Holiday Gift Ideas: Powder & Jade Boulder, Colo. Etsy Shop

Disclaimer: I was generously given one custom necklace in exchange for a review. However, the opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. 

I love Etsy. I love shopping local. So, I get super excited when I can shop local on Etsy and support passionate and talented small business owners in my own backyard!

Just a few weeks after Caden was born I received a sweet email from Katie of the Powder & Jade jewelry shop on Etsy (based just up the road in Boulder, Colo.). Powder & Jade was created in 2013 by a husband and wife team who first started making jewelry in college as a hobby. Katie generously offered to send me a piece of my choice in order to let my readers know more about their unique and very affordable items just in time for holiday shopping.

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Camping with a Toddler


First Anderson family camping picture.

We did it. Camping with a toddler, check!

Albeit car camping without limits on what we could pack “just in case,” I am pretty proud of myself for rolling with it even though I was crazy nervous about the insane weather we’ve been having in Colorado. Let’s just say, thank goodness one of us (Mike) kept their head on straight in the days and hours leading up to the adventure.

I searched the Internet like a crazy person leading up to the trip to make sure I was packing all the right things. Again, we got to pack in a station wagon with a pod on top…for 2 nights. We looked a bit neurotic I’m sure.


Rylan, almost 23 months, was all grins for his first full day of camping.

If your summer plans include a toddler and a campground, here are my car camping suggestions. If (and that’s a big IF) we get brave enough to do a backpack trek with Rylan I may need a Xanax before trying to pack. Just sayin’…

Toddler Car Camping Checklist

  • Board the dog (if yours barks non stop and is scared of thunderstorms/would keep the entire tent awake)
  • Load up the pack n’ play – just do it and thank me later
  • Stash more diapers than you think you’ll need
  • Bring (but hide) a special treat to keep him/her quiet at 6:45 a.m. when everyone else you are camping with is still asleep (i.e., charged iPad with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I dare you to judge)
  • Tons of snacks
  • Hand sanitizers – yes, plural
  • A good natural bug spray or one you make at home. And of course, I had all of my essential oils with me, and mainly used Purification for a few bug bites, DiGize for post-s’mores stomach aches and Peace & Calming to help me fall asleep
  • Only a few toys – which will get ignored for sticks and rocks
  • Numerous blankets if there is any chance of it getting cold at night + a warm sleep sack if they still use one. We absolutely love the Baby Deedee Sleep Nest and bought it a size larger just so he could have it for this trip
  • Tight layers for under warm PJs, gloves, warm boots and a warm hat – unless you are confident it will not get cold at night
  • Wine – for mama
  • A modified schedule – nap was a must but we were flexible on timing. Same for bedtime – he stretched much later than normal but had such a blast watching the fire
  • Friends – but only if they have a sense of humor

Now, go forth a book a campground! Toddler squeals and grins (and yes, meltdowns) in the great outdoors await.

Maternity Photos

We are on the final countdown to my 39 week induction next Tuesday, July 23, at 10 p.m. (unless Sprout has earlier plans). Knowing that this initial journey into motherhood is almost over, I am thankful for the people who pushed me to get maternity photos done. I haven’t kept it a secret that embracing all the physical changes of pregnancy has not been easy for me, so naturally I was nervous to have dozens of photos at the 8+ month mark.

But this moment in time has been so special and surreal, and I know one day Sprout will think it is pretty neat – or so I hope – to see what mom and dad looked like when we were waiting for the big arrival of our precious little one.

A tremendous thank you to Sarah Hill of Sarah Hill Photography for her beautiful work. She made me feel at ease and I can’t say enough about how much I love what she captured. For all my Colorado friends, I highly recommend following Sarah on Facebook to see her fun and creative work–from maternity and babies to weddings and boudoir!

Sarah, I will be forever grateful. Thank you.


Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

First 30 Days of 30: Day Seventeen

Source: via Josh on Pinterest


Colorado is a playground. Ski, climb, hike, camp, drive, boat…we have everything except an ocean. Today’s theme is all about my Colorado Bucket List.

Through the years I hope to…

Explore summer and winter activities in Steamboat Springs, Durango and Crested Butte

Get back to Telluride – at least once for skiing and once for a summer music festival

Experience how the “other half” lives and stay at The Little Nell in Aspen and Viceroy in Snowmass

Indulge at the spa at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and see Pikes Peak

Go on a yurt trip

Hike/camp at Maroon Bells

Attend the Aspen Food & Wine festival

Get sandy in the Great Sand Dunes

Attend a concert at Red Rocks (I’ve only been once, and it was back in college!)

Go River Rafting

Run the Bolder Boulder

Attend a football game at Mile High, preferably when the Chargers are in town

Colorado friends, what else needs to be added to this list?!

First 30 Days of 30: Day Three

I’m going to go rogue from Lindsay M’s list and share a “30th First” as my day three series post. As you read this I am somewhere in the vast Colorado wilderness on my first true backpack camping trip. What does this mean? Well, it means that on my back I am carrying one change of clothes, bags of dehydrated food, toilet paper, all of my own trash, bear bags, and bottle of wine. Yes, I brought a bottle of wine despite the extra weight it puts in the pack. Don’t judge me.


I have begged Mike to take me backpacking since we moved to Colorado 2+ years ago but as our departure time approaches, I am more and more nervous. Combine that with a 50% chance of rain and I almost decided to stay behind…

Now accepting bets on whether or not I’ll be doing more backpacking in the future!

Quandary Peak Adventure

Two fourteeners in two weeks. Yep, that’s how Mike and I roll. This past weekend we spent Saturday in Denver before heading up into the mountains to sleep in Breckenridge and prep for Quandary Peak. Yes, it’s another “easy” fourteener according to the books, but I’m sorry, hiking much above 12,500 feet isn’t that “easy.”

Despite my ever-increasing gym schedule I still find it hard to catch my breath by 13,000 feet and have to take quick breaks in regular intervals. Looking over certain ridges and getting a sense of the exposure (i.e., tumble down a rock field potential) is also eerie, and it can mess with your head for sure. I’ll never have a major mountain climb in my sights, that’s a fact.

As with the other two we’ve done, I hate our decision for most of the ascent and feel so proud and accomplished all the way down and for the rest of the week. By 12:30pm Sunday we had sat atop a peak rising 14,000 feet above sea level and hiked for nearly six hours round trip. I’d say that’s a good Sunday. Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them!

Anniversary Recap in Pictures

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary for what felt like a week! Nothing wrong with that, right? What started with flowers and dinner on our actual anniversary (Tuesday, May 29) culminated with an amazing stay at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder – where were were married – and a decadent dinner at Frasca Food & Wine. We lazed around the hotel, enjoyed the pool and hot tub and treated ourselves to plenty of champagne. By Sunday morning I declared the one day St. Julien escape a must-budget item for every anniversary possible!

Flowers from Mike to resemble my wedding bouquet


Quick Boulder hike before storms rolled in

Room with a view

Laying around in robes, eating cupcakes from our wedding bakery

Still snacking on sweet treat when we got home, paired with fruit to try and detox a little from the weekend gluttony

If you are ever in Boulder, splurge and stay at the St. Julien. Or eat multiple courses at Frasca. Or save for a few months and do both! Be sure to also save some room for Tee and Cakes sweets. I promise you won’t regret it.

Do you have any favorite anniversary celebration traditions?

Welcome Summer: Colorado Camping Trip

Mike did a ton of prep to plan the perfect Memorial Day camping weekend to kick off summer in Colorado. We hope to fit in a lot more camping trips than last summer and I can’t wait. Going without a shower or running water isn’t always easy as a female, but I love being away from technology and in touch with the amazing state we call home. Many campgrounds, just under two hours from our home near downtown Denver, allow us to be worlds away with no cell service, sleeping under a sky full of stars every night. Life is good in Colorado.

In addition to a nice three mile Saturday afternoon hike (chronicled by the pictures above….yes, my husband is wearing an Indiana Jones hat and holding a knife in his mouth), we hiked our second fourteener on Sunday. Colorado has approx. 53 fourteener peaks total, meaning the summit is above 14,000 feet. Not all are accessible to novice or intermediate hikers and climbers but we plan to climb as many of the class one and two peaks as possible.

On Sunday Mt. Bierstadt was in our sights and we set out just before 8am, which is actually a pretty late start. The trek was about eight miles round trip which doesn’t sound like much, but much past 12,000 feet and catching your breath becomes very difficult. Hiking and scrambling at that altitude is a real test of your endurance and mental strength. When we were at the top I had to battle a minor panic attack after looking over the edge…there was absolutely nothing off the one side of the peak between us and a 14,000 foot fall. Scary.

Unfortunately (and kind of my luck) we asked someone to take our picture at the top and didn’t check to see if it worked because of how cold and windy conditions were at the summit. I wanted to get the heck down. In short, the guy apparently didn’t know how to use a point-and-shoot digital camera and we have no proof of being at the top. But trust me, we made it. And, the best part? Kona did all 3,000 feet/eight miles with us too! He is turning out to be quite the mountain pup.

How will you get outdoors this summer?

Friday’s Pin of the Week: Gone Camping

Source: via Sunset on Pinterest


Our camping setup will look nothing like this (I’ve actually just been informed of the shower – or lack of – situation and questionable “toilet” options). But despite my panic of where I will wash up in the morning I am insanely excited to go off the grid and unplug this Memorial Day weekend. If my phone happens to work, I am giving it to Mike so that all temptations to check in and stay connected are hindered by him making fun of my Facebook addiction.

Our actual one year wedding anniversary is on Tuesday because of the leap year, but this entire weekend holds a very special place in our hearts. While enjoying our gorgeous state I’ll also be able to sit back and quietly reflect on what an amazing weekend Memorial Day weekend of 2011 was for our friends and family.

Into the Rocky Mountains we go!

The Front Porch

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley (you know, where “valley girls” are from) we never used our front porches much. I really cannot think of anyone on my parent’s block who sits out there on a warm summer night. Everyone is safely tucked away in backyards. All of LA isn’t like that, it’s just the experience I had as a kid.

So imagine my shock when we moved to the Highlands area of Denver and front porches are as, if not more, important than backyards. Parties spill out from kitchens and living rooms onto the front porch. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons you see parents watching little ones play in the front yard while sipping beer and wine from where…the porch of course! I absolutely love the friendly neighborhood culture it creates. Furthermore, money is tight for tackling our monster of a completely bare backyard, so sprucing up our porch seems like a much more realistic endeavor. In fact, we’ve already made great progress by taking advantage of six pots left behind by the former owners!

Given my recent front porch obsession (which is keeping me slightly distracted from how much I want to find a filing cabinet to complete the office and two area rugs to “complete” our upstairs living/dining rooms) I was excited when the June issue of This Old House had several features on outdoor spaces, including porches. When you own a home built in 1928 this magazine is a must have and typically, the products that are recommended are very nice without being ridiculous on the budget meter.

A few finds that got my creative juices flowing included adding a pop of color with two bright chairs like these vintage-looking aluminum seats. We already have two hooks for a porch swing so I want something classic and Americana in nature, to eventually match the color scheme we hope to paint the trim when we find the cash.  This white swing would work just fine.

Back to adding color, I love the thought of hanging a few birdhouses–Anthropologie has some gorgeous Brush Flick Birdhouses online and the latest catalog. Finally, This Old House has some killer ideas for growing fruits and vegetables in pots. Since we won’t be able to get a garden area built in the backyard this year I’d love to use a tiered corner plant stand out front (away from Kona) to try my hand at a few fruits/vegetables that don’t require tons of direct sun.

There is much to do, and even more money to save, but we’re savoring every moment!

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