Tag: Summertime

Weekend Wander: Boulder

I have traveled to Boulder – both when I lived in Colorado – and several times since moving to Maryland. My best friend growing up lived in Boulder and a chosen family member lives fairly close now as well.

image is of light trails around a hairpin curve above Boulder Colorado’s city lights. Overlaid in white letters are the words Weekend Wander: Boulder, Colorado. Photo by Shiro hatori via Unsplash.

On your first morning in Boulder, I would take you out for brunch. The Buff is a Boulder institution. I would recommend a Homestead Skillet – and if you like it spicy, I’d go for the Ole since you’re in Colorado. It has chorizo, green chile, and jalapeños. If you love coffee, give the local Nitro Cold Brew a try. Or we could go for a breakfast burrito at Illegal Pete’s.

It’s famous for a reason! You shouldn’t miss Pearl Street. The downtown mall was designated The Downtown Boulder Mall in 1977. It also prohibited cars – and this made the mall more attractive to tourists and locals alike.

If you’re up for a treat we could check out the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse for the location – as the teahouse is considered one of Boulder’s most attractive and popular tourist attractions. It is also a local favorite for good tea, food, and atmosphere. When I was in high school we would drive the hour across the front range just for tea and chicken salad!

Boulder has a fairly accessible trail system (if you can handle hills, anyway) on the Boulder Creek Paved Pathway – with 7 miles of paved path from the foothills all the way to the plains where you can get a taste of the landscape of Boulder.

You didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you that there are a bunch of must-dos and sees in Boulder! One of them is to take the Celestial Seasonings factory tour! The tour is wheelchair accessible and the factory has chairs on site. The Celestial Seasonings brand began in 1969 when one of the founders hand-picked herbs in the Rocky Mountains.

If you’re an outdoors person or you enjoy hiking, Boulder is the place to be for easy access to trails of all levels of difficulty. Chautauqua Park is full of trails and there is a trail map here. Unfortunately, there isn’t great indication on accessibility – only on use type and elevation.

Image description: a blonde with her hair up is posing in front of the final ascent to Royal Arch in the Flatirons.

My latest hike in Boulder was Royal Arch in the Boulder Flatirons. This is a 3 mile strenuous trail, that ends at a natural rock arch overlooking Boulder with a gorgeous view. It tends to be busy though (as evidenced by all the people in my photo above). I enjoyed the hike and the view made every step worthwhile.

Want to collaborate and share your city! Email me.

 ❤ Always, J.

Summer Maxi Dress for Shorties

image description: a grid with the photo of a blonde in a teal maxi dress standing with her black service dog. on the left: A Summer Maxi Dress for Shorties: Being Petite means maxi dresses are a challenging summer essential, these six options work for those of us who are short.

I love maxi dresses in the summer, and have ever since getting married and moving away from my lifestyle in Colorado eight years ago. My favorite dresses are all still in heavy rotation – albeit a bit worn. So this summer, when it started getting hot out, I started trying on and looking for a new dress to wear in the heat.

I am a Loft dress wearer first and foremost, as Loft is often one of the few places it is easy to find dresses and really all clothing in good petite proportions. But this summer there weren’t any maxi dress options at my local store, so I had to look online and be a little more creative.

image description: blonde girl wears a teal maxi dress with thin straps and stands with her black and silver schnauzer service dog beside her.

This dress is where I got a little creative. I saw it first on HeyNasareen of Instagram, who is also petite like I am. She wore it with the extra length tied in a knot. Since it was a very inexpensive dress from Amazon, I ended up just cutting the hem for a raw edge hem look and it’s working so far! I might use fray-check on it to make sure it definitely doesn’t ravel, but it’s doing good!

Here are several other options that I found on Loft’s website. I already have the other teal dress (caution, it runs much larger than usual. I am a true 2P and I should have bought this in a 0).

  1. LOFT CHEVRON STRAPPY MAXI DRESS
  2. LOU & GREY BRUSHMARL MAXI TEE DRESS
  3. LOFT WRAP MAXI DRESS
  4. LOFT DOTTED PLEATED WRAP MIDI DRESS (This dress in Regular is long enough to be a maxi dress on me, if a little large.)
  5. GRECERELLE Women’s Summer Casual Loose Dress Beach Cover Up Long Cami Maxi Dresses with Pockets. Pockets make the dress.

Some other Amazon options that are basically the exact same as the GREGERELLE dress.

ZZER Women Casual Summer Loose Long Dress Beach Cover Up Cami Maxi Dresses with Pockets. I love that this comes in a teal floral option.

HUSKARY Women’s Summer Casual Loose Dress Beach Cover Up Long Cami Maxi Dresses with Pockets. This has a leaf/palm print option that is really cute.

ATERAIN Summer Casual Maxi Dresses Cover Up Long Cami Sleeveless Beach Dress with Pocket for Women. This has a cute mandala print.

What do you consider your best summer basic outfit? Are you like me, and you need a one-stop outfit like a maxi dress? Or are you a shorts and tee type person? Let me know in the comments!

❤ Always, J

Summer Essentials: Pool-side

image description: two women in an infinity pool with the mountains in the background. overlaid the image are the words: Summer Essentials – Five Favorites for Pool-side Fun!

  • Everyone’s Most Important Accessory: SUNBLOCK!
Image is of a spray on sunblock bottle: New Look Aveeno Active Naturals HydroSport. SPF 30.

We all know how important skin protection is now. I personally prefer Aveeno sunblocks and lotions because most other types cause skin reactions for me – my skin tends to be sensitive. If I can find a higher SPF, I will use it for sure, but the spray-on kind is easy to use and it means we actually use it. And since my partner has red in his hair, he burns easily so we reapply often!

  • My Partner’s Favorite: SNACKS!
Image of three bags of green and white. The brand says Joel's Traditional Homegrown Meats. 100% Grass-FedBeef Jerky.

This is just an example. Our pool has a bar where you can get snacks and drinks, but if I plan ahead, I like to bring things that are portable and don’t spoil like this beef jerky. I also like to bring fruit, strawberries or watermelon. And I would carry trail mix for emergency hanger.

  • A Book! Either on Kindle or in paper.
image is of a refurbished Kindle Paperwhite with a prologue up on the screen.

I read a lot in the summer. My favorite thing for as long as I can remember is to sit by the pool, well-slathered in sunscreen, and read a book until the sun starts to set. I don’t do it nearly as often anymore, but even now that I’m all grown up, my favorite books are science-fiction fantasy and getting lost in other worlds. I’ll share what I’m currently reading below.

  • A Cover-Up!
Side by side images of a long haired brunette in a black coverup dress on the left, and the same person in a white coverup dress on the right.

I think this long dress-like coverup is a cute option! When I grew up in Colorado, all coverups were either made out of terry-cloth or polar fleece because you could never tell if it was going to be freezing and windy or dry and 95.

Now that I live somewhere with humidity – and have ever since I moved away from Colorado – I have learned that you want your coverup to be lightweight, breathable, and airy. Terrycloth is only going to make you sweat!

  • A good Facial Cleanser for Afterwards.
image of the Aveeno Active Naturals ultra-calming makeup removing wipes package that has a plastic resealable top.

These Aveeno makeup removing wipes are a great option to keep in your pool bag for removing the sunblock, chlorine, and sweat immediately after your time in the pool. The first thing I do before I leave is go wipe all that stuff off my face, because if I don’t, I run the risk of getting a breakout.

My other favorite wipes are AcneFree Oil-Free Towelettes, but they seem to be really difficult to find these days. Aveeno is the only other thing I’ve been able to use without major skin reactions.

  • What I’m Currently Reading!

I just started the 9th book in the Kris Longknife series by Mike Shepherd. The title is Redoubtable. I have enjoyed the series so far, as it is my favorite kind of science fiction. This one is a space exploration series, which means that both my partner and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because it has enough character development, relationship and plot points about people – and he loves it because it’s all about expansion and pioneering space (or pirating as the case may be.)

What is your current pool-side read? Do you have a favorite book you read every summer? Let me know in the comments!

❤ Always, J

Summer Popsicles

Rose Crush and Orange Cream

image description: photo of filled pink popsicle molds and a box that says ‘Betchsicles’ on it.

Summer used to be such a simple time. I know every adult looks back on their childhood – and especially the summers – and thinks that it was such a different time then. But I think that’s a true reflection of our times!

I never had a lot of friends growing up, but summer for me was always full of sunscreen, beach towels, chapter books, and chorine. Even when I grew up and got my first job, it was still full of all these things because I was a lifeguard.

The best thing on those hot, humid days of summer was reaching in the freezer and pulling out a popsicle. It was even better if you could combine that with the sun-filled taste of a freshly blended Orange Julius Original.

That’s where I got the first idea for these popsicles. I’ve been making my own Juliuses at home for a long time. So that recipe and these fun popsicle molds that I uncovered last winter when I organized my house sparked a creation. Yum.

Orange Cream Popsicles

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients
1/2 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of cold water
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions
Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
(If you’re really particular about texture, use a stick blender).
Pour into Betchsicles molds (or any popsicle molds).
Freeze overnight.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a Baltimore blog without a recipe for a mimosa type popsicle.

This is a play on mimosa or an orange crush with Rose. Definitely more alcohol than anything else. Be aware!

Rose Crush Popsicles

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients
1/2 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of your favorite Rose.

Instructions
Combine the orange juice and water first, mix well.
Then add the wine.
Pour your slurry into the popsicle molds.
Freeze overnight.

These were a fun treat for Memorial Day.

It’s always fun to try other liquors or mix-ins! Let me know what you come up with!

❤ Always, J