Travel Guide: What I Wore & Things to Do In Boulder, Colorado

BOULDER, COLORADO

Hotel Boulderado’s historic stained-glass ceiling lobby.

Hotel Boulderado’s historic stained-glass ceiling lobby.

Background: I’ve actually lived in Boulder, Colorado before, so it was a treat to be invited back by the historic Boulderado Hotel for a stay recently. You can read my full feature on that adventure here. Below I’ve also offered other options for things to do in the area in case you want to explore the city a little more than I did on my last stay. My outfits and restaurant choices below are featured strictly from my Boulderado stay. If you’d like other eating or entertainment recommendations for Boulder, send me a message on Instagram.

Hotel Boulderado’s   Historic King Suite   features victorian-era decor throughout.

Hotel Boulderado’s Historic King Suite features victorian-era decor throughout.

What I Wore: Outfit one is a white dress like this one from Banana Republic. I love their line because they offer petite sizing and classic looks. My shoes are throwback Jessica Simpson patent white pumps that I’ve had for a couple of years. Browse pumps like mine here. I wore a pair of pearls to complete this classic look.

Outfit two is a vintage 60s gogo-style cutout floral print dress worn with black Jellypop Mozart Wedges (a $13 steal right now for summer!) and a pair of pink tassel bow earrings. I couldn’t find my exact earrings (bought them about a year ago) but browse similar styles here.

Hotel Boulderado has a mix of historic and modern decor with lush, fun furniture pieces on every floor.

Hotel Boulderado has a mix of historic and modern decor with lush, fun furniture pieces on every floor.

What I Did: You can see much of Boulder in just one day. I recommend hiking Boulder’s beautiful Chautauqua area near the Flatirons, wandering the downtown shopping district Pearl Street Mall, checking out University of Colorado at Boulder’s incredible campus, walking the downtown Boulder Creek path, snagging some fresh produce at the Boulder County Farmer’s Market, or taking a Celestial Seasonings tea tour (the Peppermint room is my favorite part!).

waking up at hotel boulderado with their plush bathrobes and other luxury amenities.

waking up at hotel boulderado with their plush bathrobes and other luxury amenities.

What I Ate: I stopped for a glass of Cabernet at Boulderado’s The Corner Bar before dining at the farm-to-table fresh Spruce Farm & Fish restaurant for dinner. At Spruce, I sampled the Blue Crab Cakes appetizer (delightful and paired with citrus), the Sweet Pea & Mint Linguini (phenomenally fresh with a soft poached egg and delectable English peas), and the Crème Brûlée (a tasty rich custard with fresh berries and a perfectly caramelized top). It was a seriously incredible meal.

After dinner, I headed downstairs to the hotel’s speakeasy, License No. 1, where I sipped one of the bar’s specialty cocktails, the Boulder Mule. Served in a copper mug, the delightfully refreshing drink is a combination of vodka, St. George pear liqueur, house ginger cordial, and vanilla ginger syrup perfect for summer. License No. 1 has an entire book of custom cocktails, some spirit-heavy; others floral focused or sweet. You can read more about my wining and dining adventures on this trip here.

The historic check-in area at Hotel Boulderado.

The historic check-in area at Hotel Boulderado.

Where I Stayed: In the Historic King Suite at Hotel Boulderado. This suite features Victorian-era decor, a spacious sitting area with amenities like fresh spring water, and plush Boca bathrobes perfect for winding down or starting your day. The floral wallpaper, iron headboard, and soft colors of the room add to the suite’s beautiful decor details while the room’s vintage desk area allowed me to get some much needed work done before exploring the rest of my stay. Hotel Boulderado was the first luxury hotel built in Boulder, Colorado and it remains one of the top places to stay in the city. Learn more about it in my full feature on Hotel Boulderado here.

See more of my travel guides here and make sure to connect with me on Instagram!

Travel Guide: What I Wore & Things to Do In Cologne, Germany

COLOGNE, GERMANY

Aboard a   KD Rhine     cruise.

Aboard a KD Rhine cruise.

What I Wore: These black H&M Crêped Print Pants with a white crop top like this one, and these AMAZING Eurosoft Rayelle Wedge Sandals. I wore a vintage Garage Bomber Jacket for the water cruise since it can be breezy on the river, but I’d recommend any of their jackets.

What I Did: Saw the Koelner Dom, took a Rhine River boat tour with KD Rhine, and explored the Cologne shopping district. I was here for less than 24 hours so this is all I managed to fit in!

What I Ate: Funkhaus Cafe had a seriously delectable bread and cheese breakfast plate. I liked it so much I had it twice- once when I arrived in Cologne and once before I left for the train the next morning. It’s very close to the Cologne train station and Koelner Dom, so it’s a convenient eatery. If you can snag a table outside, it’s great for people-watching too!

I had dinner at the Brauhaus Reissdorf, which was right across from where I stayed in Cologne. It poured rain during our dinner, but we sat on a covered outdoor patio with brews and had a blast. The staff were very friendly and helped me practice ordering my dinner in German becuase they wanted to and not because I asked. It was a great, local, no-frills joint.

At the 70s style flat.

At the 70s style flat.

Where I Stayed: Benno’s Stylish Attic in the Center of Cologne Airbnb- Benno’s fantastic apartment has a spacious bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen. Benno is in the film industry and his apartment is full of fun film relics and 70s-era styles. Though we weren’t here much, Benno is the reason we decided on Brauhaus Reissdorf for dinner. Benno is a superhost for a reason! I’d definitely stay here again.

See more of my travel guides here and make sure to connect with me on Instagram!

Travel Guide: What I Wore & Things to Do In London, U.K.

LONDON, U.K.

At Abbey Road Studios.

At Abbey Road Studios.

What I Wore: A creme button-up crop top like this one with these ankle cropped, hem-cut Just USA jeans from Stitchfix, a vintage Garage Bomber Jacket (but I’d recommend any of their jackets here), an oversized scarf, and these Steve Madden black slip-ons. Since I was backpacking around, I did a lot of rotating the same wardrobe on my European adventure.

What I Did: A walking tour of Abbey Road Studios & Gift Shop, Hyde Park, Marble Arch, Camden Market, Big Ben (currently under construction until 2021 FYI!), Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, and the London Eye.

Love the hems on these   Just USA jeans  .

Love the hems on these Just USA jeans.

What I Ate: Fish & chips (duh!) with a Guinness at a classic English pub. I love grabbing Guinness overseas because they pour it correctly and that makes all the difference! The best part of this dish was that it came with a side of dipping curry for the fish, a treat which I learned is pretty standard in London pubs for this dish. It was amazing! I also ate at a lovely Indian restaurant near Camden Market. If you’re into Indian cuisine, check out Brick Lane’s curry restaurants. They often barter with each other outside just to get you to come in to their shop! And finally, if you’ve yet to try an English grilled Halloumi sandwich, it’s a must on your next British excursion. My favorite was at The Ivy Cafe in St. John’s Wood.

A grilled halloumi at the ivy cafe.

A grilled halloumi at the ivy cafe.

Where I Stayed: Paula’s Cosy Home on Airbnb- This beautiful little house had a kitchenette and bathroom in the lower level with a queen bed in the upstairs loft accessible by a spiral staircase. It was perfect for a two-person stay and a quick walk, bus ride, or Uber to the Underground to explore London. Paula is also an excellent host!

See more of my travel guides here and make sure to connect with me on Instagram!


Travel Guide: What I Wore & Things to Do In Brussels, Belgium

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Grand Place.

Grand Place.

What I Wore: Depending on the day, sundresses like this one with a vintage Garage Bomber Jacket (but I’d recommend any of their jackets here), a nude H&M tank with these black skinny jeans, an oversized scarf with either outfit, these Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Madison in Ox Black/Wolf Grey/White with the jeans, and these AMAZING Eurosoft Rayelle Wedge Sandals with the sundresses. These gladiator-style sandals were actually my shoe staple for my June trip around Europe. They are fashionable enough to dress up or down, are incredibly comfortable, and even have a slight heel! Fave. Since I was backpacking around, I did a lot of rotating the same wardrobe on my European adventure.

What I Did: You can read my five favorite things to do in Brussels here!

What I Ate: Chocolate from several of the chocolatiers in the Sablon, Belgian beer from The Delirium Cafe, waffles from street merchants near Mannekin Pis, and a tasty Italian gnocchi dinner at Gabbiani Reali. The chef even came out to watch us take our first bite and make sure we liked it! It was fabulous.

Where I Stayed: The White Coloured Studio Avenue Henri Dietrich Airbnb. This was one of my favorite stays of the trip. Though it was a necessary 13-minute Uber ride away from Grand Place, it was roomy, clean, and cool. The host provides amazing little amenities throughout the room like makeup remover pads, tons of books and maps on nearby activities, and extra linens. It was a spacious studio setup and easy entry.

See more of my travel guides here and make sure to connect with me on Instagram!


Travel Guide: What I Wore & Things to Do in Bruges, Belgium

BRUGES, BELGIUM

The Bruges Belfort Clocktower.

The Bruges Belfort Clocktower.

What I Wore: I visited Bruges, Belgium in early June. Since it’s not too far inland, it was a cool temperature at this time of year (50s Fahrenheit). It was cloudy but it did not rain during my stay. I wore these black skinny jeans, a vintage Garage Bomber Jacket but I’d recommend any of their jackets, a nude H&M tank, an oversized scarf, and these Steve Madden black slip on sneakers. All of these items were staples since I backpacked around Europe for 2 weeks. I took almost everything in very similar color tones to have an easy mix and match (a lot of black, white, and gray with accessories that served as a pop of color, though I’m rocking the all-black lewk in this photo). Since I was backpacking around, I did a lot of rotating the same wardrobe on my European adventure.

What I Did: I visited Bruges’ Markt, Burg Square, climbed the Belfort Clocktower (totally worth it!), entered the Basilica of Holy Blood, and saw the Madonna of Bruges by Michelangelo at the Church of Our Lady (so beautiful!). Of course we had a photoshoot at the famous Rozenhoedkaai too! It’s truly picture perfect and everyone waits to take their photo there.

Best. Brunch. Ever.

Best. Brunch. Ever.

What I Ate: Books & Brunch had one of the best brunches I’ve ever had!! Just look at that spread!

Where I Stayed: Hotel Biskajer was a lovely spot to park for the night. The room was very small but tidy and comfortable. The gentleman working the front desk was very friendly, gave us some local tips on things to do, and even called us a taxi to the train station once we’d checked out. While we waited, he made us coffee! This hotel does not allow children but it’s perfect for singles and couples to stay. It’s in walking distance of everything I did.

See more of my travel guides here. Have you been to Bruges? Tell me your favorite spots by connecting with me on Instagram!


Why I Love My Professional Brush Sets From Mikasa Beauty

My Mikasa puff.

My Mikasa puff.

I recently got really into highlighter palettes. Like I bought five of them from Tarte (yay for cruelty free!) and I’ve been using them with all my photoshoot friends. I can’t help it- I love the shimmer they add to any look! A little goes a long way though, and that’s why I love Mikasa Beauty’s brushes!

Mikasa brushes and blenders are made from high-quality products by beauty insiders. They make a brush for every look imaginable- from luxury red carpet to costume makeup to everyday styles. I’ve recently been using their finishing powder velour puff after my highlighter, their blender for any contouring I do, and their kabuki brush for several of my blushes and powder foundations. I love the quality and they’re super affordable. You can even get 25% off your order with my code: HANNAHBLONDON25 at checkout!

If you’ve recently gone on a beauty binge like me, Mikasa can help! I hope you guys like their brushes as much as I do! Give their website a browse.

See more pictures from my Mikasa shoot on my Instagram.


Roadtrip Essentials to Take You Anywhere

Views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains near Taos, NM.

Views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains near Taos, NM.

I recently went on a roadtrip with my mom to Taos, New Mexico and came back obsessed with “The Land of Enchantment.” On our way there, I decided to jot down my roadtrip essentials for you! Here they are:

Your Favorite Sunnies

Driving through the desert was a blast, but I would have hated doing it without my favorite pair of sunnies. Protect your eyes and make sure to wear a comfortable pair for long treks. I like any of these from Poppy Apparel and you can get 10% off your order with my code blondontherun10 at checkout!

Water

After you’ve filled up your gas tank, grab some water! It’s important to stay hydrated, especially when you’re traveling. Right now, I really love HINT water, which has a “hint” of fruit in it without any weird sugars or chemicals. Check them out here!

At the Rio Grande Bridge in Taos, NM.

At the Rio Grande Bridge in Taos, NM.

Phone Charger

If your car doesn’t have a USB in it to charge your phone on the road, I recommend grabbing one of these charging blocks from Amazon. This one holds five charges and I take it everywhere when I travel. I usually need Google maps and other travel apps, so a full battery is essential for my life on the go.

Good Tunes

Pass the AUX. But before you do, make sure your driving buddy has made a great playlist for the open road ahead. If you need help making one, Spotify has lots of great options for road trips here!

AAA Card

This one may sound too practical, but I can’t tell you how thankful I’ve been to have my AAA membership several times! Just about $80 a year gets you roadside assistance, free tows, bicycle assistance, and more services if you’re in the US. The first time I changed a tire, I YouTubed it. Now, I just call AAA. It’s great as a single woman traversing around to know I can count on their services if I need them. Honestly, it just makes roadtrips that much less worrisome, since you know AAA will take care of you if something comes up. You can sign up for a membership here.

Now it’s time to tell me your summer road trip necessities- comment them on this post! See more posts from my roadtrip on my Instagram.


Why You Need to Experience Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Hanging in the pit before a recent Red Rocks show.

Hanging in the pit before a recent Red Rocks show.

If you’re a Coloradoan, chances are you’ve been to a Red Rocks show. And if you haven’t, what’s stopping you?!

Red Rocks is one of the premiere concert venues in the world, and not just for its views. The acoustics of this place are magical for music lovers and performers alike. Recently, Vance Joy even shared with me backstage that Red Rocks is “the best venue in the whole world!” Although it’s in my backyard, I have to agree.

If you’re curious about the history of Red Rocks, I highly encourage you to read more about this geological masterpiece here and consider visiting outside of concert hours. They have a grill and gift shop where you can find out more about this iconic place and even see a list of every band who has ever played the stage in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame (the Beatles show is always a fave find).

A sold-out Red Rocks crowd.

A sold-out Red Rocks crowd.

If concerts aren’t your thing (then I’m not sure how you found me? they’re half my life but... ) Red Rocks also hosts movies and yoga at the venue. These are special treats (I’ve done both!) so keep an eye out for them.

And finally, if you’re a music lover, keep up with Red Rocks’ schedule here and buy your tickets while the season lasts! It’s one of my favorite places to be in Colorado and people travel from all over the country to see shows here.

You can check out some of my Red Rocks concert photos at this link and find more of my experiences from the rocks on my Instagram. Make sure to tell me about your favorite times on the rocks by commenting on my pics!


The Five Things I Loved The Most About Paris

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Often referred to as The City of Lights or The City of Love, Paris is well known for its mystical vibes. Here are my favorite things about the enchanting city:

The Fashion

Paris is quite fashionable, whether you’re talking about its citizens, the amount of shopping the city has available, or the fact that it is one of several cities known worldwide for its modeling and fashion events. Sporting your favorite yoga pants will be laughable here, so make sure to browse my guide for dressing in Europe before you jetset over! If you missed it and you’ve already landed, I recommend dropping by Galeries Lafayette to pick up something a little more dressy. Even your most “I only shop online” friends will be impressed by the architecture of this space, and it doesn’t hurt that the galeries feature some of the most luxurious and famous brands in the entire world.

The Food

French cuisine is exquisite, and I found both cheap and more gourmet examples of this. After dining at delicious cafes and restaurants, I stopped by a market near the Eiffel Tower and picked out a selection of fruits, cheeses, crisps, a baguette, and wine which made for a fantastic picnic at Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower. This was one of my favorite experiences of my entire Paris visit and my whole meal cost around 20 euro! You can find delectable pastries and sandwiches just about anywhere too, and what’s Paris without trying a croissant?  

The Architecture

There are a number of incredible sites to see in Paris just for their architecture, like the Gothic-style Notre-Dame de Paris, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, The Basilica of Sacré-Coeur, and of course, The Eiffel Tower! You’ll also notice the style of the buildings throughout a large part of Paris feature balconies with French doors, which are great for snagging fun photos on like the one featured on this page.

The Art

Obviously, Paris is known for the Louvre. But if you’re not wanting to wait in the lines that Beyonce and Jay-Z paid to skip, there are plenty of other art spots in Paris to check out. I had a beautiful afternoon at the Halle St-Pierre in the Montmartre area, where I wandered a Balkans exhibition before making my way outside and walking across the street to the The Basilica of Sacré-Coeur. So whether you’re looking for a specific artist’s work (like the Dali Museum) or just an afternoon escape from the rain (that was my sitch!), Paris has the perfect place for you.

Walking Tours

Depending on where you’re headed in the city, like most metropolises in Europe, Paris is very walkable. In just the span of one day, I saw the Notre-Dame de Paris, Pont de l'Archevêché, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, the Galeries Lafayette, Halle St-Pierre, The Basilica of Sacré-Coeur, Moulin Rouge, Champ de Mars, and the Eiffel Tower. Plus throw a couple of great cafe stops in there and a night picnic while the Eiffel Tower lit up! I recommend mapping out the main sites you want to see on your walk and then using TripAdvisor to pull up other things near your main plans. That’s one way I was able to see so much in so little time- strategy! That and a couple of delicious cappuccinos…


The Top Five Things To Do In Brussels On Your Next Belgium Adventure

Grand Place.

Grand Place.

Brussels has a lot of character and is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. Book your next European adventure with Brussels in the mix and make sure to stop at these spots: 

5. See the Mannekin Pis

The Mannekin Pis is said to embody the “rebellious spirit” of Brussels and is definitely a must-see purely for iconic reasons. You’ll find replicas of him everywhere in the city, from magnets to wine openers, so it’s worth wandering through Grand Place to find him. He’s smaller than you’d think! The city dresses him up regularly (in over 900 suits) and bonus if you find his counterpart, the female Jeanneke Pis.

4. Grab a Belgian Beer

It goes without saying that you’ve got to grab a Belgian beer while in Brussels! Belgium is known worldwide for their brewing and the number of beers you’ll find on tap around town are almost endless. The Delirium Cafe was one of my favorite stops for a brew and their beer is a staple you’ll find at most pubs so be sure to stop in if you can!

3. The Waffles

This is a country that has an entire morning treat named after them and for good reason! From street-style spots like Le Funambule to the more refined styles of Maison Dandoy, Belgium waffles are a crispy, sugary delight. The toppings you’ll find for them are truly limitless- from classic powdered sugar to Nutella and fruit toppings. Surprisingly, you won’t find syrup as the standard way to eat these treats but don’t fear- there are plenty of other options to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Just look at all these options...

Just look at all these options...

2. The Chocolate

I ate my way through my recent Eurotrip, and I’d encourage you to do the same! Using TripAdvisor makes it easy to find cheap eats, keeping your meals (and treats!) very affordable. Let your palate be adventurous! The chocolate and truffles in Belgium are found best at the speciality shops around the place du petit sablon. You won’t be disappointed! Especially if you’re a chocoholic like me.

1. Get a Picture in Grand Place

In city center, you’ll find Grand Place, a beautiful market square that has been important to the city since the 10th century. From fires to beheadings, this square has stood the test of time and now it’s a popular spot to chill in, especially around sunset. At night, the place has beautiful lights adorning the outside of its buildings and is my favorite time to grab a picture. If you’re there during in August during the Flower Carpet in the square, it’s an added photo bonus!
 


Kauai From the Sky Is the Best Way to Experience the Garden Isle

UPDATE: After the floods in Kauai in April 2018, there is much to be repaired on this beautiful island. Please consider donating to the relief efforts here.

Kauai, the “Garden Isle” of Hawaii, is a very lush island covered in tropical rainforests. Much of the island is protected with the Na Pali Coast State Park and the Waimea Canyon State Park. The island’s origins are volcanic, wild chickens roam freely in city and rural areas, and the island has dozens of waterfalls scattered throughout its mountainous climate. If these reasons still haven’t sold you on why you should adventure in Kauai, just look at these pictures of the Na Pali Coast. You’ll never want to leave its beauty!

Just before takeoff!

Just before takeoff!

Several Hollywood films have used Kauai as a location, including South Pacific, Lilo & Stitch, the first Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost ArkTropic Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blue Hawaii, and The Descendants. Once you’ve seen this island, it’s easy to see why it’s been a scouted as a tropical paradise so many times!

My favorite way to see as much of the island as possible in a short amount of time is by helicopter, and more specifically, with Kauai’s Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. With business class style seats, two-way communication with your pilot, and a chopper that is mostly glass for your viewing pleasure, explore Kauai in luxury! The ECO Tour, which is the one I did, includes a flight around Hanapepe Valley, Manawaiopuna (also known as Jurassic Park falls!), and Olokele Canyon which eventually opens into the sweeping views of Waimea Canyon. This area is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and it’s breathtaking! My favorite part of the ride was along the Na Pali Coast, where we caught a few rainbows out over the ocean and swooped across the shoreline near the Bali Hai Cliffs and Hanalei Bay. Most tours will even visit Mount Waialeale, which is the old volcano that helped form this island.

A Na Pali Coast shot from my window.

A Na Pali Coast shot from my window.

I had an absolute blast talking to my pilot the entire tour too- he used to fly in the military and now flies the Kauai skies as a private pilot. He was extremely knowledgeable about the island and there was plenty of time for questions on our 45-minute tour. My group felt safe from start to finish in the ECO Star chopper and they even filmed our ride. National Geographic has called Blue Hawaiian Helicopters Kauai premiere helicopter tour company for good reason- they offer a safe, professional, luxury tour of Kauai at a very reasonable price.

Kauai really is the sapphire gem of Hawaii’s crown. It’s one of the wettest places on earth due to its annual rainfall, which makes for some crazy biodiversity in its plant life and the view of it from a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter ride is unreal! Fly in luxury and see all the beauties this island holds- you can book your sky tour here today!