise?  I hope you've loved getting to know my city a little better!  I'd love to hear how you enjoyed your day.

xx,

Rebecca

Using What's Already in Your Closet

All Photos by @Alex_Takes_Photos

Today's post is all about using what you already own to make an adorable look fit for any occasion!  This outfit is one of my favorites because I'm incorporating a sweet summer dress, with a few cooler weather basics to create a fun transitional season outfit!

The base layer of this dress, is a basic white lace dress.  I've worn this dress several times, but with temperatures still dropping in CO, it's a little too chilly to let this baby fly free.  So I've paired it with a cute suede top and some chunky jewelry to make it look intentionally layered.  This helps to keep the interest of the outfit, as well as draw attention away from the transition line from the blouse to the dress.

I've also paired it with riding boots and cute boot socks!  This helps my legs stay warm as the temperature changes throughout the day!  Want to know a secret??  I made the boot socks out of a normal pair of socks!  You can achieve the same look by purchasing a pair of socks and removing the toe with scissors.  It's really that easy!

You can shop this look here: