hello, winter


hello, winter | observant nomad

Colorado has been quite gorgeous lately. Temperatures reaching the 60s and the sun shining almost everyday make it very enjoyable to be outside. And even though I hate to admit it, I’m really craving some snow.

I want a great snow storm to drop on Denver and force me to don my cozy knee-high socks and whip up some boozy hot cocoa for a long day of Netflix. We’re suppose to get a snow storm on Sunday – so here’s me crossing my fingers. Besides forced hermit behaviors, here are some other things I’m looking forward to this winter:

baking cookies – mostly chewy molasses cookies |  christmas at a cabin this year (eee!) |  long-standing holiday traditions | game nights with friends | my birthday & a trip to black hawk | opening presents | thick knit socks | snow days | boozy hot cocoa | snowball fights | getting cozy with a good book | a girls winter trip to the mountains | the crackling of a fireplace | snowshoeing | making gifts for loved ones | decorating the tree | new years! | sledding | christmas movies


bow bridge at central park by vivienne gucwa / peanut butter nutella hot chocolate by cafe delites / christmas tree traditions by susie theodorou / snowflake pepper cookies by fork and flower / hand rolling pin from herriott grace / handmade holiday woodland wrapping by odessa may society / chunky knit ribbed knee-high socks from urban outfitters


still here


observant nomad | still here

original image via flickr

I’m still here, I promise. It’s been a few days since I’ve popped in to say something or give you an update on what’s going on in my little corner of the world lately. I’ve even been MIA on Instagram lately. Sad face.

But as you know life happens and time disappears all too quickly before we’re able to fit everything in. With the holidays in full swing I’ve been spending time with family, finishing some crazy deadlines at work, and doing all the holiday biz that comes with having a 9-5.

Honestly the holidays are some of the best times to have a day job. You get to go to company parties (and yes they’re as crazy as people think) enjoy holiday cookie exchanges, Secret Santas, white elephant gifts, and holiday happy hours. But besides the fun of the 9-5, there’s also a ridiculous amount of work going on right now as well. Getting home at 8pm everyday is getting a little exhausting to say the least.

Now after the holidays and work dies down a bit, I’ll have a lot more to show you. I’m working with several freelance clients right now and all of the projects are very exciting! Besides work, I’m planning a few new features on the blog, to kick off the new year. So look forward to that!

With that I hope everyone had a great turkey day and is planning on something fun and relaxing for the upcoming holidays. Me? My mom is renting a cabin in the mountains for Christmas. It’s going to be so snowy, cozy, and cute. I can’t wait!


office supplies


observant nomad | office supplies

Lately, I’ve been doing a little rearranging around the house. And last weekend I got an official home office area finally set up. I know, I know, it sounds crazy. Especially since I’ve been doing freelance on the side for almost two years, not to mention the many hours of agency work I’ve had to do after hours. So I’m pretty happy that I’ve finally made the choice to set up a small little nook to work in.

Besides the basics, there are some things I’ve had my eyes on to complete the little set up. I’m on the lookout for a nice set of organizational drawers to keep my files and items all put together, as well as some pretty office supplies to keep near by. Plus I’m dreaming about investing in a wonderful leather messenger bag for my laptop, on the days when I’d rather work at a coffee shop than at home.


M344 Office Chair in White and Gold by Meelano | The Dover Messenger from Madewell | Poppin White Tape Dispenser from Staples | Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley | Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn K. Glei | ALEX Drawer Unit in White from Ikea | RANARP Work Lamp in White from Ikea | Fatima Dress Making Scissors in Gold on Amazon | PANTONE Plus Series Color Bridge Guide Set on Amazon


adventurous accounts : rachel ridings


observant nomad | adventurous accounts : rachel ridings

Adventurous Accounts is a semi-regular feature that gathers the experiences from adventurers to learn what travel has meant to them. My good friend Rachel has found herself in the strange, beautiful, unique and sometimes difficult position of traveling a ton lately. And during her travels, she finds herself spending a lot of time on her own. So I asked her to share with us a little bit about her experiences and how seeing the world has shaped her. 

First off, thanks for sharing your experiences! Now tell me, what’s your favorite kinds of trip? Solo, family, significant other, or gal pals?
Almost all of my travel has been by myself. My boyfriend is a touring musician, so I’ve spent a ton of time flying around the world to see him for a few days and then I go off on my own. I think having a travel buddy would be my ideal way of traveling though. When you have a friend to go with you feed off each other’s bravery and do more. When I travel alone I force myself to get out and have fun, but I think shared experiences are the most lasting ones and the ones I cherish the most.

How did you inherit the ‘travel bug’?
Honestly, I didn’t. My family has never been on a single vacation. It’s definitely something I found all on my own. I think I’ve never been one to settle for the mundane and that characteristic has driven me to being one of the most avid travelers I know!

What motivates you to get out into the big blue yonder?
Weirdly enough, photography and blogging have really motivated me. Seeing my boyfriend is another big one that’s unique to my situation. I’m just that kind of person though; I really can’t sit still for long.

observant nomad | adventurous accounts : rachel ridings

How much planning do you do before you go?
Depends on the trip, but for big ones or ones where I go alone, I do quite a bit. I book all transportation tickets and sleeping accommodations before leaving and bring two copies of every ticket. I always leave time for unplanned exploring too. It’s good to take care of the essentials before leaving though, especially when you’re on a budget.

So, what are some ways you balance touristy things with an ‘authentic’ feeling trip?
I think it all comes down to being open to new people. I have so many examples of this. In Amsterdam I met some Australian girls in my hostel. We signed up to go on a very touristy bar crawl and ended up making good friends with our tour guide. At the end of our tour he asked us if we wanted to see “real” Amsterdam and we ended up in some outrageous goth club until 8am away from all the tourists.

Another good one happened in NYC, I went out in the middle of a snowstorm for some ramen. I was the only person in the whole restaurant until a pair of middle-aged British investment bankers came in and asked to buy me a drink. One drink turned into the three of us hopping around all of NYC together. They took me out for a 5-star dinner and paid for my cab back to my hotel. Use your instincts and be smart, but don’t avoid adventure out of fear!

observant nomad | adventurous accounts : rachel ridings

observant nomad | adventurous accounts : rachel ridings

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life lately


observant nomad | life lately 06 park

observant nomad | life lately 06 beer

observant nomad | life lately 06 art

observant nomad | life lately 06

Morning my friends, thought I’d drop in to give you a little glimpse into my life lately…

01 Before the cold front that dropped in last week, the weather around here has been gorgeous. It was sunny, cool, and perfect for bike rides. So for the first time in a while I got back on my bike and took a short 10-mile ride around town. I threw on my new favorite podcast, Serial, and listened to a few episodes during the ride. I realized how much I missed all the training I was doing for my triathlon last year, and promptly ran home to stock up on warm workout clothing for the winter. Don’t call it a comeback…?

02 Rus has been gone for most of October doing what he loves the most, hunting. We’re a bit of an odd couple, and that’s the way we like it. So while he’s been doing man-things, I’ve been spending a lot more time with my girls. Lunches at The Source. Drinks at Crooked Stave. And happy hours here or there. Some friends and I even got all dressed up for Halloween and went on some brewery tours in Fort Collins. We had a blast! I’ve been giving myself a lot more permission to get out there and stop working so much. We all need balance in life, and it’s something I’ve been working harder at.

03 My amazingly talented friend Rachel is rocking her new gig, the design manager at the MCA of Denver. They had a huge art exhibition opening for Mark Motherbaugh, called Myopia, and I was able to attend the strange and amazing show. She was kind enough to invite me and I brought along a new Denver arrival, Cassie from The Veda House. I’ve had a lot of fun showing Cassie around Denver and seeing her view of my hometown. I feel like a fish in water since I grew up here, so I can’t always see it from the outside. Denver’s really exploding right now and going through a renaissance culturally. New restaurants, shops, breweries, and small businesses are opening everyday and it’s been really exciting to see old neighborhoods really evolve.

That’s it for now. If you’d like to see more of my life as it happens, follow me on Instagram @observantnomad