Building Our Story

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Magnolia Hotel Denver

Disclosure:  We received a complementary stay in return for our honest review.  As always, all opinions are my own.  

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

Once a year we attend a black tie event that benefits my agency and we usually make it a big night out and the best date night of the year.  Getting dressed up, hanging with friends, dancing and enjoying a night in Denver.  This year we even went bigger and decided to stay downtown at the Magnolia Hotel in Downtown Denver.  This meant we got to get dressed with out the rug-rats running around our feet and even got to come home late and sleep in on Sunday morning!  Oh and not to mention - sleep in a king sized bed with out kids!!!  

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

History of Magnolia Hotel Denver:
Old world charm meets modern Magnolia style in our downtown Denver hotel, formerly the American National Bank Building. Restored to reflect its original appearance, terra cotta details and a replicated corner clock adorn this 13-story landmark edifice built in 1910. Opened in 1995, this boutique hotel in Denver, Colorado has 246 gorgeous guest rooms and suites as well as 10,000 square feet of corporate meeting rooms and event space.

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

The Magnolia is in the heart of downtown and I love it.  You can feel the history in the building.  Sure the rooms aren't HUGE but I love the lay outs.  We were lucky enough to stay in a lovely suite with a kitchen, living room, amazing bathroom and bedroom.  The views are amazing from the rooms as well.  I love our city!  

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

Something that I will always remember about the Magnolia Hotel is that you get Milk and Cookies every evening.  from 8pm to 10 pm!  Seriously!  What a great way to cap off the evening before hitting those super comfy beds.  

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

I was absolutely in love with the shower and garden tub!  I took two showers just because I loved it so much!

About Magnolia Denver:
Magnolia Hotel Denver is a hotel near Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies; the Pepsi Center, home of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche; and the Sports Authority Field, home of the legendary Denver Broncos. This downtown Denver hotel is also conveniently located near the Denver Museum of Art, the Colorado Convention Center, and all of the city's major corporate headquarters.

The hotel's location just off 16th Street Mall makes us a short walk to over 100 restaurants, entertainment venues, restaurants and Lo Do. Take in a show at the Temple Buell Theatre, enjoy a short walk to Larimer Square, or take a five minute drive to the ever-popular Cherry Creek Mall.


  • Complimentary breakfast service during the week (6:00am-9:00am) and (7:00am-10:00am) on the weekend
  • Complimentary downtown transportation
  • Complimentary high speed Internet access (wireless and wired)
  • Overnight valet parking ($26 per night)
  • Complimentary evening reception (5:30pm-6:30pm)
  • Complimentary cookies and milk (8:00pm-10:00pm)
  • Business Center with computer access and high speed Internet ($5.95 for 20 minutes)
  • Full-time concierge desk
  • 24-hour fitness center
  • Conference Center (Up to 200 people)
  • The Lounge featuring a flat screen television, billiards room, bar and dinner menu
  • Starbuck's Coffee Shop
  • On-site ATM machine
  • Harry's Bar serving cocktails, lunch and light dinner fare
  • In-room dining
  • Valet parking
  • Same-day dry cleaning

The Magnolia Hotel Denver.  Hotels in Downtown Denver.  Magnolia Hotel.  Magnolia Hotel Downtown Denver.

Another plus is that you do get a great complementary breakfast in the mornings.  Most "downtown" Hotels do not offer this - and it isn't a small breakfast - you will leave full and satisfied!  

I would recommend this Hotel for anyone wanting that downtown experience but with a high class flair.  I wouldn't choose the Magnolia when traveling with kiddos but for a great evening out with a sig other this is perfect!  

Anyone planning a trip to Downtown Denver soon?  

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Friday, November 21, 2014

What to Wear: 2014 Family Pictures

It is that time of the year again.  Time to call that favorite photographer and dress up for the camera.  We do family photos every year in November and recently it has been with my high school friend Krista.  She is pretty much a miracle worker with the camera and kids!  Seriously!  We are heading out this weekend in hopes for that miracle again.  Oh and just like Colorado weather likes to play - we are expecting COLD and snow on Sunday, which is picture day!  Oh goodness.

Well this year I decided to be a bit daring with our outfits.  I wanted to do something colorful but in the jewel tones.  I am not a big fan of gold jewelry but I am absolutely in love with all the gold accents found on clothing right now.  My inspiration started with a pair of cream and gold cords for Teagan and it was built from there.

Family Pictures

I do not want to be matchy matchy in the photos so I believe I found a way to incorporate all the colors in each of our outfits.  


For Teagan, I found the cutest Cream and Gold star cords. Adorable.  I am pairing those with a Lace Peplum Top.  Both of these can be found at Old Navy.  To give her a little color I bought a plum toddler scarf from my friend Kristin of Peony Plush Handmade.  Great winter touch!  


For Jude we are going a bit neutral.  I had a really hard time finding anything plum for him.  Really wanted a nice plum colored dress shirt.  So instead we are dressing him in nice dark jeans, and a dark grey flannel button down shirt from Old Navy.  

For Jeremy:

Jeans for him as well.  Not to fancy this year.  Jeans can totally be dressed up as well.  I found a great teal plaid button down that I love! I really think the teal, gold and plum will go perfect together.  This was also found at Old Navy and it is in a tall so it fits perfectly!!   

For Me:

I wanted to incorporate the teal and purple so I found the perfect teal long sleeved blouse that has a touch of lace.  I am also wearing dark jeans.  I found a great plum infinity scarf that will also bring all the plum and teal together.  

Well that is what I came up with.  So let's home the weather isn't terrible and we can all be ready to smile and have some fun in front of the camera!  Wish us luck!!  

What colors/themes did you have for your Family Pictures this year?

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North Pole - Home of Santa's Workshop Colorado Springs #Colorado

Disclosure:  I was provided with free tickets to the North Pole in return for my honest review.  As always all opinions are my own.  

This time of there we are always looking for fun family activities that get us out enjoying our favorite state and holiday - Colorado and Christmas.  Lucky for us we happen to have the North Pole - Home of Santa's Workshop just a couple hours away from us!  Yes, THE North Pole is here in Colorado! I am a Colorado native and sadly this was my first visit to the workshop. 

About North Pole - Home of Santa's Workshop:

A Christmas themed family amusement park that has been in existence since 1956.   Santa’s Workshop has grown through the years, but pure enjoyment of the Christmas spirit has remained the same for the past 50 years.

Christmas music fills the air as visitors browse through the village. At the center of Santa’s Workshop is the North Pole, an ice-covered pole that never melts. Surrounding the North Pole are a variety of gift shops, each with their own unique selection of toys & gifts. Of course, the highlight of everyone’s visit is a trip to Santa’s House to greet the jolly old elf himself.

Dispersed throughout the park there are more than 25 rides and other attractions. Magic shows are shown throughout the day at Santa’s Show House. Visitors can listen to a variety of tunes from the 1919 Band Organ, which evoke memories of years past. A picnic pavilion is located near the front of the park for guests who would like to bring their own food. 

Santa’s Workshop/North Pole is located at the foot of Pikes Peak. Our altitude is 7500 feet and the park is situated on the side of Pikes Peak mountain.  The views are amazing and perfect for a day of enjoying Colorado!

The dusting of snow and sights of Christmas made our morning when we walked into the park.  Like I said, this was my first time visiting this historic Colorado attraction so I wasn't sure what to expect.  We met my bloggy friend Heather and her family at the park and we were all dressed in layers and ready for the day.  Listen, it has been SUPER cold in Colorado recently so we were a bit nervous that we would be freezing but it turned out to be a cold yet sunny day and if you know anything about Colorado, the sun helps warm you up even when it is FREEZING out.  

Santa's Tip:  
Dress appropriately for the mountains. Come prepared for any type of weather — rain & thunder storms in the summer, cold and snow in the fall.  Come as early in the day as is possible, it seems rain showers and other precipitation hit in the afternoons.

Jude and Lennox.  Even though they have only met each other 2 times they act like they are the best of friends.  I love the hearts and minds of kids, they truly show kindness and just want to have fun and be happy!  Once we were all bundled up and ready we headed inside.  The kids thought it was so cool to be at the North Pole!  

The kiddos were so excited to get on the rides the moment we walked into the park.  

Santa's Tip:
Santa’s Workshop has over 25 amusement rides for guests’ enjoyment. They are all different and have certain requirements for each ride. They understand that parents with small children want them to ride as many rides as possible. They try to achieve this with a variety of rides designed for families and small children. They do try to keep the restrictions as few as possible, but safety will always come first. If you have a 2 – 3 year old of average height (32”) there is only one ride they would not be able to ride. All other rides they may ride either by themselves or with an adult.

I usually worry about Teagan not getting to do what Jude gets to do because she is younger but thankfully Teagan was able to do everything that Jude and Lennox did.  She felt pretty big and had such a great time.  Seeing her drive was so cute!  

The North Pole is a mixture of a fair and festival in my opinion.  The Christmas music playing through out the park, the festival food, the fair rides and the fun activities around the large park make the day busy and full of fun.  I felt like we were in a winter wonderland with all the rides decorated for Christmas, such a fun spin on the holiday.  

Teagan fell in love with Heather.  She wanted to do everything with Heather.  So cute.  Also, Teagan is a daredevil - she loved all of the rides!  Even the fast ones!

Santa's Tip:
It is recommended to allow at least 3 hours at the park.  This will allow your family to ride the rides, visit Santa, enjoy some food, and watch a magic show.  

For those of you that are from Colorado - do you remember the gondolas at the old Elitches Gardens?  It was so fun to have these rides with our kids.  Took me back to the many rides I had with my parents in the summers at Elitches!  

Santa's Tip:
Parking is FREE at the North Pole!  

I am so afraid of heights but this view was awesome!  We seriously live in an amazing State.  

Santa's Tip:
They are always open “weather permitting” so yes they can be closed due to the weather. They know by 8:30 in the morning if they will be able to open or not. There are many factors that must be evaluated to make this decision. It can be extreme cold, icy conditions, road conditions, fog, rain, etc. If in doubt please call ahead before coming to the park. Once the decision is made to close the park, it will be closed all day even if the weather improves.

Once we rode some of the rides and walk around the park a bit we found Santa's house!  Jude was so excited to talk to Santa this year.  And I must say, this Santa was awesome.  He engaged with the kids so well and personally - I think he is the REAL Santa.  Check out that beard!  

Jude asked Santa for a Rainbow Dash shirt and a "Going Fishing" Game.  Easy enough!  

Last year Teagan was terrified of Santa so we were not sure how she would act this year.  She got so excited once he started talking to her.  So cute!  She even sat on his lap alone!!  Brave girl!  Like I said, this Santa was amazing.  He has done his homework that's for sure.  When Teagan walked up and said "Doc please"?  He immediatly said "Oh you like Doc McStuffins and I do too!!" Well played Santa!! 

Teagan asked for Doc (she wants the mobile clinic), Elsa and Ana.  Too cute.  

Here is our official North Pole Santa picture for 2014.  Turned out great!  I think it is so cute how bundled up the kids are.  

Santa's Tip:
They do have pictures with Santa in his house. They have a variety of packages available from $7.00 to $24.00. If you want to order pictures with Santa, please proceed to the Souvenir Shop (#5 on your map) as soon as you leave Santa’s House. That way you can get your pictures ordered and be able to pick them up before you leave the park. You may also take your own pictures with Santa.

I wish I would have read more about the Letters to Santa before we visited because I think it would have been a lot of fun to participate.  Something to remember for next year!  I love this big mailbox and I had to capture a picture of Jude trying to mail a letter to Santa.  

Santa's Tip:
They receive thousands of Santa letters from boys and girls all over the globe. If there is a legible name and address from the sender they will receive a postcard from Santa. This postcard is sent from mail received from October 1 thru December 10. Any mail received before or after will not be answered. There is no charge for the postcard.

And then there is this picture!  Oh these 2!!  I love that Jude has friends all over the country.  They had a great time running around the park and riding rides together.  Too cute.  Jude keeps telling us that he needs to go to Texas to see Lennox.  

Teagan on the North Pole train.  Choo Choo!!  

Santa's Tip:
A different way of paying in the park.  They have a purchase card system at the park. When you pay your admission each person will receive a purchase card. All of these cards must be turned in at the end of your visit whether you used it or not. Present a purchase card to any sales clerk or food worker and they will write your purchases on the card. You pay for all purchases when you leave at the end of the day.

While on the train we got to see the Reindeer!  They were so graceful and BIG.  A fun treat for the kids to see a real life Reindeer!!

All of the buildings through out the park are the cutest things ever.  Painted like we are in a little magically town.  You can find all kinds of activities and shops while walking through the park.  Glass blowing, candle making, fire pits, toy shops and food.  

Santa's Tip:
Admission includes unlimited rides and all shows the family can enjoy together. You do not pay for each ride.

This was Teagan's favorite ride.  She loved the bugs and laughed the whole time.  I think this is what I loved the most about the North Pole.  Teagan had so much fun - this is the perfect adventure out for all ages!! 

To say the kids had fun would be an understatement.  I thought it was fun that the rides were different than some of the carnival/festival rides that Jude has experienced before.  

Santa's Tip:
Always wear comfortable shoes as we have a very hilly terrain (we recommend tennis shoes).

Okay this ride was so funny!  It was a calm version of a high drop ride you would find at a Six Flags.  They sat on saddles and went all the way up and then bounced down like they were on a horse!  So funny!  The laughs that Jude and Lennox had on this ride made all of us laugh while watching them.  

HA!  Poor Jeremy!  He had to take ALL the kids on the spinning ride!  They had fun though.  

Hours and Rates:

2014 Season  May 17, 2014 – December 24, 2014

Generally open 10am - 5pm.  Check website for early closures.  Normally closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

Under Age 2 - FREE
General Admission Ages 2 – 59  $21.00 per person
Senior Admission 60+  FREE
Small Group Rate (6 or more)  $19.00 per person
Active Duty Military, Active Duty Military Family, or Retired Military with Current Military ID
Bring your ID’s — Everyone age 10 and up must show their own Military ID to receive the Military rate. $16.00 per person

Thanksgiving Week is a big traffic week for the North Pole. Closed on Thanksgiving.  Open 10am - 5pm. 

We had such a great time that I really feel like this could become a family tradition.  A park totally dedicated to Christmas is such a fun idea.  Plus the location is breathtaking!  Another fun idea is to visit the North Pole and Santa in the middle of summer!  A great time to visit Pikes Peak and enjoy the Christmas spirit not just in December

Contact Information for the North Pole-Home of Santa's Workshop:

Have you ever visited The North Pole in Colorado Springs?

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Harvest Door Wreath #DIY

Harvest Door Wreath #DIY. Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Fall Door Wreath.  Easy Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Harvest Door Wreath.

Not going to lie to y'all - I am way behind on decorating for Harvest and Thanksgiving.  I needed something to decorate our door with and until just a couple of days ago I still had the Feathered Halloween Door Wreath up!  Ooops!  The month totally slipped away from me.  Since I didn't have much time I decided to go easy on myself and man I am glad I did because this wreath is now one of my favorites!  I promise that you can make this in 15 minutes!!  

Harvest Door Wreath #DIY. Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Fall Door Wreath.  Easy Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Harvest Door Wreath.

Harvest Door Wreath


18 inch Straw Wreath Form
Green Ribbon - 3 yards
Pre-made burlap bow (or make your own)
Embellishments - pine cones, cinnamon sticks and beads 
hot glue/glue gun

Harvest Door Wreath #DIY. Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Fall Door Wreath.  Easy Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Harvest Door Wreath.


1.  Wrap the ribbon around the wreath form, make sure to let the straw show through.  This gives the perfect Harvest feeling.  Hot glue the ends of the ribbon to the straw.  

Harvest Door Wreath #DIY. Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Fall Door Wreath.  Easy Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Harvest Door Wreath.

2.  Secure the bow onto the bottom right of the wreath form using hot glue.  

Harvest Door Wreath #DIY. Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Fall Door Wreath.  Easy Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Harvest Door Wreath.

3.  Decorate the bow with the embellishments you picked out.  Add more or less - up to you!  

4.  Use the remained of the ribbon to create a hanger for the wreath, tie a large knot to secure.  And you are finished!  Told ya...super easy!  Enjoy! 

Harvest Door Wreath #DIY. Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Fall Door Wreath.  Easy Thanksgiving Door Wreath.  Easy Harvest Door Wreath.

How do you decorate your door for Harvest and Thanksgiving?

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