Favorite Things To Do In Denver in the Spring

Spring is finally here and it’s one of my favorite seasons in Colorado. I love seeing the landscape come back to life, seemingly more vibrant each year. When I think of my favorite Spring time rituals there are two that immediately come to mind that I think are must-do things this time of year in Denver.

Denver Botanic Gardens

I’m one of those people that desperately wants to be a plant person, but the sad reality is I’m really not good with plants. That’s definitely a contributing factor in my love for the Denver Botanic Gardens, but I also think most people would enjoy it. It’s such a stunning and relaxing place to walk around. In my opinion the most beautiful time to visit the gardens is in the month of May. Tickets are $15 per adult. I suggest planning on spending a half day there.

Picnic Season

One of my favorite dates that I look forward to every year, is a picnic date. It’s become a tradition with my husband. As soon as the weather is regularly pleasant, we celebrate by going on a picnic date. I don’t live in Denver proper, so we go on our picnics in Boulder. My favorite spots in Boulder for a picnic are Chautauqua Park, and just up Flagstaff Road from Chautauqua Park is Panorama Point which is also a great picnic spot. Both of these picnic spots do have tables but it could be hard to snag one, so make sure to pack a picnic blanket. If you want a great picnic spot in Denver then I suggest Sloan Lake or Washington Park.

Favorite Spring & Summer Perfumes

I love perfumes that fall into the clean/fresh scent category so I tend to love perfumes best suited for Spring and Summer. Below are my current favorite Spring and Summer Perfumes.

Light Blue Italian Love from Dolce and Gabbana To me this smells like a warm day at the Boboli Gardens. It smells like lemons, cypress trees, and fresh air.

Aqua Neroli by Clean Reserve I know some people hate the smell of sunscreen, but I personally love it. This is like a sophisticated sunscreen scent. It has depth to it and a little sweetness to really distinguish it from smelling like actual sunscreen.

Orange Blossom by Jo Malone I grew up in a place that had a lot of orange trees so this is a very nostalgic scent to me. It truly smells like orange blossoms. There’s not a whole lot of depth to it so you might want to layer it. I read somewhere that claimed Princess Kate wears this perfume. If it’s good enough for Kate, it’s good enough for me.

Rain by Clean Reserve This is the ultimate fresh scent to me. It smells like you’re at a luxurious resort, you just got out of the most relaxing shower, and you’re sipping on spa water. I get compliment on this almost every time I wear it.

Spring TBR

Each season I pick a handful of books I’ve been wanting to read and set a goal to read them before the end of the season. Below is everything on my Spring to-be-read list. I’ve had some extra time on my hands recently, so I’m tracking ahead which means I’ve already finished a few of these. For the ones I have finished, I’ll give a review.

Me: Elton John by Elton John

Photo and Synopsis from Amazon.com

Although I wouldn’t say I dislike Elton John’s music, I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a fan. Outside of “Tiny Dancer” (which TBH I only know because Almost Famous is one of my favorite movies) I couldn’t name any of his songs. That being said, you don’t have to love his music to enjoy his book. I found it really raw and I love his sense of humor. The book feels a bit like a train of thought sometimes which for me, made it kind of difficult to follow at times and it is a pretty lengthy book. Some trigger warnings for this book include substance abuse, attempted suicide, body image issues (including disordered eating), and abusive relationships.

Come Fly The World by Julia Cooke

Photo and Synopsis from Amazon.com

I just started this book last night so I don’t have a review for it yet.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Synopsis and Photo from Amazon.com

This book definitely had me hooked but I personally feel it is a bit overhyped. I’ve heard a lot of people on social media claim this to be their favorite book of all time and I don’t understand how, and TBH find that a bit concerning (keep in mind romance is not my favorite although it feels a bit twisted to call this true romance). It felt like this was written by a teenager that often times romanticized abuse. Parts of the book felt like the characters were extremely immature for their age and impulsive. I really hated that the characters virtue signaled at times, it felt really cringey. Trigger warnings for this book include domestic violence, abusive relationships, attempted rape, and death (adult and child).

Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Tsujimura Mizuki

Photo and Synopsis from goodreads.com

This is one of the books I have not read yet so I don’t have a review.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Photo and Synopsis from Amazon.com

I really loved this book. In fact, it might be my favorite romance. The premise was different from any other romance I have read. I really loved the characters in it. The main characters are the type of characters that are admirable and you would want to be friends with in real life. There were also so many wholesome and heartwarming moments in it. Trigger warnings include abuse (including stalking). The trigger warning is applicable to a character that is working through it in a really healthy manner though and overall a lighthearted book.

Easter Décor 2023

Easter is just a couple of weeks away, so now is the time to put the finishing touches on your Easter décor. I personally don’t like to decorate for Easter every year, and I like to keep it low key when I do. I love the pastels of Easter decorations but I also want the decorations to fit in with my home décor. Below are some decorations that I think will fit in seamlessly with any home décor style.

Ceramic Basket Filler for Basket Wreath Bunny Candle Woven Bunny Bunny Ear Napkin Ring

Spring Accessories

Tory Burch Bucket Bag My Tory Burch bucket bag is one of my most used handbags. I love the fun ombre on this one and the colors are perfect for Spring.

Gucci Twill I bought this Gucci Twill a few years ago and I get so much use out of it in the Spring. I like to wrap it around hats and tie it into a bow on handbags. You can also wrap a headband with it or tie it around a ponytail.

Sunglasses Sunglasses are necessary all year but I like these ones specifically for Spring because they’re still a neutral but they’re a softer color which I tend to gravitate towards more in the Spring.

Hat I’m not quite ready for straw hats yet this time of year so I tend to reach for lighter color wool hats. This is one of my favorite brands for hats because they come in different sizes and they’re great quality.

Pearl Bag I just recently bought this bag in the white pearl color which you could definitely wear in the Spring but I think the Petal color would be perfect this time of year.

Best Winter Day Trips In Southern California

I grew up in the Inland Empire in Southern California. If you’ve heard of the Inland Empire, then you probably know it’s often referred to as the “armpit of California”. It’s not beautiful, and often trashy, but it’s very centrally located which meant I spent a lot of time exploring the surrounding areas. Below are my favorite day trips during the Winter in southern California.

Palm Springs

Left from Palm Spring Aerial Tram Right from Kayak

Most of my extended family lives in Palm Springs, so I’ve spent a lot of time there. It’s painfully hot during the Summer but mild during the Winter. Palm Springs is often known for the golfing, but there’s lots to do there. I recommend checking out some of the vintage shopping and restaurants along the 111 in downtown Palm Springs. If you want a more winter feeling getaway then I suggest taking the Palm Spring Aerial Tram. It offers stunning views and at the top you can hike, snowshoe, or just take in the scenery at one of the restaurants.

Big Bear

Photo from Big Bear Mountain Resort

Big Bear is home to a ski resort but also offers winter activities like snowshoeing and tubing. It also has a small walkable downtown area.

Joshua Tree National Park

Photo from Visit California

Joshua Tree is near Palm Springs and similar in that it’s miserably hot in the Summer but mild during the Winter. Joshua Tree has trails for any hiking level. Since we are talking about day trips here, I suggest the Arch Rock Trail, since it’s only 1.4 miles. Since it’s a short hike, you’ll be able to fit in seeing the Cholla Cactus Garden Trail which is less than a mile loop but packed with beautiful scenery that is iconic to Joshua Tree.


Photo from Visit California

Temecula is sort of known for being the little Napa of southern California. It has tons of great wineries and various ways to explore them. I think taking the Cable Car Wine Tour would be the most unique and charming way to explore wineries in Temecula. If you are like me, and not into wine, it’s still a beautiful place to visit. There are also activities that don’t involve wine, like fantastic spas, shopping in downtown, and biking trails.

Winter to Spring Transition Outfits

Spring is just around the corner and here in Colorado we’ve had a few Spring feeling days already. As the weather turns from Winter to Spring those days that feel very in between can be difficult to dress for. During seasonal transition periods I recommend dressing in current or previous season appropriate items (in this case Winter items) but in upcoming season colors (in this case Spring colors). I also suggest layers and light sweaters this time of year. Below are some Winter to Spring transition outfit ideas.

Tee Blazer (I’ve tried this blazer on in person and it looks more blue/mint color in person) Jeans Shoes

Jeans Sweater Earrings Shoes

Sweater Dress Scarf Belt Shoes

Inception Cookies

The cookie recipe below is truly heaven on earth and everyone I’ve made it for has asked for the recipe. My husband says these are the best cookies he has ever had. This recipe was inspired by three of my favorite cookie recipes. Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person taught me so much about baking. I think my baking went from a 7/10 to a 9/10 from everything I learned in that cookbook. One of the skills it taught me was browning butter and how much it elevates baking. I’d say in about half of the desserts I make now, I brown the butter the recipe calls for. It adds so much dimension in flavor.

Laura In The Kitchen’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe calls for Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix which I now use in almost every cookie recipe I make. It doesn’t impact the flavor as much as it impacts the texture of cookies. By adding instant vanilla pudding mix, you get a gooey cookie on the inside but the bottoms and edges get the delicious, crunchy, golden brown color. As someone that bakes at a high altitude, this has made the biggest difference in the shape of my cookies. It’s difficult to bake a cookie at my altitude (4,984 ft) without it coming out flat. The pudding mix really helps the cookie maintain some height.

Lastly, this recipe was also inspired by Stephanie’s Sweet Treats Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. This recipe is really unique because it calls for finely blended oreos that act almost as part of the flour. It’s creates and over the top decadent cookie.


2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Finely Blended Oreo Crumbs

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/3 Cup White Granulated Sugar

1/4 Cup Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

2 Sticks Unsalted Buter

2 Eggs, Room Temperature

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 Cup Oreo Pieces

1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips


Set aside a medium, heat proof bowl filled halfway with ice. In a small saucepan, melt the 2 sticks of unsalted butter over medium low to medium heat. Use a heat proof spatula to stir constantly, scraping the sides and bottom of pan while stirring. The butter will begin to foam and you will see the fat solids begin to separate. The fat solids will begin to turn a caramel color and the butter will start to smell nutty, that’s when you know the butter has browned (this will take about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove from heat immediately and place in the bowl of ice to cool to room temperature.

Once the butter has reached room temperature (it doesn’t need to completely solidify again), use a stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed to cream the butter with 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar (this will take about a minute). Add the 2 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla extract and continue to blend for another couple of minutes.

Use a food processor to finely blend Oreos. This will take about 5 to 7 Oreos to make 1/2 cup. In a bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup of finely blended Oreos, 2 cups all purpose flour, 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer and blend until well combined. Mix in the 3/4 cup Oreo pieces, 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Use a 2-ounce cookie scoop to form the cookie dough into balls and place on a baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before serving.


The brown butter can be made the day before and cooled in the regrigerator.

If you want extra decadent cookies, you can also scrape out the inside of 1 vanilla bean pod and add.

I always like to have cookie dough in the freezer, for freshly baked cookies at any time. I put the cookie dough into a freezer safe zip lock bag after it has cooled in the refrigerator.