Striped Jumpsuit Scandal

If you follow me on social media, you know that Gerald and I just got back from our favorite place, WaterColor/Seaside, Florida. It was our third time vacationing in the beach town, thanks to his extremely generous aunt who owns a condo in the WaterColor community! (More on our full trip to come in a later blog post.)

I got this blue and white jumpsuit in one of my favorite boutiques to visit in the town, Shop DejaVu, and of course had to wear it out the day I got it. (Not going to lie, I wore it to The Pearl in Rosemary Beach because I knew it would look good with their striped decor!)

I got so many questions on where to purchase this jumpsuit, so I decided to bump up my posting schedule and spent about 40 minutes scouring the internet to find the link to it. I like visiting DejaVu because it’s an independent boutique and I always find great pieces there, but I was a little surprised to see that they had significantly marked their prices up when I visited this year. After trying the jumpsuit on, I figured it was good quality and purchased it at the price of $76. I was in the mood to splurge — we were on vacay after all — and thought it was a really cute piece.

After trying to find the jumpsuit to link for you guys, you’ll never believe where I stumbled upon it, and for the price tag it came with. I don’t usually get irrationally upset about clothing purchases, but I found THE EXACT SAME JUMPSUIT AT FOREVER 21 for literally $48. And, it comes in two colors. To be perfectly transparent, I feel a little played by the boutique, but at least I got some good Instagram photos out of it?

You can shop it here in white and here in red.

I still can’t believe that the boutique and Forever 21 are selling the same items, but hey — maybe it just means Forever is stepping up their game.

5 Favorite Spring Beauty Essentials + Teeth Whitening Giveaway

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Let me start this by acknowledging that I am no beauty blogger. I’ve been using the majority of my makeup brands and products since high school, but lately I’ve enjoyed experimenting with a few new things! I’ve come to really love a few products, and I’m also giving one of them away for free!

Smile Brilliant: I’ve been using these teeth whitening kit for a little over a year, and it’s really changed my smile. I usually ramp up my whitening during the springtime because I love the way white teeth look with a tan, and I’m definitely trying to make my smile look its best for our upcoming engagement photos! You can see my whitening before and after photos and a full review here.

GIVEAWAY: Enter here to win your own Smile Brilliant whitening kit! If you already have a kit and need some more gels, use code districtdamsel20 for 20% off!

Jade Roller: you’ve likely seen these pretty contraptions all over your Instagram feed this season. I partnered with TwentyPrime to review my own and I have to say I love it. I like to keep mine in the fridge and roll it over my face either over a face mask or while moisturizing. It feels amazing on your face at the end of the day and also helps with reducing puffiness. I have really bad allergies and this has definitely help deflate some of the puffiness that comes with them in the spring!

John Frieda Lightening Spray: fun fact, I’ve never actually dyed my hair before. I’ve been using this “adult version of Sun In” since my roomie in college turned me on it and I love the natural highlights it gives me! I just spray on damp hair prior to blow drying for instant lightening, or spritz in my hair before going to the pool.

IT Brow Pencil: alright, this isn’t seasonal, but this brow powder is so good I had to include it. The power is light and isn’t too intense, and I love the spoolie that’s on the other end — perfect for helping shape your brows. It only comes in one color, but you can make it work for any hair coloring!

Seche Dry Fast Top Coat: my nails take a beating in the spring and summer due to open toe shoes and going in the pool, but this top coat is amazing. At $10, it seems a little pricey, but it’s so worth it. It helps my nail polish last for up to 5 days! It also gives them a really nice shine.

Shop My Look

Shorts | Levi’s

Top | Loft 

Sandals | Sam Edelman 

Smitten Boutique Salon Experience

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This weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Smitten Boutique Salon in Arlington, VA for a cut and style and it was an amazing experience. The salon is woman-owned and the founders have put so much thought into creating an amazing experience for their clients! From second I walked into the salon, I felt right at home, the team was so friendly and welcoming. The design of the space is adorable — there’s inspirational quotes on the walls, beautiful potted plants, and special details like a neon statement sign and exposed brick throughout the salon. Smitten also uses exclusively Bumble + bumble products, so all of the items that went into my hair were top notch.

My stylist for the cut was Tiffany and she was fantastic. She’s got absolutely gorgeous long locks herself and was so friendly and bubbly throughout the appointment, even though I was her last client for the night. I’ve been trying to grow my hair out ever since I did a ten inch crop in 2016, and I’ve always struggled with stylists who chop too much off of my hair but Tiffany did exactly what I requested — just enough to get the dead ends off/ She also added some layers to create some movement and used a great texturizing spray that gave me some serious volume. After the cut, Tiffany created gorgeous soft waves for me — I wish my hair could look like this every day! I can honestly say it’s the best blowout and style I’ve ever had. I’m even looking into having the salon do the hair for my wedding because I loved it so much!

Thank you, Tiffany and Smitten for such a wonderful experience, I’m so happy with my cut and style!

Shop My Look: 

Jean Jacket | Vintage Levi’s (similar)

(Fun fact, this jacket is my little brother’s from Kindergarten! It’s a little boy’s large!)  

Belt | Kohl’s (similar) 

Jumpsuit | Forever 21 

Shoes | Forever 21 

 

 

 

Rent The Runway | Pros & Cons

DSC05625DSC05633DSC05643DSC05628DSC05631DSC05645Whenever I wear a dress from Rent The Runway I get a ton of questions about it, so I figured I’d cave and write a post about it. (You can view one of my previous rentals here!) I wore this pretty appliquéd number to my blogger friend turned bestie Caroline’s (The Caro Love) wedding and I have to admit, I did get compliments all night on it!

Caro’s wedding was at the Mayflower with the ceremony at Saint John’s in Georgetown and it was such a fun night full of love, laughter, and happy tears. I’m so excited for you and Kendo, Caro! If you’ve never walked through the lobby of the Mayflower, do it — it’s an absolutely stunning hotel.

Now, onto the post. Rent The Runway is a bit of a catch 22. On one hand, you get to wear a gorgeous designer dress that you probably never would have purchased, on the other, you could have bought a dress off ASOS or LuLu’s for the price you rented the dress for. I think it’s really fun to treat yourself to a rental for a special occasion, but I do see that it isn’t always the most economical choice!

Read on for the pros and cons of using the rental service.

PROS

  • You get to wear a fancy, expensive dress you likely couldn’t afford at full price
  • You can easily browse their online selection by filtering by occasion, color, length, or all three!
  • You don’t have to worry about dry cleaning it — the rental fee takes care of that
  • You won’t be caught wearing the same outfit twice
  • You can experiment with a style that might be out of your comfort zone without having to keep it
  • You can try on dresses in-store at one of their locations, as well as ship your dress to the store so you can swap it out when you pick it up if it doesn’t fit
  • You also get to order two different sizes for your order, which helps taking the guessing out of online shopping!
  • There are a ton of candid reviews for each dress, featuring women of all different shapes and sizes — and they’re usually all spot on

CONS

  • You’re paying for a dress for just a one-time use, and the rentals can get a little pricey, especially once they tack on the additional $10 rental fee
  • Lines at the Georgetown store can be incredibly long — when I picked up this dress there was a 25 minute wait to try on so I just took it home, hoping it would fit
  • Your dress choice might never make it to you — I had reserved a different dress back in January for Caro’s wedding, and a week before it was supposed to arrive they told me they no longer had it, so I had to scramble to pick a last-minute option, luckily the one I wore worked out!
  • I’ve heard some mixed reviews about this one, but while the dresses are clean when you get them, they aren’t always in dry-cleaned shape because they’re shipped to you. I’ve received dresses that needed to be pressed and this particular dress had a mesh hoop under the lace skirt that was nearly impossible to straighten out and bothered me all night (to be fair, the reviews did mention this!)
  • You must go to a UPS store or Dropbox to return it. If you have a car, this likely isn’t an issue, but in the city it’s a bit harder to navigate to specific postal providers and dropping it in USPS box around the corner would have been much more convenient than lugging it halfway around the city

All in all, Rent the Runway is a fun experience and I think everyone should try it at least once! Shop my dress and accessories below.

Dress | Slate + Willow Lace Dress

Heels | LuLu’s

Bag | Rebecca Minkoff 

48 Hours in Scottsdale, AZ

Last weekend was a western whirlwind — Gerald and I jetted off to Scottsdale, AZ for his childhood friend’s wedding and were only in town for about 48 hours!

I’d never been to a desert before and I literally could not wrap my head around how cool the cacti were. It also didn’t hurt that there was a Mexican restaurant at every corner! While there were a lot of things I wanted to do in the town, we were limited with our downtime due to the wedding festivities so we had to plan accordingly. Side note: the Baer / Erickson wedding was one of the most fun and gorgeous weddings I’ve ever been to — the photos speak for themselves!

Since we were there for such a short time, we tried to make the most of it and do things we both wanted to do in the city. Trust me — if he had it his way, Gerald would have been golfing the whole time on the stunning courses, but he did the right thing and chose to hang with me instead ;). That being said, it’s definitely a golf destination so bring your clubs and book a tee time if you’re in the area for a few days.

We stayed in Old Town at the Marriott Suites, and it was the perfect hub for both easily exploring the town on foot and hailing ride shares for other destinations. The hotel was able to check us into our rooms when we arrived at 10:15 am on Friday, so they will forever have a gold star in my book. They also greeted us with water bottles each night we returned from wedding festivities, which we definitely needed. The hotel has a nice pool and we logged a few hours there to try and bring some life to our winter complexions, and while I know you shouldn’t spend your time in a new city lounging, it was a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle.

One of the best things about Scottsdale is that it has the “Old Town” area, where there are about two miles packed with walkable bars, shops, and restaurants, but it’s a quick 15 – 20 minute drive to the mountains. Read on for how we spent our time in the western town!

Hike the Gateway Loop: We knew we wanted to go on a hike to get some exercise in, as well as take in the beautiful views, so I chose the Gateway Loop trail — a 4.3 mile hike at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. I’m not a big hiker, so this was the perfect trail for a novice that still let us take in the nature. One of my favorite things was that since the trail was a loop, we had different views going up and down the mountain. We also heard great things about hiking Camelback, although it’s a bit more challenging.

Eat All The Mexican Food: We only had two meals outside of the wedding dinners and we opted for Mexican restaurants for both of them. We hit up Loco Patron for happy hour drinks and a plethora of apps on Friday night and stopped into Salty Senorita for lunch on Saturday. The best part about the Scottsdale restaurant scene is that almost everything is open-air, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on the warm weather by being inside!

Hit The Bars: Admittedly, I was more glasses in than I should have been when we went out after the welcome party, but we managed to make it to Bevvy with the anticipation of stopping into Dierks Bently’s bar after, but the pizza place across the street called our name and we headed back to the hotel after the late-night carb fest.

Stroll Around The Scottsdale Shops: While many of the retailers in the town are super touristy, we stopped into a couple of cute boutiques and grabbed a coffee at Cartel Coffee Lab. Pro tip, stick to the shops around 5th Ave — they leaned more towards boho and local boutiques than the standard cowboy boots and bolos stores!

Spring Selects

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I’ve got spring fever, both in terms of needing warm weather and the fact that I can’t stop shopping for the season. I’m so ready to transition my closest from sweaters to sundresses, and our trip to Arizona this weekend is just fueling the fire! I walked into Forever 21 this week attempting to find a cocktail dress that pairs well with cowboy boots for the wedding we’re attending in AZ (southern wedding, y’all! I can’t wait) , and the cashier asked me if I was going on vacation somewhere soon because I basically walked out with a spring wardrobe.

In the meantime, I’m wearing transitional pieces like the long sleeve dress I’m pictured in above—could anyone else use a spray tan? Anyways, I’m linking some pieces I’m coveting until the seasons officially turn, as well as the items I’ve already bought in my spring fever frenzy.

 

501 Levi Shorts: these are my favorite shorts ever, I own them in light wash denim and in black! I swear they mold to your body and are the perfect length

Polka Dot Skater Dress: I love a good print dress and an open back, so this dress hit my shopping cart as soon as I saw it

White Knot Tee: I know this is such a basic item, but I know I’m going to wear it to pieces this summer! I’m already envisioning it with my cutoffs and hightop Converse for a Nats game, and maybe even dressed up with ripped jeans and strappy heeled sandals

 

Palm Print Set: This set almost gives the illusion of a romper, and it will be so easy to mix and match these pieces with other items in my closet

Banana Print Wrap Dress: How freaking cute is this? I didn’t even try it on before I bought it and was so happy it fit. I am literally filled with joy at the thought of wearing this!

WISH LIST

 

Off The Shoulder Print Dress: I love a good palm print, and the long sleeves are perfect for the nights where it’s still a little chilly out

Red Floral Jumpsuit: I am literally resisting the urge to put this in my cart at this moment because this is so freaking cute.

Smocked Waist Dress: Bell sleeves and a fun print, could I ask for more?

 

 

Twist Back Sweater

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The first day of spring is just around the corner, but it seems like the weather in DC is not playing along. I don’t know about you, but I am so over this cold wind. The only good news about the cold weather is that it’s still appropriate to share my favorite sweater with you! I shot this look back in Aspen in January and wasn’t in love with the photos, but once I realized that this seater was on sale for $30 (50% off!!!) I had to share. (See a recap of my Aspen trip here!)

I love a top that’s business in the front and party in the back, and this sweater certainly delivers. I’ve worn it multiple times since I got it in January, and know I’ll be pairing it with jean shorts in early spring. The model on the site is pictured wearing it backwards, so the twist is in the front — not sure if that’s really my style, but I think it’s a cool look! This sweater also comes in a reddish pink and used to come in yellow and blue stripes but it’s not listed online, but chances are you could still find it in-store if that’s more your combo! You know I love a good deal off the Urban Outfitters sale rack.

I think I’m going to have to snag another color for myself, and maybe even give it a try wearing it backwards! For reference, I’m wearing an XS and it does stretch out throughout the day, giving an off-the-shoulder effect which I still do love!

Bonus, my Sorel boots that you guys have been loving all season are 30% off!

Shop My Look: 

Sweater | Urban Outfitters 

Jeans | TopShop 

Boots | Sorel 

International Women’s Day With thredUP

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Now more than ever, International Women’s Day is a big deal. I’m thrilled that I’m in living in an era where women support and empower each other and I hope that if I ever have a daughter that this movement stays just as strong.

Last year, I celebrated International Women’s Day with a post about locally and woman-owned small businesses in the district. (Read the post here.) This year, I’m partnering with thredUP to help share the news about latest campaign in support of the holiday. If you aren’t familiar with the online shop, it’s Enter an online fashion resale site that functions as a thrift shop and a spot to sell your gently used clothes. You can either order a “closet clean out bag” and send in your own, gently used clothes, or shop their amazing selection of majorly discounted items. Major bonus, if the company doesn’t want to purchase your used items, they donate them to charity! You can read about my experience working with thredUP in detail here.

On Thursday, the brand is releasing a list of their top 30 suppliers—which includes all types of women, everyone from stay-at-home moms to actresses to businesses executives. You’ll be able to exclusively shop from their closets and the best part is that ALL proceeds go to Girls IncThe non-profit empowers young women, helping them obtain a high school education, vision career paths, and develop leadership skills. 

You all know I’m a a big advocate of shopping for a cause, and I can’t wait to see what thredUP has pulled together from these fabulous women!

Shop My Look: 

Jacket | thredUP

Jeans | TopShop

Top | Vestique 

Booties | Steve Madden 

 

7 Fitness Goals For 2018

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To preface this post, it’s pretty similar to one I made last year (read it here), but I’ve been struggling with getting back into a workout routine so I figured I’d make this post not only to share tips I’ve found that work for me, but to try and hold myself accountable. If you put it out in the public eye and on social media, it’s always harder to fall back on your goals, right?

I was doing a pretty good job at working out and eating healthy riiiight up until we got engaged in October. The week leading up to our trip to Asheville I was super stressed at work and trying to prepare personally for the trip because I was pretty sure Gerald was going to propose, and I fell off the workout wagon. After we got back from vacation it spiraled into weekends celebrating and then right into the holidays and I’m having a hard time getting super motivated again. I’m trying on wedding dresses with my mom for the first time in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, and I’m not feeling too great about it.

To be honest, yes, getting in shape for my wedding is a huge motivation. I know some people will think that’s ridiculous, but it’s the truth. I want to be able to look back on this time of my life as happy and healthy and you bet I want to look good in the photos that we’re dropping thousands of dollars on! (Yes, I’m aware how shallow that is, but keeping it real.) On the flipside, when I make healthy choices and get myself to the gym, I function better at work, fall asleep more easily, and feel better about myself as a whole, so I know these healthy changes are something I need to make a lifestyle — not just something for one day that involves a white dress.

I’m a type A all the way, so writing down my goals and to-do lists helps me organize my thoughts, so here goes. Read on for the 7 fitness goals I’m trying to implement this year, and wish me luck.

  1. Stop Doing Fitness Classes I Hate: Nothing makes me want to skip the gym more than planning to do a workout I don’t enjoy. I was going to a Monday evening barre class for a few months just because the timing was convenient (out by 7:30 pm, just in time for Bach!) and left feeling miserable each time because I didn’t like the instructor and hated her playlists. By happenstance, I found another barre instructor at a different gym location with KILLER playlists and makes class fun, so I never dread going to her classes! It really makes a big difference in getting yourself to the gym and keeping you going back. I’ve also recently made the decision that I’m allowed to treat myself to one “bougie class” once a month outside of my gym. I’m obsessed with 305 Fitness and think it’s the most fun workout ever, so hit ya girl up if you want to try it with me.
  2. Spend More Time Making Kickass Playlists: I forgot how much I used to look forward to working out to new music until I went on a run the other day and discovered some new KapSlap mixes. (I’ve been working out to his tracks since college!) Until my run the other day I didn’t realize how much new music affected my workout, so I started a new Spotify playlist and am adding amp up songs to it each week.
  3. Pack Guilt-Free Snacks For Work: I have a major sweet tooth. I’m the first person to sprint to the office kitchen when I hear there’s cupcakes and it’s really hard for me to walk by the candy jar without grabbing a piece of chocolate. I was recently sent a package of ONE Bars and have been stashing them in my desk to help ward off the cravings. I actually can’t eat a whole protein bar in one sitting because my stomach isn’t used to having that much protein hit it at once, but when a craving for sugar strikes, I’ll break off a piece of the ONE bar and it really does help the urge go away. So far I’ve tried Birthday Cake and Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake and can’t wait to sample the rest!
  4. Get Rid Of Workout Clothes That Make Me Feel Bad: I swear there is nothing worse than looking in the mirror at the gym and feeling like you ate an entire pizza five minutes before you came to class. (I mean yes…I have done things like that before I still don’t want to look like that!) I’m pledging to donate all of my ill-fitting workout clothes and actually invest in some nicer items that I’m excited to put on and feel good in.
  5. Recruit A Workout Buddy: I am SUPER lucky that two of my really good friends have joined my gym and it makes trying new classes and dragging my butt to a workout after a long day so much easier. I’ve even tried to make the gym into a social thing if someone wants to grab drinks — I’ll ask them to do a workout class with me first and then to go get a drink at a low-key (read, dive bar) post sweat sesh.
  6. Utilize A Fitness Tracker App: I love My Fitness Pal, but I once had a really bad relationship with it and was using it to track calories and make sure I was severely under my daily recommended amount. Yikes. Now that I have a healthier relationship with myself and food, I’m trying to use the app again to make smarter choices — not starve myself — and educate myself on what foods are good for me versus secret calorie bombs.
  7. Set Small Daily Goals: I’m addicted to my FitBit. I don’t care if they’re dorky! I love seeing how many steps I get in each day. My goal used to be 10,000 steps, but I’ve recently upped it to 12,000 steps. To help achieve that goal, I’ve also set a small goal to get out and walk at least 6 blocks on my lunch break. That’s under 20 minutes, but helps clear my mind and get me off my ass. I’m also trying to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day while at work, which is totally doable—just four Swell bottle fill-ups! Sometimes I get cold in the office so I don’t drink water (weird, I know) so setting this goal is important to me.

Well there you have it folks, my 7 goals that I’m hoping will lead me to a healthier lifestyle. You might have noticed I’m not trying any diets because I’ve never been able to stick to one, but if you have any healthy, vegetarian recipes you love, send them my way! I’m also all ears if you have any other tips or tricks up your sleeve.

Aspen City Guide | Updated

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It’s only taken me a month, but my updated Aspen City Guide is now here! Since I already made a pretty robust guide in 2017, I’m re-sharing it with some of my new favorite spots to eat + drink and things to do from our last trip. (Going skiing for the first time? Check out my packing list here.

SHOP MY LOOK

Thermal | Vestique 

Scarf | South Moon Under (similar)

Jeans | TopShop

Boots | Sorel

EAT

  •  Pyramid Bistro – I always take a solo day off from skiing and on that day this year, I treated myself to a leisurely lunch at this “nutritarian restaurant” — aka: its menu was filled with foods that fit the definition of clean eating. The bistro is on the second floor of a bookstore and has beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows. I had a mango salad and two glasses of rosé while reading Fates & Furies and it was one of the loveliest lunches I’ve had in a long time
  • Su Casa – I mean did you really think I wouldn’t put a Mexican restaurant on here? Su Casa is your typical Tex Mex restaurant with free chips + salsa and marg pitchers, but it’s great for groups and I never pass up a meal that involves melted cheese
  • Brunelleschi’s – this restaurant has hands down some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. If you’re into thin crust pizza with tangy tomato sauce – this is your haven. The atmosphere is laid back, the food is fairly affordable compared to some of the white tablecloth spots, and the service is great 
  • White House Tavern – if you’re a sandwich lover, this is where you want to go. The space is super tiny (it’s a converted rowhome) but their piled high sandwiches pack a big punch and their “Macho Salad” is insanely good
  • HOPS Culture – I struggled whether to put this under eat or drink so know that it’s a great spot for both! From mac n’ cheese to taco salads and wings, this is gastropub fare at its finest. Wash it down with a brew from what can only be considered “a bible of craft beer” – they seriously have every type you could want 

DRINK

  • Hooch – this was my favorite cocktail experience during our entire trip. Set in a basement under Meat & Cheese, the bar has a speakeasy feel and freaking amazing decor. The drinks are pricey, but the ambiance was so worth it. I would have stayed there all night if it wasn’t $16 a cocktail!
  • J Bar At Hotel Jerome – this is a seriously cool hotel. Built in the 1800s, this is one of Aspen’s oldest lodges and was one of the first hotels with running electricity! We just had some casual beers here, but it’s definitely worth checking out to take a step back in time
  • Cache Cache – we randomly ended up here one night and had so much fun people watching at their square shaped bar. The bartenders are in the middle so it’s like you’re at a giant table and it’s perfect for mingling with others or just taking it all in
  • Justice Snows – we loved this cocktail bar so much we went back twice in 2017 and had to revisit this year. The drinks are pricey, around $16 a cocktail, but the mixologists are amazing and these were seriously some of the best drinks I’ve ever had. They recently reduced their menu to around 9 cocktails, but I’m hoping they bring back the massive menu (FOUR PAGES!) for our next trip
  • AJAX Tavern – nestled at the bottom of Aspen Mountain, this is my favorite spot for Aprés Ski because you can watch everyone come down the mountain while you sip your drink of choice on their heated patio. This is also the best place to watch the gay ski week drag race, but get there early because seats fill up fast! 
  • Aspen Tap – formerly Aspen Brewing Company, the laid-back bar is perfect for a night where you want to go out but don’t want to be hungover on the slopes the next day. They have small bites and pitchers and an atmosphere that makes you feel like a local 
  • Escobar – I’m throwing this in here due to its insane interior because there was no one there when we were there (apparently it gets the “late night crowd”) but this underground bar is definitely worth a visit. Completely Pablo Escobar themed, the bar mimics an airplane and has all sorts of crazy neon signs and lounge areas 

DO

  • Boutique Fitness Class – I really hit my bougie stride and on one of my off days I took a Pure Barre class. To be honest, I prefer my Vida barre classes, but it was nice to have the option to get a workout in off the slopes. Aspen also has a SoulCycle and plenty of yoga and pilates studios!
  • ISIS Theater – I know, I know, they need to change the name, but Gerald and I always love catching a movie here. They have super comfy reclining seats and beer and wine offerings!
  • Aspen Art Museum – I fell in love with this museum before I even set foot in it because its facade is beautiful. The museum is smaller inside than you would think (you can get through the whole thing in under 45 minutes) but the exhibits are modern and innovative and they have great guidebooks for each installation. Top off your trip with a glass of champs at their rooftop cafe
  • Smuggler Mountain – the manfriend told me we were going for a walk around town and ended up making me hike up a mountain. you can imagine how thrilled I was about that. In all seriousness, the hike was beautiful but make sure you are wearing the right shoes (I was wearing my massive snow boots that give me blisters after 20 minutes) and bring water (we had none) because the altitude makes you dehydrated very quickly. Needless to say I bitched the whole way up because of these circumstances but if I’d been prepared it would have been a very lovely hike
  • Belly Up – one of my favorite nights of our 2017 trip was going to see Fruition at this amazing music venue. The concert hall has hosted everyone from Calvin Harris to Nappy Roots and has an intimacy that equates to the 9:30 club. Highly recommend catching a show here — even if you aren’t familiar with the band it will still be a blast! 

STAY 

  • Mountain Chalet: the manfriend’s family has been staying at this quaint, family-run hotel for decades and it’s seriously the best deal in Aspen. Located downtown, it’s not very fancy, but puts you right in the center of the shops and restaurants, offers complimentary breakfast every morning, and always has fresh-baked cookies in the lobby. Not to mention, it’s one of the most affordable lodges in the town
  • LimeLight Hotel: if you’re attending Gay Ski Week, this is where you want to stay. The hotel is the event’s main headquarters and throws multiple parties throughout the week, complete with open bars and drag queens
  • The St. Regis: centered directly behind the Mountain Chalet, you probably saw this red brick hotel in a lot of my photos for the trip. The St. Regis is stunning and has an awesome bar and amnesties but is probably the least affordable option for lodging